Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Dominican Republic {Day 2}

We woke up to the sun streaming in through the shaded windows at a very early 7:30 am. Those last eight hours of sleep hardly seemed enough to get us through the day, but we soldiered through the morning with joy. After very cold showers, we followed each other down the stairs, past Lula's roof, although she was missing from it, and to breakfast, where we were greeted by pancakes, pineapples, and eggs with onion and beans. When we had finished this delectable food, we started our first day at the construction site.

Before work. Hi, Eli.
It was a series of roofless cement walls, placed strategically around weeds and rocks, and we were put immediately to work pulling nails and hauling cement. The sun was hot but we weren't much phased by it. We downed water every half hour or so and were grateful that we were able to drink, when so many of the workers had no water with them, were working much harder than us, and in long pants, at that.
We had a terrifying moment when a large rock was moved to reveal an enormous, hairy tarantula, scuttling among the weeds and gravel like he owned the place. Sometimes when I recall this, I feel it crawling on me.
At noon, we had a break and went to lunch, and ate like we had never eaten before. We were given almost an hour of free time to nap, play basketball, journal, or do whatever we like. I took Boris around and photographed the afternoon activities, although I would later wish that I had taken a siesta. We went back to work and found half a dozen more tarantulas and hauled what seemed like endless cement before being released at five--the end of the work day.

Break time, basketball time.

This girl was pwning the court


Kristen journaling.
We ate a quick dinner and were given some time to shower and clean up a bit before going off to the youth service. A group of between 20 and 30 people, many younger than us, some older, gathered in the makeshift church and opened with hymns in creole and spanish, and then bible drills.
A member of our team was chosen, and she jumped right into the competitive spirit. Combatting Gaby, the pastor's very close family friend, and nearly adopted son, she listened closely for both the spanish and the translated english verses that she was asked to find, and time after time she beat Gaby to the chase, always with a crooked smile of remorse.
The leaders then lined up ten guys, and chose nine girls, and one by one the girls were to choose the guys. The last one left would be the loser. Chuck was the first to be chosen, and he later revealed this to be quite a confidence booster. Then Kristen went and chose one guy who was very excited to have been chosen. Poor Gaby, however, had a rough night, and was chosen last, although it seemed to have been fixed. The members of the youth group were told to recite bible verses and bring up their offering, and once they completed that, we were asked to provide verses, as well, if we had them. Several of us stood and read the verse in English, and then in Spanish, myself included  {I read Isaiah 40:31}. When the service closed we walked back through the warm evening air and gave our exhausted selves in to a quick team time, and a much awaited sleep.

From left to right: Fernando, Gaby, Megan

The ten lined up

Chucks love

The group
This was saturday, March 10th.

In memory of this day, I'd also like to just take a moment and mention my brother who passed away on March 10th, 2010, at the age of 24.

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