Santo Domingo Blog 2014 – Day 5

by Sabrina Lucena

image003The last day of the most memorable trip was perfect, besides the little sickness I got overnight. I do not advise you to leave your mouth open while showering! Anyway, we spent most of our day at a beach called Boca Chica. Let me start by saying that this beach was not anything like the ones back home. Let’s just say that there really weren’t any rules or dress code of any kind. The beach was not conservative at all and the people there were so used to being so open and not caring what anyone thought about what they were wearing.

Another thing that occurred almost every 5 minutes was the beach vendors trying to sell us items. At first I was very annoyed and then realized that this is their way of making money and their way of life. It was especially difficult to watch kids at the age of 8 trying so desperately to sell us stuff. It was most disturbing to witness a homeless man digging out of the trash to eat food that was thrown out. These are scenarios that I would never would’ve have gotten to experience if it weren’t for this service trip. I now have a better understanding of what it means to work hard for your money and how some of these people live because of the poor decisions they made. It makes me realize how fortunate I am to come from such a wonderful family. These people weren’t so lucky and now have to fend for themselves.

image001On to the more exciting part of the day, the swimming, banana boating and paddle boating. Juliana Merighi, Niko Basolis, Lukas Gavigan, Ben Tiger, and I went on all of these together. It was an experience of a lifetime, being able to do it with my friends made everything even sweeter. First we went paddle boat riding. That was fun because we were all goofing around the whole time enjoying each others’ company. Then we went banana boating, which was the craziest thing ever! As a group we all climbed onto the banana boat while being pulled by a boat with a crazy driver! He knew exactly how to turn to knock us all off. The first time we fell was definitely the most fun because it was so unexpected. After that we swam a little bit, laid out in the sun and then ate lunch at a nearby restaurant.

On our way home we witnessed cars driving on the wrong side of the road because they couldn’t wait for the road to be cleared. These drivers here are impressively skilled at driving, but ridiculously dangerous. They maneuver around anything and follow absolutely no rules. Also they love to blow the horn for everything and anything. It was really neat to see this crazy driving compared to driving and the roads back in New Jersey.

All in all, this trip is something that I will never forget. Meeting these orphans and helping out with up keeping at their school gave me the greatest feeling of satisfaction and pride. I will never forget their smiling faces or the confused ones when we tried to speak with them in English. I came to this trip believing that I was here to help people who are less fortunate, but instead I’m leaving with wisdom and appreciation for their way of life. I am so sad to leave, but look forward to continue my journey with these orphans next year. Adios!

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