Allie Rippe June 15, 2012

To start with, I miss my mom a lot more than I had even imagined. I guess I’m not as ready for college as I thought that I was. The showers are cold, the rooms hot, and I haven’t been able to wash the conditioner out of my hair in a few days now. Oh, and you literally can’t drink the water. And this is why we all carry money, passports, and cipro in our bags at all times. The language barrier is also crazy. I find myself saying the same things over and over again: “lo siento; “que bonita”; and “estoy cansada”. I feel like I have already learned so much here in every place that I am. From the kids at Cuesta Arena and Los Cocos, I’ve been showed the most sincere and raw kind of love that Jesus would want for all of us to experience. As we dig up dirt to lay onto the floor in order to build the school, my friends and I practice our Spanish. Although we are not nearly as good as everyone around us, the children and church members patiently help us out. I am so thankful to be here, even though I long for the moment that I am not afraid to open my mouth in the shower or stick my toothbrush under running water. The word “home” has never sounded so good, but has also never meant something so different than to what it does now. Now, home, to me, is the place where you and everyone around you can live together and love together. To be a home, there doesn’t need to be running water, or air conditioning, or even a working toilet. Sometimes I even feel at home here. I am so incredibly blessed to be able to work, play, and learn in la luz de Dios (the light of God) here in the Dominican Republic.

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