Day 1 January 2019

January 2019    Corey, Delia, Laila and Sue

 

  Day One Blog

This blog is coming to you from a cell phone because our computers are not working well please excuse any errors. If you get this blog please feel free to send it on to anybody else that might be interested thank you for all your prayers.

 

We’re off to a wonderful start, we got to the airport about 4 o’clock this morning and it wasn’t as cold as it has been in the past. We each had our clothes in our backpacks and a large suitcase filled with supplies. We were very lucky that the bags weighed between 48 -50 pounds each. Believe it or not, we went through Detroit for our connecting flight on Delta and then on to Punta Cana. The flight was uneventful and we were all able to sleep on the plane. When we got to the airport there were many changes, mostly improvements. God was definitely with us, we found Santos a young man from Santa Domingo to help with our bags. He had a cousin that worked in customs and we were able to walk right by without having to open one bag.  Hallelujah. Wilson was there to meet us and we all piled into his van it took a little while to catch up on what’s going on in everybody’s life. 

 

Our hotel is a little unusual and it is quite small but the air-conditioner works and the people are very friendly. We spent the rest of the day unloading our supplies, organizing and finding our way around the hotel. We message Elizabeth and Joel and will see them on Sunday. They had really exciting news their visa they will be able to visit Connecticut in March. We are excited to bring their church a new communion set, similar to ours but in aluminum. We’ve already given out some supplies, we met a  nice woman who has two children that live with their grandmother while she works here .Tonight was her last night and then she has 5 days off. She was excited to be going home for Three Kings Day and so grateful to have little toys for them.

Day 2: A Beautiful Day 

Wilson was a little bit late this morning he texted us to say that he had a rubber band. We were quite confused it ended up being a flat tire. We had a surprise guest, Wilson's daughter Michelle, by 9:30 we were on our way with a lot to do. Our first stop was Altria Banda to Judy's house, this was the woman whose house we had worked on in August no additional construction had been done and she had lost her job and now was babysitting for her grandchildren. There is a lot to be done there and now they are all crowded into a small shack with no bathroom. We decided we will make sure there is a roof and bathroom now before we leave. A man approached Wilson and told him about a woman that was having a difficult time. She lost two sons just recently, one from renal failure and the other from AIDS and she has no bathroom. Her daughter was visiting from Higuey and was very glad to see us. We hope to add her project to our list. We stopped to see other the older women whose we worked on before. Her electricity was not working and she asked for a coffee grinder and mosquito netting, we will bring that to her later in the week. When we went down by the river to look at another house we had worked on before we met three families, one an older woman that has mental health issues. She was in rough shape and needed a bathroom. A bathroom for an elderly gentleman that helped us last time when we worked on the house in the neighborhood. And last a bathroom for a young family. They have the tank but no plumbing or toilet. I think this is the mission trip of bathrooms. We went to the grocery store and got some supplies that we needed and then went to the hardware store and ordered the first materials for the construction site in Ultra Banda. We saw the young boy with the eye problem and his mother is still not in the area. But we were able to talk to his aunt and will bring him to the doctors on Monday, she is taking care of five children, but she seems to be in good spirits and was very happy that we were willing to help. All the children were very excited to see us and we were able to give them the bracelets the girls made. We let them know we would be back next week. We are hoping to spend time playing games and hanging out with them. We got back around 3:30, Wilson had gotten us an avocado and we went swimming. Tonight, we sort the supplies for church tomorrow and gather things for Elvis's family. Please keep sending the prayers and we will check in tomorrow. 


 Day three 

today was an awesome day we walk to great sunshine and a nice breeze. Wilson picked us up about 9 o’clock we were quite surprised to see the entire family. It was great to see Amarilli Windsor and Alberto too. The car was full and there was a lot of laughter. Our first stop this morning was at Elvi’s house we found his family in a tiny farmhouse on the outskirts of town. We were very surprised if there was another family living in the house too so they were a lot of children and we hadn’t brought enough supplies for everybody. They were very excited to see us hugs all around and we gave the gifts out that we had we had backpacks for Elvi and his brother Rudy, a little doll for Esmeralda and a puzzle for her brother is Stephane. We had all kinds of other little things in our backpacks and were able to give everybody something we will go back later in the week and give the kids that didn’t receive a backpack one. Elvi’s mom has been suffering from headaches and nausea and the doctor thinks that it might be because she needs glasses we arranged an appointment for her for a week from Monday we will leave Wilson the money to bring her and get her glasses. The family that lives next door do not have the appropriate papers for their children to go to school so when Wilson goes to Higuey on that Monday he will bring them too and they will get paper so that the other three children will be able to attend school and receive vaccines. Elvi. is doing awesome he can run and play and you hardly noticed his foot we will add a picture. Lots of smiling faces. We left the father some medicine for both families just some aspirin and tubs and muscle rub, everybody got new toothpaste and toothbrush we had a great time there. When we left we promised we be back later in the week with backpacks for the children that did not receive them and some shampoo and soap for the kids that asked for them.

