Tuesday, January 23, 2007

santiago and back again

So, it is Tuesday evening and the house is semi-empty again. We went down to Santiago Friday afternoon to meet up with the group from Taylor who had left the day before while we were still teaching classes. Saturday was spent showing the group sites in Santiago. We went to the cultural center, the monument, grabbed lunch at a café inside of a huge grocery store where we were able to do a little bit of shopping, then took them to the mall to get ice cream. It was fun taking them to these places because Alexia and I had not been to all of these places before. It was also nice to do something different than the routine, although life in downtown Santiago is extremely different than the small villages near our house.

While we were in Santiago, a friend of Jennie’s flew down to the DR with a photographer. They are here to spend some time with Jennie before the wedding and then will be taking pictures the day of. Wednesday and Thursday Jennie’s brothers and parents will be flying down and staying at the house. The rest of her friends from the states will come in on Friday.

Friday after lesson planning Alexia, Royce, and I are driving to Santiago for the twins’ 1st birthday to give Jennie some time and space to do whatever she needs to. I’ll let y’all know how everything goes


Last Wednesday night a man named Josh and his intern Royce came down and, with the help of a few other people, put on a multilingual, multicultural worship event. It was held in a Haitian village called Ascensión. Both Dominicans and Haitians came, as well as our group of about 15 Americans. Songs were sung in Spanish and Kreyol, there was even one in English. It was cool to hear the different languages going throughout the course of the event.

The power went out 10 minutes prior to the start of the event, so the men played their instruments and sang without speakers and microphones and a PowerPoint slideshow was played by using a car battery. Bet you have never experienced something like that before! Despite it being hard to hear with kids talking at the same voice level as the ones putting on the event, it all went very well.

The next day Josh flew back to the states. Royce though will be staying for the next 5 weeks as an intern with Makarios. He will be teaching music to the kids during my classes in Pancho Mateo and Chichigua, which I am very excited about.

The next day the group from Taylor left for Santiago to see Ruben’s farm, as well as work on the land recently purchased for Makarios

la enfermera

A nurse (enfermera) from Austin named Jen came down for a week. She taught a hygiene lesson in each of my classes, which included the importance of wearing clothes and shoes, bathing and washing hands, brushing teeth, and eating fruits and vegetables, all of which had to be altered to some degree because of the living conditions (ie- many do not have shoes or much clothing and many cannot afford fruits or vegetables nor have much access to clean water).

Jen also spent some time in Chichigua seeing if there were any health needs. She was able to help teach mothers how to properly care for their babies and children. There was one family of five kids who attend my class. The youngest has a ringworm, staff infection, and scabies. His little body is completely covered with them. These infections have also spread to the other kids. Thanks to Jen, we were able to give the family antibiotics to take. Tomorrow I will see if there has been any improvement, if not, they will need to be taken to the hospital. Needless to say, we were very grateful to have her here.

Friday, January 12, 2007

a little help goes a long way

Things have been staying busy here. We have had our house of 18 people going strong. The group has enjoyed their time here thus far, and it has been nice having Ruben (a local farmer and staff of Makarios) here with us with his son.

Towards the beginning of this week, Ruben noticed a little girl who had a very large and extended stomach. (This is common for children who are malnourished). When the Austin Stone pastors were here in December, they told us that if there was ever a child that was in need of medical care that they could help provide the funds.

Ruben was concerned about the girl’s stomach and spoke to her grandmother about taking her to the doctor. They went to the doctor with a couple students from our Taylor group. He thought that she might have had a tumor, but it ended up being that she had millions of parasites. This was most likely due to her eating dirt because she was hungry and had no food. Although many people were surprised to see Americans associating with a Haitian child, the doctor was very caring and prescribed the appropriate medicine the child needs so she should be fine!

Thank you in your support for supplying the money to heal this girl!

There is also a 94 year old woman that lives alone in Pancho Mateo. She sells charcoal as a source of income and has a broken hip. Jennie was able to get her some medicine today (a bottle of Tylenol) and she was very grateful.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

extra help

Wow. Things have been very busy with the group being here. Did I mention that already? There is a group here for 3 weeks, a group of business students from Taylor University- Ft. Wayne. It has been great having help with doing the dishes and boiling the eggs, not to mention extra hands in the classroom! With 18 people in the house though, downtime time seems to be few and far between.

Exciting things are happening though. The kids are enthused to have so many new friends come and spend time with then in the villages, they have even been performing puppet shows which the kids cannot get enough of. Another exciting thing that is happening is with the food program. We now have enough money to provide not only a glass of milk and a hard-boiled egg twice a week for each student, but a piece of bread and a banana as well. How wonderful is that?! A great big thank you to those who helped in providing the funds.

Other great things are in the works as well. We have been looking for land where we can build the Makarios house to host groups as well as staff, in addition to having a room that can facilitate as a classroom for the students. How wonderful it would be to have an actual classroom with desks or tables and the proper supplies!

Sorry I can't write more now. Know that everything is going well, the staff here is learning what is looks like to host a group. It has been a good learning experience thus far, everyone is great.

It has been a long day, and I am off to bed.

Oh, ps- I have gotten two marriage proposals in the last two days. Gotta love it!

Friday, January 05, 2007

back in the saddle

It is Wednesday night at 11pm. I safely made it to Puerto Plata this afternoon with Alexia. My two and a half weeks in Texas were wonderful and went by so quickly. I was able to see many friends and family. I apologize if you were one of the many that I was only able to say hello to, whether over the phone or in person. I promise that a fun game and good conversation is in order when I return.

Like I said, I am now back in the Dominican Republic, all unpacked and settled, also having the realization that I forgot many things from Houston. Oh well, what can you do? I wanted to write out a few things that are soon to come. Here it goes.

I am excited about classes starting up again on Monday, though still need to lesson plan for the week. My sister Rachel got me a whole lot of things for teaching, it was ridiculously exciting. Lesson planning needs to happen quickly because there is a group of college students from Taylor coming down on Saturday and will be in country for three weeks. This will be the first time since I have been here that we will have had a group staying and work with us for a long period of time. I am excited, but really am not sure what all to expect. Jennie, Alexia, and I are going to spend some time talking about what the dynamics of a group will look like and preparing for there arrival. We will all be bunking up in Alexia’s room while they are here.

I just found out that we will have groups and/or interns here starting tomorrow until the end of March. (Don’t forget also that Jennie is planning a wedding for the end of January). Hopefully we will all adapt to groups being here, otherwise it will be an interesting few months! :) I apologize in advance for not updating often as things are bound to be crazy with so many people in the house. Things are crazy now and it is just the three of us here!!