Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Monday, April 14, 2014
I didn't realize how quickly we would form bonds with the mission team. It's surreal coming back to reality and leaving the people you lived/ate/served with for six days. I know it sounds weird to be close to someone after only six days but man I really miss those people!
The missionary families we got to know, students, church members, and school staff are missed too. Brian and I find our selves talking about them more and more...and just thinking about their daily lives compared to ours. We've grown closer as a family...and as a couple from this amazing trip. There isn't any 'one' thing but just the whole experience caused us to want to slow down, serve more, and rid our lives of the meaningless.
Small stuff does NOT matter. Forgiving, moving on, and continuing life is the way to go. Forgiveness seems to be a confusing concept for some. It is a verb. An action word. When you choose to forgive it means you choose to not think about it anymore. To not hold past sins against someone. To continue to reconcile and choose the better path. This rings true of our children as well. I realized that I struggled with not forgiving easily for dumb things or just bringing up past (as in the past 40 min) when something else was done. We have to let it go. (Insert Elsa). Even the BIG things. EVERYTHING. We just have to let it go. How will our children learn to forgive if it is not modeled well for them? I would hate to have God say that He forgives me but I can't talk to him anymore. Or He forgives me but He can't be around me anymore. Or He forgives me but feels 'awkward' around me. He just FORGIVES. I forgive you BUT... is not forgiveness. I forgive you AND I love you no matter what. It's so so hard and a constant struggle but it brings peace and is commanded to us in the Bible.
It really amazes me to be gone for such a short time and have so many thoughts swimming around in my head.
On Monday our plan was to go shop in Santo Domingo and then head to the airport. First Miguel drove us to the market. In the city there were a lot more cars than motorcycles and people were yelling "Come check out our beautiful bracelets!" or "Look at our at our beautiful designs on wood carved by me!"
Our team stepped into a busy building filled with at least 20 shops in it. We headed to the biggest shop in the building, owned by another man named Miguel. Steve knew him so he promised to give us a bargain if we shopped in his store. When I first walked in the store my eyes saw colorful masks lined up, beautiful paintings, and a lot of handmade items. I had fun looking at everything. I got to buy a little decoration pot, a doll that matched my friend Cora's, and a bag that was the same kind as one of my other friends, Julia. I also got to pick out souvenirs for my siblings. I got Kinsey a matching doll, Ephram a wooden dog that looks like Frank, and Mommy and Daddy chose a chess set for Braden.
After eating a bagged lunch in the bus we headed to some historic buildings. Our tour guide, Steve, showed us the forts that were used during wars and dangerous times. We also got to visit the graves of important people. Just like in the United States there was an eternal flame above the unknown graves.
As we were walking in the park I saw people giving bread to the pigeons and I wanted to do it. Ms. Lora had bread with her so Julia and I fed the pigeons. We held the bread up high in our hands so the birds could see it. Then they flew up and sat on our arms and heads and ate the bread out of our hands. Luckily none of the pigeons went to the bathroom on us!
As we were walking along the historic buildings some poor boys came up to us and wanted to give us flowers or shine our shoes. Mr. Maxwell let the boy shine his shoes and gave him a dollar. Then the boy kept following us to do it more. I gave him a dollar (from Ms. Lora) then he gave a beautiful purple and yellow flower.
When our team got to the airport we found out that our flight was delayed until seven o'clock.We asked the front desk people if they could delay the plane in Miami to Raleigh so we wouldn't miss it but they said it probably wouldn't work - nineteen out of two hundred people, the chance is really low. The people were right, the plane in Miami ended up not being delayed. So the plane from Miami to Raleigh left........without us.
That night we flew to Miami really late and only got four hours of sleep. In the morning after eating a little bit of breakfast our team headed to the airport. Finally at 10:45 we got on the plane and flew to Raleigh. It was sad having to say goodbye to the people I had been with for the last six days.
When we got home I was happy to see my siblings again but sad that I had to leave the Dominican Republic friends. That afternoon I took a two hour nap and then watched Frozen. At night I cried because I wished that we could've stayed longer. God taught me to be thankful for what I have at my house because a lot of the things I have other children don't have.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
some of them were quite scary looking!
has played/looked?? at it everyday since we've come home...lol! It makes me laugh to see how much he loves his machete.
the kids had fun posing like Christopher Columbus
When we checked in we saw that our flight was delayed until 5:50 and knew we'd be missing our connecting one.
We decided that if we didn't fly out of the DR that night then we'd sleep in the airport to fly out at 5:30am so we could get the connecting flight in Miami at 10:30. I literally thought we'd be sleeping there and somehow was totally at peace with it. I've seen enough Amazing Race to know it would just be another adventure.
We were all pretty tired at this point and tried to get some sleep on the plane. The one up side to arriving so late in Miami was not having to wait in long customs lines. We got through pretty quickly then found our luggage and got our hotel/food/transportation vouchers.