Sunday, July 17, 2005

DR Update

Written on the 16th:
Hello again to friends and family!Here we are again, basking in yet another one of the Carribian'sfavorite past-times...This one, Hurricane Emily passed us yesterdaywith nothing but high winds and lots of rain, nothing that we can'thandle!This week has been exhilarating, one of our busiest here, and thisSaturday finds most of us sleeping in and getting some much neededrest. We have come to the point in our trip where we are past thegetting to know you stage, settled into our homes and jobs, and thetime is beginning to fly by. It is now less than a month until you seeour bright and shiny faces again!Teaching in the Bateyes is going amazingly well, for most of usEnglish is the favorite, and seeing the kids advance from simple wordsto phrases has been such a joy. Teaching everything from "Hello howare you?" to our favorite phrases such as "Wassup" and "That's rad"has defiantly been the highlight. The other half of our morningteaching in the bateyes, tutoring has been more of a challenge. Evenfor those of us that speak Spanish, our attempts to explain math andlanguage skills has put us all to the true test of our patience andabilities. No one can quite remember the last time one of us did longdivision! Nevertheless, being in the bateyes three days a week gettingto know our kids and building relationships has been such a blessing,and it is becoming more difficult every day to think of leaving.Monday our afternoon plans were changed suddenly by our amazing interncoordinators, Drew and Dana. Instead of our normal afternoonactivities in the Bateyes, we were driven (in our favorite COTNvehicle, 'vericose van') into the amazing hills that surround Barahonafor a hike that ended at a waterfall/river. We spent the afternoonswimming, floating down the rapids on the single enertube we broughtand having time together, without having to think about work. Mondaysare our "church days", and this week we were able to sit on the banksof the river and have our time together, with an awesome word from afriend of Drew & Dana, Maile.That night a few of us were taken by our families to a concert put onby one of the local churches that included everything from mime actsto ribbon dancers, to a group of men who rapped Kirk Franklin inSpanish! Holler back.Tuesday we began yet another one of our summer projects, updating allof the information in the COTN Child Sponsorship program. With over500 kids in all three of the Bateyes, it is a huge job that includesinterviewing each child, getting their measurements and taking theirphoto. With all of us working together we were able to get the entirebatey of Algodon finished this week, which was a huge blessing.Tuesday night was also the beginning of another Pentecostal revival inBarahona (there have been 2 since our arrival) and the biggest one tocome through town in over 5 years. With a large stage and over 1000people, most of us attended with our families.Wednesday was spend tutoring and doing our usual activities in thebateyes. The sports and games team now has two solid soccer teams, onein Algodon and one in Los Robles that will hopefully face off againsteach other at the end of the summer. We also spend the day helpingDrew and Ben plan for the first ever Young Life event that will happentonight (Saturday) in Los Robles.On Thursday we had the privilege of cooking dinner for the staff ofCOTN. Well, we helped cook! San Cocho, a favorite Dominican dish (theequivalent of cooking steak for people in the states) was on the menu,along with brownies and lots of fruit and rice. We gathered at Drewand Dana's, ate, talked and danced to the music of the revival thatcould be heard from across the street. It was awesome to be able tospend time and get to know the people that make this mission run herein the DR, and hopefully we will have an opportunity to be able to doit again soon.Friday during our afternoon soccer practice in Algodon hurricane Emilyunleashed her wrath! No worries, it was nothing unusual, just bucketsof rain and wind- which cut our time there a little short, but we areall fine and well.So there you have it folks! The week in review, brought to you by yourloving COTN interns. As mentioned, tonight is the first Young Lifeevent which will bring together the youth of Los Robles and Algodon,and is the first youth ministry project that COTN has taken on. Pleasepray for wisdom for our speaker, for energy for us interns, and thatthe youth may see that life with Christ is more than just words on apaper, but that it is real and exciting. Oh yes...and for the weather:)Again, don't forget to check out our blog site will be up there soon!)Con Amor!Brent, Gib, Kelsey, Erica, Carmen and Emily

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