Monday, October 31, 2011

Tuesday, Day 6, 7/26/11

Tayler, me, Serenity and Jen....hanging out...enjoying the day!

 The beautiful lake.
 Where we enjoyed swimming...and the cave we would climb through!
 Where we jumped from...and the waterfall we went down.
 The cave.
 The waterfall we all tried to climb...but couldn't...except Miguel...but he's had practice!
 Ethan and Cam.
 Cam climbing up to get to the little hole we had to climb was interesting...
 Miguel and Teeka.
 God's Beauty.
 The water...the waterfall...the cave....makes for a GREAT day!
 The cave.
 Cam dodging a bat that he didn't know he was dodging...but everyone else did!!!
 Climbing up to get to that hole!
 Not sure WHAT kind of spider...but we steered clear...just in case....
Ethan and Cam...waiting to go down the waterfall!!

Today was, as Miguel put it, the most awesomest, cool, wonderful day of our lives.  And I have to say it was pretty awesome, cool and wonderful!  We got to sleep a little bit later, which was fabulous.  Then we left around 9am.  I rode in the back of the truck with Cam for the hour long ride.  We went through a bunch of little towns and saw quite a lot.  It was a beautiful drive.  The mountains were just incredible to look at.  We stopped at one place and took pictures by the amazing lake that we would kind of play in.  The lake was dammed and we were playing on the other side of the dam where it became a river.  After we took tons of pictures we got back in and went to the other side of the dam.  It was beautiful beyond belief.  I could live here, Jeff would LOVE to live here.  Miguel explained where all of the adventures were.  We got in and the water was freezing but refreshing.  We walked over to the waterfall and fell on the rocks a few times.  We tried to climb the waterfall.  Miguel had no problem climbing it, none of us could.  Serenity and I cut up our hands trying to climb.  We kept falling and getting caught in the current.  Then we climbed a rock wall after I fell into a deep hole in the water and hit a rock on my knee.  I got a nice bruise.  The wall climbing was surprisingly easy.  It ended in a bunch of bushes so thats how we pulled ourselves up was on the bushes.  Dave fell into the same hole I did except he twisted his ankle badly.  Once we climbed the rock wall there was a cliff.  Miguel jumped from one spot, but was sure to warn us that there was an irrigation canal that sucked water out right where you jump, so when you jump you have to be able to swim good and fast to not get sucked in.  Cam and I decided NOT to try that, but then we found a spot right next to that which we could jump from  that didn't suck us into danger.  So Kelly went first and he stayed down there to make sure none of us got stuck in the sucking current.  Others went, then Cam, then me.  It was tons of fun!  Once you jump off that then just about 5 feet away is the water fall.  When you get to the top it is hard not to get pushed down but you get on your feet in a squatting position and slide down the waterfall.  Tons of fun!  That one was scary for me though. 

 ME...climbing to that hole...I did it fairly quickly...I was surprised!

We played around a bit more than had lunch.  During lunch Miguel spoke to us about not having a spirit of timidity.  We are not to be fearful because God is with us.  We need to trust and have faith.  It was a wonderful talk, the best one yet.  Then he took us to this HUGE rock formation that has caves in it.  We went cave exploring.  There were 2 teams.  1 team took the easy route and one team took the challenging route, of course Cam and I were on the challenging route.  We climbed through small holes on all 4's through goat poop and Guana to get to an enormously beautiful cavern...full of bats!  I was feeling wet stuff hit my head, it was Guana!  ICK!  Then we had to literally CLIMB into another hole that was smaller yet to get to the outside ledge.  Beautiful scenery!  Then we had to climb through another hole that was even smaller!  I really didn't think I'd make it, I had to shimmy.  Int the mean time Cam is crawling thorugh the second hold and he is sprawled out and a bat comes down and hits him, he was freaked out, because everyone knew what it was and THEY were freaking out, but he didn't know what it was!   
 Tayler and Cam
 Jen and I
 Random motorcyclists

 Jen, Miguel, me and Teeka
Ethan, Trevor and Cam
When we got to the end of the hole we had to get out on a ledge about an inch thick and find footings to step in order to not fall down the face of this massive rock!  Miguel was helping by teling us where to place our feet, but that was a HUGE scare for me.  Cam did a nice job too.  Then we climbed all the way to the top and yelled at Heather who was down and across the river so she could take a picture.  Then down we went and crossed the river again, one last jump, one last trip down the waterfall, one last try at climbing and we had to leave.  The rest of the day we rested and played more Rage.  Cam played more Hackeysack.  We went to the supermercado to get money exchanged and then we went to the open air market.  That is where all the street vendors are.  That is a ton of fun too!  We didn't stay too long, but we saw some extremely yummy fruit and everything else you can imagine.  When we got back, Miguel was waiting for us.  He was taking us to his house to eat a special dinner.  He lived about a 5 minute car ride away in a nice little area.  He has a nice little house.  I played with Nicole mostly then Francisco brought the food.  It was TACOS!  and they were THE best tacos EVER!  They were Dominican Tacos.  I ate 4!  And they were big!  We cleaned up for Kristin then went home as a storm was coming and we had to ride in the back of the truck again.  One thing I did forget to mention is we almost all got leeches on us in the river.  Some worse then others, I was one of the worst with about 14 bites.  Cam didn't get any.  I have these big nasty bites on me now.  I had noticed a snail looking thing on Darwin's shoulder before, but didn't know what it was.  Apparently it was a leech.   I was so proud of Darwin for jumping in off the cliff because he is terrified of water.  He can't swim.  Ethan can't swim either, but he also did and Ellen is afriad of heights, but she also jumped.  Everyone faced a fear of some sort today.  God is with us.

