Saturday, October 9, 2010

It is good to be back

I made it back!

I got back on Wednesday night/Thursday morning. And I have pretty much been a sleepy zombie since I got home.

First of all I want to thank you all for your sweet comments and prayers with this trip. They really meant a lot to me.

As soon as I got back I wanted to update you all on how the trip went, but I was stuck.

I couldn't even tell Mr. Genius about the trip. I just didn't know what to say about it and when I did try to talk about it I would just cry.

I couldn't put into words how I felt about the trip.

Then it hit me today. I think I am mad. I didn't want to go on a trip like this to honor the life of my dad. I just want my dad back and keep enjoying life with him.

Also I am sad that this was our first trip with out dad. And dad LOVED missions. He would have eaten up every bit of this trip. I could just see him running around with the kids and completely embarrassing me by trying to pretend he knew Spanish.

Then on the other hand, I feel that I am a grown woman...why am I so emotional about my dad? After all, I haven't lived under the same roof as him in 14 years.

With that said. I don't really know how to explain how the trip went.

Both my brothers and I felt weird that we were on a "mission trip" yet we weren't doing any missions...i.e. building a house, painting, doing bible school. The stuff we are use to doing when we go on mission trips.

There was a group from the church that was doing a mission work.

They helped the community of LaRepresa build a tilapia pond. For them to eat from and sell to make money.


They also helped paint the church that a previous group helped to build.


painting the primer
So we felt a little awkward being with the people that are working...and we didn't bring the clothes to work. My brothers did help a little with the painting, but since 90% of my clothes have paint on them and I only brought the 10% that do not have paint on them. I was being a little protective of the clothes that I was wearing to not actually ruin my last bit of "good" clothes.

The first thing that I noticed about the Dominican was how crazy hot it is there. I am talking 90 degrees with 90-100% humidity.

STEAMY AND HOT!

The next thing I noticed after we got in contact with our Dominican guide is how crazy they drive there.

Nelson (our guide) said this about Dominican drivers:

 We know that they put lines on the road to try and keep us organized...
but we just look at them as a suggestion...
along with stop lights.

You would not believe how fast they would turn a two lane road into a four lane road.

I meant to take more pictures of the crazy drivers there, but I was too busy trying to cover my eyes so I wouldn't scream.

I will say that we didn't see one accident while we were there. So what ever they are doing, it works...for them.

Oh and they can fit a whole family on a motorcycle.


Yes that is a baby on a motorcycle. 

The most we saw on one motorcycle was 4 people. Nelson, our guide, says that he has seen 6 on one before. 

These people are very resourceful.


Another thing I noticed about this country is that they are very colorful. I LOVED this.

Just look at these houses.





  a market in LaRepresa


Aren't the colors just so fun.

The colors are amazing but I can't look past the fact that we are so blessed in America. 

We have running water in our homes, we have refrigerators, goodness we have air conditioners!!!

Later on in the day the school had the celebration of dedicating the new wing of the building to dad. 

It was really sweet and I was so glad to be there. 

Here are some pictures of the school.

To the right, is the school.

The blue wall is the barrier of the school, the big black barrel is the water. 

I will tell you more about the water there in a minute.

When you walk through the gate, here is the mural that you see.


The picture of the house that is on top of the mural is what the school looked like before. That little one room house, for all these kids. 

Again with the colorfulness.


The ceremony was a big deal for the little town. They even closed school for the day for the preparations.


These are teachers that are making the cake in a classroom.

The room where they held the ceremony had us packed like sardines.


But the kids sat so good.



You can just tell at even there tender ages that they are just so thankful to be able to go to school.

Here is the plague that will be hung up for my dad.

I think you can click on any of these pictures and it will blow up so you can read it. Oh and for those of us that slept through Spanish class (guilty as charged) ...it is in English on the bottom half. 

During the ceremony, the kids were so cute. With each passing minute the kids would inch themselves closer and closer to the cake that was awaiting them at the end.


But who could blame them, the cake was HUGE.

The bottom consisted of 6 half sheets of a cake and the of course the two top layers.


All the flowers were sugar. They did such a great job.

Afterwards everyone played outside while they were waiting for their cake.

Since this was hurricane season, they would get a little relief from the heat when a rain storm would come through. 


