Constanza, Dominican Republic
May 9, 2016
Hello Friends and Family!
Team Cal Baptist wants to update everyone on our first week in Constanza, Dominican Republic! This past week has been full of new experiences. Half of the team got to go on our first barrio visit. Barrios are the poorest neighborhoods in Constanza. We got to witness firsthand the living conditions some of the children grow up in. The house had dirt floors, no plumbing, and sheets of tin for roofs. It is currently the rainy season, which is hard considering the sheets of tin are filled with holes. Oftentimes children living in homes without cement floors get parasites through their feet and can die from that condition. It was a humbling experience that we will never forget.
The orphanage welcomed us to a birthday party held at the orphanage and their first annual talent show. Birthday parties are held to celebrate the children’s birthdays only once every six months. They each received heart-felt affirmations from their house parents and just one gift each. They were all so appreciative that it brought them to tears. The children performed dances and songs, Jordan Heading from our team sang while playing his ukulele, and our entire team taught the children an American dance.
This trip has provided us with opportunities to connect with the community through sports. Last week, the boys played a basketball game against the Men’s Adult team for Constanza serving them their first loss against an American team (they are quite good, but on that day we were better) and a soccer game against the other Kids Alive location in Jarabacoa about 1 hour away. In pouring rain and swimming-pool-like conditions, the two teams tied. We have also spent a few of our afternoons at the Arc playing soccer games against the kids both from the Arc and local kids who live outside of the Arc.
Yesterday we all went on a hike to a waterfall! The long ride there allowed us to see more of the beautiful landscape. It was pouring hard rain and the water was freezing but we still had such a memorable time! Even though the conditions were somewhat miserable, at the end of the day no one said they wished we hadn’t gone. We also attended church service in Spanish at a nearby church. It was so touching to see the children praise and worship God the way that they did.
We’ve been working on building relationships within the orphanage and it’s been rewarding to see that the kids recognize us and know us on a first name basis! We’re so excited to continue to pour love into the kids throughout this week.
As the end of the trip draws near, please continue to pray for our team!
Team Cal Baptist.
P.S. Our Spanish is getting much better too! Adios!