Hello from our last day in the Dominican Republic!
After breakfast this morning we got straight to work again. Some of us carried on with more work in the farm after getting to hold some of the piglets.
Another group went to spend the morning helping in San Marco which is the special needs house. After spending time together inside, the group helped to take the children into the park where we played together.
The children loved playing with beanbags and musical toys and enjoyed physical contact and individual attention. The Tias were wonderful with these children and everyone who came by came over and interacted with the group. One of the workers told us that one of the boys who is looked after in San Marco has only lived here for 5 months and prior to that had lived at home but because of his home circumstances was confined to a bed every day. His father brought him to NPH and comes very regularly to visit him. His son’s life is so different now with more stimulation and beautiful surroundings. It really is a wonderful gift of the transformation of lives that NPH can give to the community.
After the time in the park we were able to help the children with their therapy as they lay on big mats which allowed them to stretch out their limbs.
Lunch today was in the multiuso which is a large building next door to the school where all the children eat their lunch. NPH feeds all the children who live here as well as those who come in from the neighboring batays for their education. We were struck by the patience of the children and the large size of the plates of food they ate!
After lunch was recess in the school and we got to play with the children in the school yard.
This afternoon we were taken on a tour of the sugar cane fields and the batays where the workers live. We travelled there on the open air “bus”. It was a pretty bumpy ride but fun to get some fresh air on the way.
We travelled through a number of batays on the way. Most of the homes are built from corrugated iron and have mats on dirt floor. Many of the people who live here were originally from Haiti and moved here for employment, mostly in the sugar cane fields.
We got to see the fields, learn about the work and try the sugar cane and the juice.
On the way back we stopped to visit a lady in her house in the Batay. She loved us visiting and was very proud to show us her house and especially her garden which she tends with loving care. She loved to crochet and had decorated all her chairs and surfaces in the house with her handiwork.
After arriving back we got to play with the children for the last time before we leave in the morning.
We are about to have a closing Mass followed by dinner and then packing.
Its going to be hard to say goodbye tomorrow but we are looking forward to seeing you and telling you lots more.
Please come to our presentation about the trip on Sunday, September 29 after the 5pm Mass at St. Johns in Powers Hall.