And because these wonderful people are so resourceful, even at a young age. 

Two kids just took off their clothes and took a shower in the rain.


LaRepresa is in the mountains just outside of Santo Domingo.


We stayed in Santo Domingo. 
On Wednesday morning we walked around one of the communities there.

Amazing! That is all I can say. Amazing!



I could not believe how many people can live in such a small area.


This man is filling his washing machine up with water.


See what things we take for granted here?


That is a broom that they made. See? Blessed.

Now I want to show you the water. Here is a stream that runs through the city of Santo Domingo. When it rains the stream gets really big and is rushing down between the houses. So the people through their trash into the water to get it out of their house.


Now I see why we were told to not drink the water. 

And I felt totally gross about taking a shower with this water. 

One thing that I am glad about it that my mom, my brothers, and I had a great time together. It was fun to get away from our kids and it be just us.

But we really did have a great time together.



Aren't they cute?

There was a lot of turtles outside our hotel

I know that this is a really long post and there were a lot of pictures. Thank you for letting me share this experience with you all. 

Hug your dads for me.

Disclaimer: All the pictures that you see that are actually good pictures were taken by my brother Andrew.
He is the photographer of the family.

12 comments:

Tanya said...

What a lovely tribute to your dad. Not a replacement for having him with you, but certainly a wonderful testament to the person he was and the people he helped.

Christa @ Stories of a House said...

Your Dad seems like he was an amazing man. He would be so pleased. What an amazing trip. Had to be tiring, but so rewarding.

Laura @ Just For Love said...

Katie,
I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading this. Thank you so much for sharing these intimate details with us. Praying for you : )
Love,
Laura

My Cottage Charm said...

I have to tell you, I have tears streaming down my face reading this post. I think I am crying for multiple reasons.... 1. that you lost your dad..what a wonderful soul he was! 2. gratitude that I still have mine and the dread of thinking I will someday have to go what you're going through now, 3. Feeling overwhelmingly blessed to live in the country that we live in now. I just want to thank God for the things we have..you know, the little things we take for granted everyday...like clean water, heat and air, indoor bathrooms, garbage pick up...oh my, I could go on and on. THANK YOU for bearing your soul and letting us come in and share your joy and your pain.
A million HUGS to you!
Love ya
Missy

The Pennington Point said...

What a sweet thing to do. How glad I am that your whole family got to go. It's nice to just have the adult together sometimes. Thanks for sharing your special trip. I'll be praying for you. Much love! Lisa~

The Pennington Point said...

What a sweet thing to do. How glad I am that your whole family got to go. It's nice to just have the adult together sometimes. Thanks for sharing your special trip. I'll be praying for you. Much love! Lisa~

Katie said...

Wow, such a touching post ~ enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks for sharing your heart with us! (And yes, I'm feeling VERY blessed!)

oliva said...

I just want to thank you for sharing your trip with us. I think that was a dear thing to do. and So glad your home safe and sound. I was born in a 3rd world country. and when I visited there I was so Greatful for USA even more.

Melissa from Puddin Pop Designs said...

ok- I'm crying! What a special, bittersweet event for your family- Thank you for sharing this. Saying prayers for you tonight.

lodyp said...

Ohhhhh I didn't know you were back. Loved the pictures. And I TOTALLY get the "not wanting to be here b/c not wanting your dad be gone...." I buried 3 of my children and my life was screwy for a while....and I didn't want to be where I was in life b/c of all that had happened. Bunch of crap. blah.
So anyway, glad you are back. Will keep up....
xo, Melody in Knoxville

Jessica @ Take Two Designs said...

I'm so glad you had a safe trip! The plaque for your dad is beautiful! What a thoughtful way to remember him! That must make you proud! God bless!

rainbowcreek said...

This is my first visit to your blog and I wanted to say how much I enjoyed the pictures and your story. Your dad must have been a great and loving man, how lucky you are to have had him. And what a special time for you and your mom and brothers to get to participate in honoring him that way.

I am older than you and am still blessed with having both of my wonderful parents here on earth. I have lived 1000 miles away from them for 35 years but I know when the time comes I will miss them dreadfully. I am sorry you miss him so much. Thanks again for sharing.