Decidedly Academic. Distinctively Christian.
Today Kiana and Steven went to two different locations. Our boys went to an orphanage and our girls stayed at the foundation and hosted a grandma’s luncheon and passed out baby clothes to over 125 women.
Written by Steven
My name is Steven Abouchedid. I am 13 years old and today I went to an orphanage. One lady ran the orphanage and she was taking care of twelve boys, whose ages went up to 15 years old. The kids at the orphanage were extremely fun to be around. We played baseball and soccer with them and spent a lot of time just hanging out and getting to know who they were. After that, we went out for ice cream. It was during then I realized how truly similar we were to them. Sure they were mostly younger and looked very different, but we were similar on a different level than that. We could very well be just like them, living in an orphanage in the Dominican Republic, but we weren’t. Instead we were born in the United States, and only God knows why that is.
I met a bunch of kids at the orphanage, some with strange talents that I’ve never seen before. They were all extremely happy kids, with joyful spirits. Some may look at their situations, including myself, and say, “How could they live their lives like this? Are they not sad that they don’t have their own parents, or that they have very little money?” From an American perspective this is what most people would assume, but watching these kids, that isn’t what I see. I see smiles and laughter on these kid’s faces, which is something that even the richest people in the world don’t have. I learned that if you want less and expect less, you will be happier. Sure, you won’t have the newest toys that Apple releases, but what you will have is way more valuable. You will have happiness, which is something money can never buy.
Written by Kiana
Today was a day I will never forget. It started with long bus ride. The entire time, all I was thinking about was how much I have. If you have been to places in town considered poor, then you haven’t been to the Dominican Republic. The people here, live in complete poverty. Before this trip I was unsure about what poor really meant. To most Americans, the word is foreign. The people in the Dominican Republic have absolutely nothing, so the way they live is all they know. After reminiscing about home, we reached the foundation. We laid out baby clothing, diapers, toys, and many more necessary items for moms. A bit later, young moms started to crowd the area. When I say young, I mean very young. These mothers were as young as thirteen. I personally met a fourteen year old with a two-year old. Eventually, I had to serve lunch for the kids.
The kids had a small bowl filled with rice and a small spoonful of meat. At first, everything was going as planned with more than enough girls to help. That lasted for a few minutes, until they ran out of bowls. Kids were lined up in the hot sun, waiting for their meals, while the others were rushed to eat. As soon as they were finished, we had to take their bowls, fill them, and give to the next person in line. After rushing to give everyone their food, Carlito told us that we had just fed about two hundred children. I walked back into the kitchen, to see that they had just finished preparing the food for us. This made me a little sad. The food they were about to give us was so much more appetizing and fresh. We were given the best food. With what little they had, they continued to put us before themselves. They are so generous and kind to us, no matter what the conditions. I walked back to where I had been handing clothing to you moms, and it started getting crowded. We had been put in a caged like structure for shopping, that now had children climbing on it. This part of the day was hardest for me. Young children were calling my name and hissing. They wanted a piece of candy, or water, but we weren’t allowed to give them any at that moment. The reasoning behind that, was that if they gave one person something, they would all want it. The people there just wanted to be fair to the children, but it was so hard to ignore the cries for just water from them. At one point a girl that I was friends with kept calling my name. I had to tell her that I couldn’t give her any like the other children, so she finally stopped. This made me feel bad, but I knew that it was what I had to do. I finished giving out clothes to the last few people, and walked to the grandmothers luncheon.
I had the wonderful opportunity of sharing a verse from the Bible with them. I chose Ecclesiastes 3:11, which says: “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also given men a sense of what he’s doing down through the ages. but they can’t completely figure out what he’s done from the beginning to the end.” I then shared my thoughts about the verse. The grandmothers cheered and clapped. I could tell that they appreciated the verse. We closed the luncheon by singing songs to them. They were all so grateful for us being there. This day was a great experience that I won’t ever forget. If any of you have gotten up to here reading, then thank you. Today, I learned so much, and I won’t ever forget how great this trip is and has been. Oh, one more thing, I apologize for the lengthiness of this blog entry… There was so much to type about.
Our students with Manny Mota at his foundation.