Leaving La Vega was difficult, I kinda thought Puerto Plata would be a little less dangerous--NOT. There were times we were smooshed into vans like sardines--in a 12 passenger van we had 26 people at one time. The sliding door remained open for fast and easy access on and off, and also for the fact that there was no a/c. There were people sitting on other people's laps, people they didn't even know--for 50 Dominican Pesos (approx $1.25) to travel 20-25 miles, with stinky sweaty people, this is their life, while I found it amusing and interesting they all loaded and unloaded each time starting conversations with the people they sat next to. I love that !! American's could use some training in that area--how many times have you gotten on an elevator and no one talks to each-other? Try it next time, you may be missing out on opportunities to help someone in need, or at least cheer someone up including yourself.
On this particular bus the driver was quite professional and efficient at his job, a woman got on with her grocery bag (very small grocery bag) he took it from her threw it in his small trunk and off we went. When she arrived at her destination, he jumped out grabbed her groceries and left them lying there on the ground before she could even get out of the van. The passengers also know exactly what to do GET OUT OF HIS WAY ASAP. Blake said "mom imagine doing these rides for 3 or 5 hours with no a/c and in a white shirt and tie, transfers were just like that" Right before Blake got home I sent him a new white shirt and was surprised when he wore his dirty, perspired shirt home--the neck was filthy--now I know why--he wore it home because he is a Dominican now, and he did not want others to think he thought he was better than them. I hope he kept that shirt, it means more to me now.
|The Bus To Haiti|
|Beautiful View in Puerto Plata|
|Missionaries are not allowed to swim|
|I carved WEEYUM in the rock--he left his mark in the D. R.|
|Dominican Republic Flag|
The Villages and places he served were worse than I ever imagined them to be, he never told us in emails, all we ever heard from him was that he was doing great and working hard. None of the homes have air conditioning, something we in Arizona would not live without. Their homes were the size of my bedroom, the floors were dirt, no yards, the homes are built on top of each other with very small walk ways between homes. There is no privacy.
One night Eric, Blake and Chloe went to visit a family Blake knew who had invited us over for rice pudding. I was not feeling well and decided to stay at the hotel. Chloe and Blake got on a motorcycle, and Eric on another. Blake and Chloe were ahead of Eric. Eric, is a funny man, he wants to know spanish so badly and he does his best to communicate, but dang it he really does not know what he is saying ( I call his language FrenchSpanlish) the driver of Blake and Chloe's motorcycle took off, far ahead of Eric. The motorcycle driver for Eric said he needed gas as he turned down a very dark road, Eric jumped off and started running down the street towards where he thought Blake and Chloe would be--he said it was really dark and he ran for 10-15 minutes. Probably a good thing I was not there, I would of freaked out and had an anxiety attack for sure. Blake and Chloe were in the middle of the road waiting for him. Chloe told me later that she and Blake were really afraid for Eric. Luckily the Lord was watching over Eric and all was well as they arrived at the members home.
|Homemade Rice Pudding|
|Blake & Chloe with one of his favorite members|