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Day 5 - Chaos in Higuey

Today we were up early with our bags packed  We stopped at Joel's to check on the progress and speak to Hector and Ramonizeto. David came to the rescue with his French.  We were entertained by the neighborhood kids that were anxious to show us the snake they had trapped in a soda bottle.

Back in the van, we were off to Higuey and Wilson's neighborhood.  The members of the team who had been last year were astonished to find how much work had been done on Wilson's house.  He had finished the cistern and built walls for an entry way, living room and kitchen.  In the back of the house where there used to be a pile of garbage and compost was now a nice garden with chairs and banana trees.  As soon as everyone sat down the children of the neighborhood made a mad rush for the school supplies. 

We had some shoe boxes with gifts and letters that the kids from Second Baptist had written. We gave everything out and encouraged them to write letters back. Jen got a hold of a two month old baby girl named Stephanie who was passed to her through the barbed wire. Jen found clothes for her and many other small babies. When Stephanie was hungry Jen tried to hand the baby back but instead the mother handed her a bottle.
Helen visited with the families from last year, and Corey was excited to see two new born puppies that Wilson's dog Susie had a week ago. Ben was our official translator jumping right in with the medical supplies and took the time to speak to an older women who had been in a motorcycle accident and was going to need additional surgeries.

Soon after we arrived a truck from the Good Samaritan Hospital in La Romana delivered the bio-filters that had been donated by the Rotary Club of Suffield.  David, Scott and Ray helped and learned the installation of the filter for Wilson and we loaded the other in the van to install at Joel and Elisabeth's.  Overall we are very impressed with the ease of setup and maintenance for the filters.  It takes two days to prime the filters so we weren't able to sample the water but if this test goes well we are excited to grow this part of our mission.  Potable water is one of the biggest expenses for a family so they often have the difficult decision on which water is good enough to drink.

Lunch was a delicious with home made french fries, chicken and canned spaghetti that Amarilli made us. With all of the kids around everyone lost track of time so we broke into two groups one went to purchase roof supplies and to the pharmacy and explored the area with the children.  Corey, Ben and Helen even stopped in a few to talk to the families and determine the need.

Once the group was back together it was much later then planned but we decided a quick stop at Macao (our first look at the ocean) would help us relax.

After a quick dinner we were off to church. Joel's new church is in a small store front but once inside the beautiful decorations that Elizabeth had worked on all day made us feel at home. Joel had asked us earlier if we would sing for the church.  So we practiced "This Little Light of Mine" in the van throughout the day.  David and Scott (choir veterans) helped us jazz it up with individual parts and motions. Don't worry, there is a video! The service was very meaningful and Joel surprised us by having a friend of his translate the entire sermon.  We were truly honored to be part of this new church. At the end of the services the members were thrilled to receive the bibles we brought with the help of the Smith family.

It was 10 pm but we still had one last job to do.  The filter needed to be installed at Joels.  Even though we were tired everyone worked quickly to install the filter and explain how to use it.  11 pm we were back at the hotel.  One long day!!!