This morning we were greeted by Chad with a friendly reminder to wake up at 7:00 a.m. Everyone quickly got their things together for the day and headed out for devotions. Afterward, Brian announced Zack as the FFP recipient for the day! Not only had he been helping move the dirt from the pit to the house the day before, he had become best friends with one of the children from Cuesta Arena and everyone had noticed their close bond.
We headed down for breakfast that included fresh fruit, bread, cheese, and ham with olives. Everyone had their daily dose of yogurt and juice or coffee and then we started on the dishes.
After everything was cleaned and packed, we made our way out to Cuesta Arena. We stopped by the church in Santiago to pick up our friend Estella who went with us as well. During the bus ride, we practiced the songs we wanted to share with the children before we took a break for lunch. As we drew closer to our work site, we saw the children waving and following the bus to greet us. Everyone was going in with mixed feelings, wanting to finish the work we had started but not wanting to leave behind the friends we have grown to love so dearly.
Once we were parked, everyone went to their respective work areas and dug right in. The cistern crew was determined to finish the digging while the dirt stomping crew had finished the inside and was now working on leveling the ground around the outside of the house. Everyone took turns playing with the children and talking with the adults from the community. We made a lot of progress throughout the morning so that the hole was almost finished by lunch.
All the children, Voices, and adults gathered under the school canopy and enjoyed some music and a bible lesson performed by the Voices of Youth and translated by our friend Estella. We dismissed the kids for lunch and enjoyed some much needed rest and nourishment before the final push.
We went back to work once some of the kids came back and started digging before us. It didn’t take long until we were able to finish the hole. Wow, what a triumph. We were so excited to help them complete this part of their journey toward having clean water accessible to the community. All the workers climbed in the hole and the children sat on the outside for a picture.
The rest of the afternoon was spent moving the dirt above the cistern and spending some time with the children. Finally it was time to say goodbye so we all gathered in the mission house and took some pictures. Then the tears started as everyone said their farewells to the people they had grown so close to in only four days. As we drove away, we saw them waving and some even went back to work leaving us with a sense of hope that they will continue and reach their goal!
We went back to La Islita for some showers and siestas before dinner. Everyone worked pretty hard the last day so we were glad to get clean. At the work site, we had even changed some of the words to a song we had been singing from “Caminando en la luz de Dios” to “Banando en la luz de Dios” and “Limpiando en la luz de Dios” meaning we were going to bath and clean in the light of God because it was definitely needed!
Friday evening we had another rehearsal with the Haitian choir at the church. While we were waiting for them to arrive, we practiced some of our songs only to have the power go out several times which provided quite a focusing challenge but everyone did very well to stay on task. We were excited for the concert that was coming on Saturday night.
We went back to La Islita for some reflection time and then headed off to bed to get some rest before our last full day in the Dominican. Thoughts of great memories still in our heads, waiting for the opportunity to share them with you!