Sunday, June 20, 2010

AIM Dominican Mission Trip: Day 3

On day 2 of camp, we had to switch vehicles that we were using to get us to camp.  Another site needed a larger vehicle to transport them to a site further away than ours.  This is the bus we got to use!  I love the words on the front and back.  It was a tight fit, but we somehow managed to cram all of us into the bus!

We arrived at Bella Vista to find all our kiddos lined up on the baseball field backstop.  We got started right away with the VBS and worship that morning.

We had another large group of kids come forward to accept Christ!

After VBS, I had to head over to the basketball court and get the guys individual photos taken.  I hadn't even gotten a chance to go over to the court the day before, so it was a nice change of pace for me.  I was able to get the individual photos fairly quickly since the groups were small.  I got to take a few other shots of them "hanging" around!

This was also the day that our AIM medical team came to our site.  They unloaded their medicines and set up shop in the community pavilion.  Word got out very quickly that they were there, and mothers started lining up to have our doctors see their children.

This is the med supplies and medicine chests they brought.  They were able to bring medicines, formula and bottles for babies, vitamins, and tooth brushes and tooth paste to give out to the people in the villages.

Some kids lined up in front of the toys and other goodies they were giving away.

This is one of our doctors looking at a little girls arm that is infected.

A mother with her son.

After I took photos of the basketball guys and the med team, I went over to take the individuals of the girls softball team.  My mom took this photo of me taking their photos.

The day went by what seemed like very quickly, and we were soon serving hot dogs again for lunch!

Alfre brought his machete to cut the sugar cane for us this day.  We all sat around and chewed on the canes while the kids were eating their lunch.  It was a very nice treat!

I had a few moments of time before our bus was going to head back to the hotel, so I walked over to the school that was right next to the pavilion.  There were more than a few plants that had been catching my eye.  I wanted to go get some photos of them before I lost my chance to the busy schedule of camp.  I walked into the school grounds and started taking pictures when these two sweet girls came up and started showing me around their school grounds.  They showed me more plants than I would have ever found myself, so I was very excited that they came along!  I'm going to post the pictures of the plants in a later post with the rest of the plants from the Dominican.  The girl on the left folded the leaf in her hand to look like butterflies for me!

This is us sitting on/in a Cottonwood tree!  I LOVE these trees!

They picked a Heliconia flower for me before I left.

Our camp day wrapped up, and we loaded back onto the bus for the hotel.  I made the decision that I was going to take a break from uploading photos and making photo cards that evening.  We had made such a good lead the night before, I felt confident that we could get the rest of them finished the next day.  

So, when we got back to the hotel, I changed into my swim suit and headed to the beach with a big group of us.  We went snorkeling along the beautiful coral reefs there.  This was my first time snorkeling, so I was very excited to see all the sights.  My boss, Fred, gave me lots of pointers to follow, and soon I was diving down so I could get closer to the action in the water.  It's such a beautiful world under there!  I felt like I was in a live Discovery Channel show!

That's me at the bottom of the photo!  There was a beautiful under water bridge that Fred swam on the other side of to get this photo!

Some beautiful Coral.

A school of fish.

A Lion fish!  

while we were snorkeling, Fred found this purple starfish.  He picked it up and we brought it up to shore so the kids could hold it.  This photo doesn't do the color of the starfish any justice.  It was a very beautiful eggplant purple!

Christian holding the Starfish.


Fred and I decided to swim around the cliff to our hotel instead of walking back.  My mom took Christian and our things back with her, while Fred and I headed back out to sea.  

Words cannot describe the beauty I encountered!  We came across more Lion fish, several beautiful Stingrays gliding through the water, and a school of Squid swimming along the cliff ledge that changed colors as we swam by them.  We saw crabs along the cliff that were the most oddly "painted" color of crab I've ever seen!  We saw Pencil fish, along with a whole array of brightly colored fish that were very stunning!  I made it back to the hotel steps and was just speechless as I tried to convey the beauty I had witnessed in the past hour and a half!  I kept thinking to myself: "God had fun when he made this place!"  I will never forget that day!

I came up and showered before dinner, then had decided to relax for the evening.  The Dominican coaches were all coming to the hotel after dinner that evening for a Q&A session with our coaches.  Apparently the way US coaches coach is very different from the Dominican way of coaching.  They were going to have a meeting to give each other pointers on things that work and things that could help them along in their coaching skills.  

I was sitting in the lobby along with some of the others in our group, when Alfre walked in with the other coaches.  I was surprised to see him there, and I instantly decided to get the photo printer out so I could print him some photos I had taken of his family that day.  I printed out his photos and showed him what we were doing for the kids and their baseball cards.  He was very surprised and thankful for the photos of his family.

The coaches had started their meeting, but Alfre stayed behind with the group of us in the lobby.  We had a lady with us that could translate the conversation for us, so Alfre decided to give his testimony for us.  I came into the conversation late because I was still printing photos for him, but when I did get to come into the circle that had formed around him, I was very moved by his words.  I got to listen to him talk about his rough childhood, a failed marriage, and a three month fast that led him even closer to God.  I was so thankful that I got to hear his testimony.  I felt closer to him as a friend, and I was in awe of the obvious transformation God had performed in the man sitting before me.  We all talked late into the night until Liz, our interpreter, had a "fried brain" from going back and forth in Spanish so much!  

We decide it was time to call it a night and go to bed.  I was ready for the next day, but was also very glad to see my pillow that night!

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