There were countless experiences of this trip that have impacted my life and will never be forgotten. One of my favorite experiences was having the privilege of taking 32 students from the Joe Hartman School to the Sirenis Aquagames water park in Punta Cana. For some of these kids it was the furthest they’ve ever been from their homes. I loved watching their faces plastered to the windows on the bus and taking in all the scenery we past. It showed their curiosity towards the world. When we arrived at the park they were amazed at the huge water slides and the pools. The kids were even more excited to see the buffet. When asked about the favorite part of their day, many children responded “the food”. One child even tried to save some of his hotdog to bring back to his mom. This gesture broke my heart and made me want to bring back food for the parents too.
That afternoon I hung out with a shy little 9-year-old boy name Luis Mario. He barely broke a smile the whole bus ride, but the minute we pulled into the park Luis Mario was all smiles. I can easily say that I had as much fun as he had. We raced down the slides and swam in the pool for hours, while also managing to have 3 meals in one afternoon. We kept hearing that this will be one of the greatest days of the kids’ lives and they will remember it forever. Well, this day was also one of the best days of my life and one that I will never forget. I am so happy to be apart of their experience and I hope to be able to sponsor Luis Mario for school next year. Below is his sponsor photo I found on facebook when I got home. You wouldn’t believe how much his face lit up when he was at the water park. I hope to be able to spend another day with him again!