Eight days. Eight days was all it took for me to fall in love with the town, the people, and the lifestyle of El Jobo. Baby wipes, violeta, and bug spray became my best friends. What started off as just a poor town became a place I called home after those 8 days. I was, without a doubt, put on that trip with those people for a reason and will forever be grateful for them. The laughter and tears we shared and the memories we made will stay with me forever. I can honestly say I made an impact on the lives of 72 families and gave them something as simple as fresh water, but they made a bigger impact on me. From card games late at night in the campo to trenching in the mountains and to telling stories with the 30 other people I now call family, this mission trip opened my eyes to see the possibility, change and impact I was making on the lives of those Dominicans. I learned so many things from the strategies of playing dominos to learning to dance la bachata. I now know what it's like to live in poverty.
After seeing the kids everyday and playing soccer and baseball with them, that is when I realized how soccer does not need to be played on a beautiful green field, but a concrete slab would do. I learned you don't need a round ball and a bat to play baseball just a broom stick and a bottle cap. The happiness these kids had, brought life to me and helped me realize that the more we do for others the more we learn and grow within ourselves. Nicky, one of the counselors, stressed every single morning to live in the moment and explore the town, meet people, and take advantage of every day because times flies. It wasn't until I was on the plane going back home that I realized the importance of all those moments.
Every single person needs an experience like this just once in your life. You will get through the bucket showers and the bathrooms, or lack thereof, and the bugs, because at the end of the day it's not just a place, it's a memory that will be with you forever. I guarantee, from personal experience, that you will not want to come home. Nothing we do in our life measures to the importance of helping those in need. Through this experience, I now know the true meaning of happiness and that it's worth more than anything else we have. I can't wait to see what adventures are in store for next summer with BLUE!
What is water? This seems like such a silly thing to ask, but I have just begun to realize everything that water really means. Throughout our lives we have been blessed with something so simple yet so unique and that thing is water. We wake up everyday and brush our teeth, we go to the kitchen and get a glass of water to drink and we even use it to cook and clean around the house. All of these are the everyday uses of water for us here in the states and all we really see it as just the simplest part of our "hectic" days. Little do we know that what comes so easy for us is just non-existent for other people around the world. This past week I went with absolutely the greatest group of people to a small pueblo called "Ranchito De Los Perraltas". Upon arrival on this trip I realized this would be unlike anything I've ever experienced in my life. I arrived with a group of 25 people, some that I knew and some that I didn't, but we were all there for the same reason and that was to bring water to a community that's in desperate need of it. The warm welcoming we received from al the people of the campo just showed how happy they were to see us there and how happy they were to know that from that moment on their lives and ours as well, will change forever. After a couple days working there is when I realized that we were there for so much more than to just "get water" for these people in the campo. Water actually is just a part of everything we do for the members of the campo. With water comes hope, with water comes happiness, with water comes a healthier lifestyle, and most importantly with water comes possibility. The possibility of an education most importantly, something that again to us seems so simple but to them is taken away because the little boys and girls of the campo are working all day and getting river water for their family for al the basic everyday needs. Once the cleans water arrives to all these families not only will their lives get easier but they will be given the opportunity to live their lives in a way that just a couple years ago seemed impossible.
I just wanted to take this time to thank BLUE Missions for everything they've done not only for the communities around the DR but everything they've done for me as well. Through blue missions not only have I been able to go on trips and have the experience of a lifetime but I've been able to find my "why" and find my purpose in life and that is to make people around me happy because the happiness of others is what fuels the happiness in my life. So once again to BLUE Missions thank you for everything you do and it was a pleasure working with you guys this summer and I'm already looking forward to next summer.