Our next stop was Macau what a beautiful day for the beach we parked near Wilsons friends restaurant and were very surprised when Wilson said he would get us a fresh fish dinner. Wilson picked out a huge fish and we had french fries, plantains, and rice to go with it.

We had a great time in the water with the kids got a little bit too much sun but really relaxed. We got back to the hotel showered and then We thought we would be after church. Just as we were about to leave all the electricity in the hotel went off we had left our suitcase with the gifts for the church in the room and we had electron key cards. We found a way around by using Laila's cell phone light. It wasn’t too long before they got a generator going that operated the doors and the hallway lights. We got our suitcase of supplies and we’re off to church. We had a few minutes before the service started to talk to Joel and Elizabeth. Joel said that he had been praying about a communion set similar to the one we bought so it was an answer to prayer. Elizabeth was thrilled with her Bible for women and the activities that we brought for her fellowship group we left all the coloring books and Kranz with them to give out to the children another day. The service was quite motivating there was dancing, acting, singing, and preaching. The preaching was very passionate and it was nice to see a baby dedication in the welcoming of new members of the church is growing and growing. They hope to have a new church in five years. It was great to see Christopher singing in the choir in Davie playing the organ and the drums. They made a very nice video of some of the past photos of our work in the Dominican. It was amazing to see the video and the song words on the big screen TV.

We made plans to see them later in the week so that we will have more time to talk about their trip to Connecticut in March and their needs and wants for the church. We got back to the hotel about 1030 we are tired a bit sunburned and going to bed God bless thank you for the prayers.  

 

Day 4

We got off to a slow start, Wilson needed to go and register his vehicle. Evidently, everybody registers their vehicle on the same day in the Dominican Republic and he said if he doesn't do it, tomorrow they would be looking to give him a ticket.

When we got to the first house things were moving rather slow, we were surprised that people were sitting and not working but the wood for the framing had not come. We jumped in and cleared the inside of the house of rubbish, growth and all the broken pieces of concrete. The children were very excited to help us. Later we sat and shared the photos from our phones, played tag and we played checkers. They caught on quick and were able to play. The puzzle that we had bought from the dollar store was difficult, it took a good hour to get it together and then mysteriously seven pieces were missing. We will see tomorrow if they show up. We saw some cute babies and gave them some supplies and one little boy needed an antibiotic for something on his head. Hooray, we found Peterson’s mother and we will try the clinic tomorrow. They are pouring the floor of the house tonight and the roof will go on. We will move on to another house and bathroom. We’re all very excited that we will be back tomorrow and in the same neighborhood. We promised them ice pops after school tomorrow.

It was warm and beautiful when we started back to the hotel. Too late for lunch but showers and then dinner. Dinner was great and we will be asleep soon. God Bless! 

 

Day 5

Wilson was at the hotel just after 9 o’clock and we were on our way. Our first stop was the bank to change our money into pesos. Wilson had to stop at an auto supply store to get oil for the taxi. We went to check on the work of Judy’s house, things were moving although quite slow. Sue gave them the angry Mom look it seemed to help. We picked up Peterson and his mother Jordanian, and we went to Higuey. We first had to go to a clinic, there were many children waiting, the clinic doctor said we needed to go to a specialist. The specialist was also in Higuey so we made our way there. Wilson said that a consultation with the specialist would be about $30. The doctor said sonography was necessary. We had no clue, what it was but it cost $70.00. Corey figured out it was a cat scan, we will find out the results tomorrow. Waiting is more tiring than playing with the kids and working. We spent many hours in the doctor's office and in the taxi. No such thing as an appointment everybody just goes and waits. The doctor had him look at an eye chart and explained that he would probably not gain a lot of sight from the eye but they could raise the eyelid. Please pray with us. We ordered more supplies for the next bathrooms and began looking for used toilets. We got back to the hotel at about 4 o’clock, showered, rested, and ate dinner at about 6:30. We are tired and will be asleep soon. Keep sending those prayers.

