We started the day off by moving back to the Occidental Flamingo Hotel from the Ocean Blue by the Sand. We then went to Joel and Elizabeth’s house where we and were met with a large all terrain vehicle to go and meet new people at an unexplored area 30 minutes from Verone.
We were able to adventure down to this location with a truck barrowed from Carlos, Joel’s friend. We brought food, medicine, clothes, and vitamins to the new area by the lake. Carlos was very excited to show us the area where he had lived as a boy when it was still thriving and had its own baseball team. When tourism became the biggest industry on the island, people were drawn to coastal areas where there was plenty of job opportunities. None of us had any idea of how remote this area would be until we had to jump out of the taxi and climb into the back of the truck ducking out of the way of trees as we made our way over the rocky terrain. There is no electricity or water, but seven families still lived off the land. We walked down to a crystal clear pond that is part of a preserve. A large thatch roof pavilion where we gathered and divided medicine,clothes, and food among the families. They raise cattle, goats, and chickens; every house has a dog to protect the house and chickens.
There is no school for the children and they very rarely leave the area. It is quicker to use burros for transportation rather than walk. This area is by far the least developed that we have seen while on our mission trip. One of the men from the village is suffering from diabetes and has been without medication for a very long time- we were able to get insulin for him before we left. The grandmother asked us to bring back school supplies so she could teach the children in their small community since she has no teaching implements as of yet. This area is potentially a good place to camp on our next mission trip and we would all like to spend more time there in the future.
On to the preschool, which was closed for a long holiday but the children gathered and soon the teacher, Linda, came and was extremely excited to see all the supplies we had brought for her school. The barbed wire fence around the school has fallen down and needs to be repaired. We gave out a lot of toothbrushes, toothpaste, clothes and school supplies and saw many happy faces from last year. The children liked that they got their own box of crayons and paper Two more schools at 4PM (drive by gifting) then off to the beach which has become extremely developed- which we were not that happy to see since we liked the solitude and not the crowds.