Strength in a Commnunity

Going to the Dominican Republic and visiting the Batey was nothing short of incredible. I was amazed at how nine short days could completely shift my whole perspective. I was amazed at how quickly I fell in love with the community. They were extremely welcoming and so excited to meet us and show us their home. This open arm approach to strangers is so foreign to me. I would expect anyone to be distant and hesitant when strangers show up in their neighborhood and are expecting to be received. The kids just wanted our attention they wanted to play and follow us around all day. The adults were more than welcoming when showing us their homes, letting us play with their kids, or answering any of our questions that we asked in very poor Spanish. I have never experience a culture where what mine is yours is engrained into everyone. Watching the children share small pieces of food with their friends, even when they were starving themselves, was humbling. Watching how a whole community worked together to look after anyone disabled or any kid that they happen to walk by, was inspiring. And seeing a community celebrate someone else’s happiness in receiving a house by helping build it or homing the family until the house is done, was heartwarming. I was blown away by the community’s strength, and love they have for each other, and I cannot wait to return and get to experience it again!

-Chelsea Savage

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