The alarm went off, signalling the beginning of our second day in the Dominican Republic. We rolled out of bed, slowly getting ready for the day and making our way into the large common room for breakfast. It was a wonderful feast of sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, and fresh fruit. (Adrian and Arnold arrived at 12 this morning).
The original plan was to leave at nine in the morning and be at the villages by ten, but the busy Saturday morning traffic proved more difficult then anticipated. Several stops were made along the way. We picked up ice and water, a much needed commodity. Building supplies for the washrooms were also purchased and squeezed into the already overflowing bus.
Forty-five minutes later we arrived at the villages. Children and parents alike waved hello as we screeched to a stop. After unloading all our supplies, we split into several groups to finish up the projects we had started.
Eva, Jonas, Brandon, and Kerwin tackled the house painting. They turned the inside of an elderly man’s house into a brilliant and bright shade of blue. Joel, Wim, Bryan, Eric, Gevin, and Liam got to work mixing up a mortar and laying bricks for the washrooms. The other thing on the agenda was making a concrete floor for house. The cement had to be hand mixed before shoveled into the buckets, transported to the home, and then poured out and leveled. Sam, Tyrell, Adrian, and Sarah helped the process to go smoothly. Eldon, Isaiah and Gevin installed a spotlight at the church entrance.
Of course, there was also lots of playtime with the eager kids. They ran towards us like costumers on Black Friday, grabbing our hands and declaring their love for the “Americanos”. Several new soccer balls were handed out and a quick game of kickball was underway.
With the sun high in the sky and the humidity quickly sapping our strength, we stopped for a delicious lunch of pork, rice, beans, and potato salad. Carlos informed us that the Dominicans called the salad “Russian Salad”.
We went back outside to finish our projects and play with the kids some more. We started to pack up and left at 4:00 to travel to our next place, the Fudesa mission. We arrived at 5:45 to warm greetings from Paul, Richard, and the others. We settled down in our rooms of bunkbeds, mosquito netting and fans. It was humid and hot.
We had dinner of scalloped potatoes and salad and then Richard told us about himself. Paul, a missionary of 30 years told us his family history, how they started the mission, and about the 400 head goat farm behind the girl’s building. They ship the milk from 200 milking goats to a processing plant for cheese, milk, and yogurt. Paul is the pastor of the church we are visiting tomorrow, and his wife started a school 30 years ago, where they now have about 45 teachers.
After dinner we went outside and joined many young people from the church in a competitive and fun volleyball game. We look forward to a restful Sunday and touring the village.