Miguel and Kristen Shaul need our support!

Miguel and Kristen Shaul...along with their beautiful daughters Nicole and Samantha, are missionaries to the Dominican Republic.  They are incredible people with incredible hearts for God and His people...especially the Dominican people.  Miguel grew up in my church and he is one of the reasons that our church took their first ever parent/child trip.  I don't think we would have gone if he hadn't been there for us to connect with.  He and his wife are both free spirited and fun people.  I have learned a lot from them in the short time that I was with them.  Currently on their blog they outline their current status  If you are at all interested, please check out their blog.  They work with Adventures in Missions (AIM) and love every minute of what they do.  Thanks in advance for any support you can give them whether it be monetary, spreading the word, or prayer.  Anything is helpful!


Friday, October 7, 2011

Monday, Day 5, 7/25/2011

Wow...I am SO behind on posting....So excuses...just busy!!!  Here is Day 5 in the Dominican Republic!!

Little Adrian
Today started out good. I had breakfast and then went with Jen, Taylor and Dave to get clean water. On the walk there I started feeling yucky again. I had had some orange juice and wondered if that didn't bother me. I had it yesterday morning too. So no OJ anymore in the morning on this trip. We left for Cerros de Mogollon around 8:30. Miguel came with us today, so I rode in the back with about 9 other kids. All of the mud and holes made for a fun ride out there! I was happy to have Daniel again as our translator. The kids were very excited to see us, but our mission today was to do home visits in the morning. A lot of kids came out though so we had one team stay at el play and play with the kids and four other teams went visiting. My team was cam, Darwin and I with Daniel as our translator.

Cam and Adrian

We started at one house where the older gentleman kept talking about how terrible the government was and how they take so much. In fact....and this is true...thie Dominican government taxes 26%! That's insane! We found that most families are born in Cerros de Mogollon and all stick together. It is not uncommon to see two houses on a property with MANY generations together. After we prayed with them we went across the street. We didn't take too long with her. We prayed with her and moved on. Then we went to the little "store" and spoke to them. Their "store" is attached to their house. They sell a few things, as well as clean water. They sit out front their "store" most of the day. The man was fun to tease. He had four children. One was going to med school in Santo Domingo and another, Westcar, was there doing VBS with us. Westcar and his mom Sandra, attend the church in Mogollon, but nobody else in the family does. I asked the dad why he didn't attend. He said it was too far. When it rains and gets muddy it is very difficult to get around. Their rainy season is May-September.

Ellen and Lettie

Taylor and Maria
After we prayed for them we went to another house. One thing I forgot to mention, when they pray they pray out loud. For example, Sunday at church when the pastor prayed...or like when we prayed for them, they pray different worded at the same time. Agreeing or what not, so at the church, there was a lot of noise during prayer. Anyway, the next house we had to sit inside because there was no porch, they were surrounded by rice patties. The woman of the house was three months pregnant. She was very sweet. We prayed with her and moved on to the next house. This house was so full of men, women and children that I can't even begin to tell you how many there were. They were really awesome people. One man was a teacher. Miguel said that teachers, doctor's and nurses make NO money hardly here. Street vendors can make more money than they can. Anyway, they offered us Canap├ęs. They are kinda like grapes, only you have to peel them, and they have to be sucked because there is a huge pit inside. They are VERY sour. But they were tasty! Then they brought us a Guava. We were told before the trip not to eat the outside of things. However, these people told us to eat it like an apple. I said they gave me a machete to peel it. It was sharp and not the cleanest. So then they said to stick the whole thing in my mouth, seeds and all. So...I just took a bite, and it was NASTY! I had seeds stuck in my teeth and I said, "lo siento, pero, no me Gusto!" They laughed. After we prayed we left, I kept burping guava, it was terrible! Daniel and all the other translators said they love guava! ICK! So we were late getting to the vans, in fact they came looking for us.

We went back to the house, ate lunch, I took a siesta, and then we were off again for VBS. It was nice out. There was a little old lady, her name was Ramona, she looked about 85-90. We asked her her age and she said she was 60! She was so skinny, I told her she needed to eat chocolate to get muy fuerta! She laughed. She had such a cute laugh...more like a giggle. Her eyes were beautiful brown with a rim of blue around each one. Very moms mom had eyes like that. We talked and teased for awhile, then I had to go help with VBS, so I said goodbye and she hugged me and smacked me on the tushie! It was funny! Our story was Jesus walks on water. Ater singing and the story we broke into little groups. We had some really young ones, so we did the craft, then the blind train game where one leads with eyes open, but everyone behind had their eyes shut. It is a trust's a lot of fun. Then we left....but not before I introduced Cam to Ramona.

Some of our translators, Thomas, Frankie, Maggie and Daniel

Yolandri in the Sponge Bob Shirt
We had dinner, yucca, plantains and meat again. We debriefed a little...then I played hackeysack with the kids and some other adults. It really is fun! Then Mark, Serenity, Gabe, Darwin and Dave, taught Cam and I how to play Rage. It was such fun...we played two games, and I lost both horribly...I was in last place, both times! (I liked it so much, as soon as I got home I went on eBay and bought it!). Then off to bed. Jen, Serenity, Taylor and I talked for awhile...then we hit the sheets!

My baby, Yolandri

Mi y mi corazon, Yolandri.