A Life Changing Experience by Angela Bonica

If leaving from the DR wasn’t hard enough, writing about it after the fact is even harder.  As I get back into regular day-to-day life in the United States, I am finding it difficult to explain my trip to people.  When relatives and friends ask you about the trip, you try to convey to them how everything made you feel but you can’t because they weren’t there and its hard to feel something that you did not experience first hand.

Along the trip, we would always ask each other what were your peak experiences so far, just to check in on each other and that is what I would like to share with you here.  Of course, it is hard to pick just one peak so I am going to offer two from my trip.  The first was the journey into the Bateyes every day.  To get to Batey 50 from La Romana, it took about an hour and the trip there was relaxing and peaceful.  I had never experienced this before.  Riding on a bus with really cool people through a beautiful landscape of sugar cane and open air is something that is difficult to describe but awesome to experience.  Not to mention, Sami played awesome songs during the drive, which added to the beauty.  Also, the excitement of getting to the Batey and seeing all those kids made the ride there extra special.  Especially the first ride there, we had no idea what to expect so the entire ride was filled with nervous butterflies and varying thoughts of what the Batey and the people within it would be like.

A second peak was the day when we took the Joe Hartman School kids to the waterpark in Punta Cana.  As most know, the little girl that i was partnered with wasn’t the most well-behaved on the bus, but I can say that when I wasn’t chasing after her, she really enjoyed the rides.  I have her big smile engrained in my mind, as she waded through the waters of the park.  She loved every second of it and most of the time, she did not know what to do with herself because she had never seen anything like it before.  Watching all of the kids enjoy it so much, was happiness that I can’t describe.  We are happy about things all the time, but this happiness was different and new.  The memory of this day is something that I will never forget.

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