MOVE: Dominican Republic Trip

This past week I got back from one of the best experiences of my life. I along with 11 other Saint Mike's students and staff went down to the Dominican Republic for a service trip. We left at 3:45 on Saturday morning which was a little rough but luckily we were able to sleep on the flights and three hour ride to Ocoa. Buy the time we got to where we were staying for the night it was time for dinner then we went to the park. It was quite an experience. There was music playing and people just hanging out. I've never seen a park so busy but I guess it's the place to be on a Friday and Saturday night.

The next morning we woke up, went to church, visited a senior center than made our way to the village we would be staying at for the week. We stayed in the village of Los Corozo which has 75 families and is about an hour outside of the city of Ocoa. The view from the village was great seeing as it is surrounded by mountains. We worked with Adesjo which is an organization that tries to maintain the rural way of live for people of the DR. Without them more people would end up moving to the slums in cities which would be much worse for them. Adesjo tries to help them become self sufficient by doing many different projects including educating adults, building aqueducts, and helping create irrigation systems. The main task though is building houses for needy families. The communities vote on which family gets the house which I think is pretty cool.

My best friend for the week, Daniel.
During our week there we bonded with the entire community and built most of a house. We ran out of supplies since they had to go to the capital in order to get more but the community will finish it for us. We had a lot of fun too. We danced to merengue most nights and played volleyball with the village. We tried playing the US vs Dominicans. It didn't go well. We also went on a hike which was really fun. There was even some rock climbing at the end.

One of the views from the hike

Hard at work painting the house

Before we knew if Friday came and it was time to leave. The village threw a party for us the night before which shows just how close we became. There were lots of tears when we were leaving and we all are determined to go back at some point to visit everyone. Before going home we spent one more night in Ocoa and went to a billiard hall which was a great last group bonding activity. We traveled all day Saturday and made it back to campus by 1am on Sunday. By midday I already was missing the sound of the roosters and donkeys and the wonderful meals that our cook made for us. It was an amazing week and i feel like I didn't do the week justice in this post. I highly recommend that you applis for the trip next year if you're interested in service!
Peeling some guandules

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