Sunday, June 20, 2010

AIM Dominican Mission Trip: Day 2

As Day 2 arrived, we all met downstairs to a eat a wonderful breakfast and listen to our morning devotional given by Russell.  Outside the hotel, our Dominican friends were waiting for us to load up and take us to the Bella Vista site.  

We all loaded up into the truck and were ready to go!  Our site would be one of a few that would hold all four sports on the site.  We had baseball, softball, basketball, and volleyball equipment loaded and ready for camp!

This is one of a lot of photos I took as we were going through the city on the way to Bella Vista.

Soon, we were in the country.

And then we arrived at Bella Vista!  I quickly understood why the town was named Bella Vista!  This is the outfield of their baseball field (I love the horse tied up in the very back!)  The mountains are covered in sugar cane, palm trees, and tropical plants.  Gorgeous is an understatement!

We greeted all the kids and formed a huge circle where our Dominican friends held the VBS portion of the camp.  They sang songs, prayed, and at the end asked if any of the kids would like to recieve Christ in their hearts.  We had 25 kids come forward!  We all gathered around them, and had a translator translate a prayer for them to pray to accept Him.  It was an awesome way to start our day!

We broke the kids up into smaller groups by ages, and began stretching.  We also gave each group a colored wristband so we could tell who belonged to each group.  

After stretching, our group began teaching the various baseball drills.

As one of the photographers on site, my job was to take a photo of each kid at the camp so we could give them a picture of themselves that we placed into a baseball card template.  This activity took up my whole day on day one.  Here is a photo of one of my favorite little boys at the camp.  (I love his smile!)  

This is Alfre!  He is the man that helped me line up every kid, pose them, and help me get the shots I needed quickly.  I couldn't have pulled off the day without his help!  He is awesome man of God, and you'll be hearing a lot more about him in this post as well the rest because he quickly became friends with me, my mom and my son Christian.

The day was long, hot and sweaty, but a ton of fun!  At lunch time, we served hot dogs and juice to all the kids and coaches.  

All day long I could hear the sound of moving water behind the trees of the baseball field.  I asked Alfre, in my broken Spanish if there was a river back there.  He said, yes there was and after the camp was over for the day he would take us back there and see it.  I was very surprised at the beautiful sight of this river and lagoon!  Kids were swimming and diving down into the water.  We took our shoes off and dipped our feet into the moving water.  It was cold and refreshing after a long, hot day!

We came back out to the field and while we were waiting for the bus to take us back to the hotel, Alfre crushed some sugar cane for us to drink.  It was a very sweet tasting treat!  We all took turns drinking.

About this time, we all loaded back onto the truck to take us back to the hotel.  I was so hot from being out in the heat all day that I was looking forward to swimming in the ocean when we got back in.  I decided to be brave and jump off the cliff ledge!  

Yes, it was a long way down.  Yes, I screamed.  No, I didn't do it again!

Christian jumped in after I did and we swam around and snorkeled for a little while.  Everything was fine and dandy until Christian brushed into a sea urchin while trying to get out onto the steps.  He had a few spines in his leg, so we got out and nursed the wounds.  

From there, I had to get to work on collecting the photos from all the other site photographers.  Six other women and I all worked very diligently to upload all the photos from the day, drop them into a template I made in Photoshop, print them as a 4x6 photo, and then cut them into baseball card size photos.  We actually got a good rhythm down and were able to get all of the photos done that had been taken that day.  We were only missing a few groups from each site, so I was very pleased with our progress!

This is the template I made for the baseball groups:
(Remember my little cutie-pie from up above?!)

From there, I called it a night and went to bed!  It had been a very long, productive day!

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