Boy oh boy is our team excited for beach day tomorrow. Let’s just say pretty much everyone but Erica and Courtney know about 50 words in Spanish, and a phrase that has united us all is: ¡Vamos a la Playa! However, today was even better than the beach because we spent all day with the Makarios kids! Even the carpenters were able to make an appearance. To all parents reading this: if your son/daughter did not have a solo shot in the last post, do not fear, he/she will be featured below!
This morning was started at the crack of 7:15 with wonderful breakfast prepared by Margaret. For the record, we do not brag enough on her… her food is AMAZING. Tonight during roof time it was revealed that Shannon thinks her food is better than what she has in the states. Plus, keep your eyes peeled below for the section on dinner tonight. Let’s just say we all want her recipes… Now, back to this morning. The reason we left the Mak house earlier today was so that we would have an opportunity to be at the school and see the different ways that children arrive. Some walk with parents, some walk in groups of children, others ride in on “motos,” and some come running ready to start the day! We all got to hang out on the ranchito near the Makarios sign before school began and were greeted with besos y abrazos from all of our Dominican friends. They are the most affectionate and loving kids you will ever meet, which really helps to brighten a tired morning.
Every day at the Mak school begins with breakfast and a prayer, as you can see from these two photos. This darling girl is filled with love for Jesus, and illustrates the posture that all of the students have towards God. Breakfast varies, but today was pan dulce with water. Each day, students receive breakfast and lunch, which is a huge blessing for the students’ families. Moreover, when school is not in session the students are all sent home with rice and beans to last for the break. Our hearts were a bit broken by how fast the kids have been shoveling down their food since it was revealed to us that the reason was they had been on break for so long and many of them were experiencing pure hunger. However, we noticed today that the students seemed much less hungry and were overjoyed to share meal time with them.
This morning, we participated in chapel, which is led by Cakito. When chapel begins, the students all sing and clap, displaying their love of God. Each time, one student volunteers to lead worship, and we got to witness Ismael do this during chapel today. Below there is a picture of him standing with Cakito. We were responsible for acting out the story of the Good Samaritan. Travis, pictured above, played the Good Samaritan, and Chris M. was the one who was rescued by him. The thieves were Sam and Daniel who mugged Chris and made the kids laugh like no other. Chris Hume played the priest an Zach was our Levite. Fortunately, Erica has had a lot of practice reading in Spanish, and she took on the role of orator for the story. Before the play began, Laurena, Audrey, Courtney, Tiffany, and Shelby sang Here I am to Worship…in Spanish! The students joined in and were very surprised. We performed the play twice: once for the younger kids and once for the older kids. We were warned before hand that some of the younger kids cry during plays since the first one they saw was David and Goliath, and one of their teachers “died” during that skit. Low and behold, the minute Chris M. walked across the room two students burst into inconsolable tears. However, everyone else seemed to throughly enjoy the play.
After chapel, we spent the rest of the day talking to kids before we went to Chichigua. Chichigua is a Hatian bate. For those who do not know what a bate is, here is an explanation: a bate is a village in a remote area that is comprised of Hatian people who came to the DR during the sugar cane boom. Bates are the poorest communities in the DR, and about a third of the kids are from here. Below is a picture of one of the stores there.
After our visit to Chichigua, we went to the top of a mountain that Belice and Paige often run up. After, feeling ambitious, the group decided to run home.
From this point forward, we will post photos and give a description. Parents pay attention because your child is most likely featured!
Here is Audrey and una amiga! Qué lindas!
Here are the guys playing basketball at the Mak house with Cakito and Belice.
Today was Miranda, the school administrator’s birthday, and the tradition is that on your birthday the rest of the staff get to soak you with water. They caught Miranda by surprise after school and made up for a few other birthdays they have missed!
To Conner’s dismay, he was beaten by Juan Fernando SIX times IN A ROW in checkers. Let’s just say they have some smart kids at Makarios!
Here is Chris and Cakito posing very handsomely!
Chris finally got to leave the carpenters and play with kids! He is so wonderful with kids, and has been a blessing to one of the family’s with a two-year old at the Mak house. She is in for a rude surprise when we leave!
Before the run, Daniel expressed his happiness here in the DR by taking this photograph. He has been learning great things from God this week and dreading leaving!
You may have seen this beautiful child on the Makarios website! She is beautiful and loves taking pictures with Erica.
Here is Margaret, our host mom cooking the most delicious hash brown casserole that was TO DIE FOR. She is an amazing cook and an amazing picture of gospel-centered mission work. We will miss her dearly. Her husband Paco or “Doug” will be featured tomorrow!
Here is Paige with two of her dear friends in Chichigua! As you can tell, Paige is 100% content here and can not wait to return for another full summer!
One thing our team has been so amazed by is the mutual love of God the children have, and that even though people here speak Spanish, God is still the same and the power of prayer is too.
Probably my favorite picture of Sam in the world! He loves playing with the kids and letting them ride “a caballito”!
Some of the kids remember Shannon from last year, and they love taking pictures with her! She also has been wonderful at teaching kids the gospel with Erica!
Shelby also loves playing with kids and giving piggy back rides! She has a lot of experience from Kids at the Stone.
Tiffany also is remembered by the kids from her previous trip to the DR! You can tell how much she loves it here by that beaming smile!
How could we leave this photo out! At Makarios, all of the students are required to brush their teeth after each meal, and this is most likely the only time they do so.
And… like we said before VAMOS A LA PLAYA. Fortunately, this long-awaited day is officially today since it is 3:35 in the morning here. See you soon amigos!