Friday, February 26, 2010

Final report.

I havn't been good at updating this blog. I am still missing the DR like crazy, I think this is the hardest return I've had. To share everything, like I would like to, would be just too long and probably very boring in parts! I also have so many opinions on so many things like education and organizations working in the DR, so I will save those for seperate posts. For now, i'll finnish up telling you about my final days in the DR.

We visited a community called Munoz, which is 5 minutes away from the hotel complex we were staying in. Munoz is very beautiful in landscape, it has a huge running river that goes through it, and when you walk to the top of the mountain you can see an endless sea of green-tress, grass, flowers, etc. In the center of it, is a Haitian batey. The houses are usually made out of tin or wood and some are really poorly put together. We went into one family's home, and it was two small rooms and the roof was leaking and the side of one of the walls was caving in. This is a typical batey house, not from Munoz but a different batey. This one is actually much better built than many of the homes in the bateys.

The thing that really pulled at my heart strings was the schools. Munoz is fairly large, and I should mention it is a mixed community of Haitians and Dominicans. The Dominicans live on the outskirts in rather decent homes while the Haitians live in the center. There's a school in Munoz, a beautiful primary school that when we passed it I asked if that is where the children go. Not quite, that school for for the Dominican kids. I was then lead to the Haitian schools, tiny classrooms run out of small churches and homes. They focus on teaching Spanish, and also French. The kids come and go, and after spending some time with them it was sad to see that many of the children could still not read or write.

We had plans on returning to Munoz but the rain ruined our plans ad the kids do not go to school when it rains. We did managed to keep busy with the street and beach boys!

Our days consisted of feeding the street kids, playing soccer, and reading with them to spending the day at the beach with the kids. The youngest ones collected shells to sell and they always gave me plenty to take home. We had so many in the end it filled up a big bag! After an amazing two weeks in the DR it was time to leave. The friendships formed will be everlasting and I told myself "it isn't good bye, it's see you soon." We had all our bags at the front desk and I kept my purse on me, and went to go say bye to the kids on the beach. I won't go into a lot of details(as I rather remember the good times),but I was robbed. A Dominican teen(16-18) took my purse which had my passport in it. They also took my camera, which probably made me more sad!

We had the tourist police take our information and then send us on our way. Having no where to go(as we had no money!), we were invited to stay with one of the kid's families that we meet. A one day stay, turned into an extra week stay as we sorted through everything we had to do.

I can honestly say, I am so happy that this twist of events, that started very badly, turned out how it did. My friend found her camera on the last 2 days we were there, so we took as many pics as we could of 'our family'. Let me introduce you..

This is my "comere"(co-mother) Lilia and her newest daughter, who is my God-child, Malisa! Lilia is such an amazing woman. She has a small 3 room home(2 bedrooms and one main room). Many of the shoe shine boys live with her, sleeping on the floor. In only one room they have a bed which as many as 8 kids sleep on! During our stay, they insisted we take that room and that even the young children would sleep on the concrete floor. Hospitality doesn't even seem like the right word, it was so much more than that.

This is me and Eveline!
Julie and TiRonald. TiRonald is one of the first boys I met on the beach. He lives at Lilia's but is not her birth child. Julie came to the DR from Haiti 3 months ago, and lives at the home. She helps take care of cleaning and caring for the kids. One day when I returned home I found her washing all my clothes by hand! She is such a sweetheart and loves doing people's make up.


This family is beyond amazing. They care about each other so much, no matter if they're blood related or not, they see each other as family. I can honestly say that I see them as family too!


Shel said...

I can't see the 3 last pictures

Loves to Sponsor...We can help if by one child at a time. said...

Kate, we cannot read your last post. It is written in white and does not show against the green background. Can you change it to black or a dark color. Want to know what you have to say.
God bless,