Friday, February 5, 2010

Part 3: Meeting my sponsored kids

In the DR, I sponsor with two different organizations. My child with Children International, Nelanda, is in Santo Domingo. We planned on visiting her and then staying an extra day to explore the city but we weren't able to make that happen. She isn't in school, but I wanted to visit the school she would be going too which wasn't possible. Our plan was then to take a taxi to Santo Domingo and leave at 4am so we would arrive by 8am. It was going to be really rush, and a lot of travelling. I decided that on my next visit(which i'm planning for a month) i'll be able to meet Nelanda and also visit the city and make it worth my while.

I still had my Dove kids to meet, which I was so excited about! I sponsor 6 children in the same family who are being raised, along with 11 others, by their grandmother.

We woke up at 8am, and were being picked up at 9am. The day was bright and sunny, unlike the cloudy rainy ones that we were having. We ate a quick breakfast and then waited for our lift. Eveything was on schedual and we made our way to the club, where my sponsor kids take part in activities. I was told not to tell them I was their sponsor, until after they finnished the club as they would be too excited and wouldn't concentrate. We started off by helping sort out vitamins and put them into ziplock bags. We had help from the cutest little girl as you can see below! After that we helped clean the bookshelves, and organize books by language back onto them.
Without letting the boys know that I was their sponsor, I talked with them a bit in my broken spanish. I was so impressed how hard they tried to speak english, so we pulled out a dictionary to help us communicate better in both languages. The girls, Mariely and Viviana, were both really shy but super sweet. When the club finnished, we let them know that I was their sponsor and they had these huge smiles ont their faces! The plan was then to go and eat lunch with the volunteers and then head back to their house for a home visit.

After lunch, we pulled up to their house and most of the kids were playing outside. They were so happy we were there and lead us inside their home. We were greeted by their grandmother and the rest of the family. The youngest member of the family is a little baby boy, who was around 8 months old. His hands were all cut up and looked very painful. The grandmother said that he chews on his hands as he is teething, and from mosquito bites. I had a new pack of two pacifiers by chance in my purse, and that seemed to be the perfect and most needed gift for this baby!

We said our goodbyes and as we left more children came into the home. I still cannot beleive the amount of children being raised by this grandmother! We made our way to Playa Oueste, which is another barrio Dove works in. The homes are made right on the beach, and the trash, filth, and pollution from the big boats is incredible.

(Photo from last year)

It was a great day and I was so happy to meet my sponsor kids. They really were amazing, as was their family. We got in sweaty and tired from the sun(did I mention I cleaned off moldy gourdes in the sun?) and decided to get dinner and call it a day. With dinner, we got a bit of energy so we went on the beach to watch the sunset. As we sat down we saw 5 boys running in our was our friends! They were so cute and brang us soooo many seashells! They really wanted to bring us to their home, but because of the time we said we would tommorow. We said our goodbyes, and I passed out right when I hit the bed!

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