 

Day 6

This morning was beautiful and sunny. Believe it or not, Wilson beat us today, he was early we got in the taxi and decided we would head straight to Higuey. In Higuey, we tried to explain to Wilson that it was necessary for us to buy whipped cream in an aerosol can. He had never seen such a thing. We needed it for pie face, a fun game for preschoolers and Sue. While we were there we picked up the mosquito netting for Evita. Today there was a large protest planned for noon. The locals were protesting about the newly unionized water company, so Wilson said we needed to be out of the city by noon. Then so we went Evita house and gave her the mosquito netting and we headed down the river.

 When we got to the river there weren’t many kids, but the longer we stayed more came. If you ever want to feel popular just stand in the village in Higuey with a handful of toothbrushes and everybody will crowd around now.

We gave out tons of supplies to all the families and the children, some of the mothers are rather aggressive. In one instance, Laila was giving out toothbrushes and while she was looking for toothpaste she came upon diaper rash cream and one mother said she would take that it would work fine. We laughed and try to explain it probably wouldn’t work well as toothpaste.

The dresses were such a big hit today, we had all the girls lined up ready to get one, we took as many photos as we could. Many of the older ladies tried to convince us that they could fit into the small dress and that we should give them to them.

 Delia had a great group and they were thrilled with the small stuffed animals and toys. So heartwarming to see so many happy faces. The elderly gentleman that we didn’t think we were going to be able to do his bathroom already dug up the septic hole so we will find money so that he will be able to put in the septic and we will finish the bathroom when we come back in August.

We stay down by the river until just about noon and then Wilson brought us a back way out of the city.

When we got to Otra Banda, we were very happily surprised by the work that had been done. Finally progress! Everybody was quite happy and the kids were glad to see us. Judy’s house looks great, we took lots of photos and we will take more tomorrow before we fly home. We gave a backpack and school supplies to her kids, Danielle was very happy with her backpack. 

We stopped to see Peterson’s mom, Jordania, we explained what the doctor had said and let her know that we would keep him in our prayers, and that would be back in August to help with the cost of the surgery. We are going to bring the CAT scan home in hopes that somebody will be able to read it, although we do have great faith in the doctor here. They all got backpacks and school supplies, they were very excited about their new kites also. We gave out all the food that we had brought from the hotel. Delia found a little girl, maybe a year old, sitting on the side of the house. She was just sitting there all by her self but was very happy with the part of the waffle that Delia gave her.

 

Wilson brought Laila and Delia around to see where the children had been sleeping, it was disgusting so we will also bring money for a new mattress and box spring when we come in August. We think that we can get it from a hotel resale place so it won’t be a lot of money, it’ll just be a problem getting it on top of the taxi.

Vandis, the woman whose two sons recently died was at their funeral in Higuey, evidently, days of mourn last for a long time. We were able to leave her some supplies and she will be quite excited that her bathroom is done when she comes back. Very happy with the work there and the attitude of the neighbors, everyone is quite excited that they will now have a bathroom.

The preschool was our next stop and Linda was so excited to see us, we were a little bit late so the kids were quite wound up by the time we got there. We gave out supplies and the Bible coloring books, and we played pie face and concentration games with animal picture cards. If you’ve never played pie face Sue will be happy to challenge you to a game.

There are 48 children at the preschool and next year we will try to bring them books that they can read in Spanish. More Crayons and construction paper as well. 

We gave all the kids sliding plastic whistles, you could barely hear yourself talk over the Noise. Corey suggested that the next time we give them to them as we're walking out the door. We took photos and laughed a lot, and then we were on our way.

 

 We went on to Elizabeth and Joel‘s house to talk to them about their upcoming trip and about what’s been happening at the church. They have two puppies and they kept us amused for a long time. They are very excited about coming in March to our church. We will have more news about that soon, right now they are trying to earn the money for their tickets.

When we got back to the hotel about 4:30, we were starving and went down to have a hamburger. The longer we’re here the better the food is getting.

We ate dinner at about 7 o’clock, missing all the fresh fruit. Tonight we are going to attempt to stay up till 9 o’clock so we can see the entertainment here at the hotel.

We are very proud of the work that we have done, we are tired, sorry to be leaving the sun but ready to come home. We are planning a breakfast and we will let you know when so you can come and see the slides and hear all of our stories. God bless. 

 

Day 7

Home safe, very blessed!

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  20k v. 1 Jan 15, 2019, 7:31 AM Susan Begin
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