St. Paul UMC – The first couple days

Hey there from the Dominican Republic! So far, only one person lost their luggage – but it’s already been found, so that’s a little better than the last time a group came from our church (everyone’s luggage was lost for multiple days). We got in a little late on Tuesday after 2 delayed flights (and lots of fun in airports) and it was amazing to see Santiago by daylight Wednesday morning. It’s a very pretty country and we’re able to see a lot of parts of it – from the city to the country.
On Wednesday, we got up, had devotions, were reminded of things we needed to be reminded of (take meds, do not drink water from tap, and no flushing toilet paper), were driven by our wonderful driver with a great sense of humor Freddy to Pastora’s house and then had breakfast, and set off for a community called Los Cocos.
At Los Cocos we helped lead VBS – expecting around 75 kids, but we ended up having over 100! The kids got to learn our names and how old we were by singing a couple songs (a-e-i-o-u, cuantos anos tienes tu? – which translates to the vowels and then how old are you?) The kids learned about Noe y la arca (Noah and the ark) – with each of the St. Paul youth being a color of the rainbow. We also played a game like rock paper scissors or the super hero game if you know it – where we each were with a group of kids and we had to choose either perro (dog), pato (duck), or leon (lion) and make the sounds and beat other teams. We also taught some of the kids in that area “Cinco!” or high five!
After an intense game of Amarillo (instead of punch buggy – you punch every time you see a yellow vehicle – bruises are showing up today), we got to Cuesta Arena.
We were able to play jumprope, soccer, and coloring with all the kids of Cuesta Arena. Courtney and Erin recognized a few of the kids from the last time they came! Some of us also tried FRESH (right off the tress) mangos and coconuts.
We rested up at Pastora’s for a little and then left for Cien Fuego (100 Fire) which is a really really poor community. It was raining pretty hard when we got there. It’s a church that is just for children and they sometimes have over 200 kids. With it being rainy, some kids are not allowed out, but there were still around 50 kids. We danced A LOT! There was one lady at the church that kept mopping and mopping and mopping as the kids and their muddy shoes came in. She never ever lost her patience, but kept making an effort to keep the church in great condition. It was a beautiful thing!
Then we had an AMAZING dinner with some fried chicken and rice and fried plantains and pasta. Mmmm… so good! After seeming exhausted, a couple youth had a sudden burst of energy, but everyone settled down pretty well and woke up again this morning ready to go!
We’re about to head out for the day – we’ll try and write more tomorrow!
Sarah said she posted pictures from yesterday, so be sure to check them out!
With much love,

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