We spent almost 24 hours traveling to get to the capital, Santo Domingo. We stayed in Santo Domingo for two days and worked at an all-boys orphanage. At the orphanage, we were divided into teams. Some of us played with the boys, helped in the kitchen, cleaned, or painted both days. I was part of the painting crew and helped with the kids' program we created for the boys at the orphanage and the kids at the villages.
On the fourth day, we traveled another six hours to a village called Batey 1; this was one of the poorest villages that we went to. When I first went to the DR in August of 2018, I met a baby there named Ezekiel, and his family asked me if I could take him back, which of course, I couldn't, but this baby touched my heart. So once I was finished with my group, I started to look for him and found his mom. Ezekiel's mother made one of the older kids in the village go and get him so we could see each other after three years.
The next day we split into three groups: group one went to Batey 1 to finish painting a house built in May, group two went to another village called Bombita, and group three went to a safe house that housed trafficked and child-brides. I went to the safe house, and there we set up a basement as a classroom. I also went to the store and helped clean and organize. The safe house is funded almost entirely off of the girls making jewelry.
On the sixth day, we had church in Bombita, traveled back to
Santo Domingo, and had dinner with the boys at the orphanage. I am truly blessed to be able to get these amazing opportunities to be a servant to God. The pure joy that the Dominican people have is astonishing because they have so very little. There would have been no possible way for me to be able to go without the support of the tribe. I can't thank the Quapaw Business Committee enough for giving me this extraordinary opportunity!