I blog about today’s events with a heavy heart, a mind that’s still processing everything and reflecting, but also with a hopeful, beautiful future…
I started my day as usual:alarm goes off, I snooze ten times before I get up, get cute in the bathroom, have an amazing breakfast from THE best host mom, and rush downstairs to take a daily picture with Phoua as we wait for the taxi.
Although the Batey community is an impoverished area, I noticed was the amount of life there. People up working, engaging with their community, and doing what they can with what they have.
Once we arrived, we split up into teams in order to teach English. I encountered a form of humanity I’ve never been able to witness.
Side note: I’m probably the first Asian they’ve seen in their life or at least interacted with one. And they were lucky it was me! As I entered the classroom, some of the children yelled out, “¡El es Chino” or “¡Chino!”. Chino means Chinese male in Spanish.
We decided to teach some basic English. There was such a willingness to try something new and learn from us. Afterwards, we engaged in some arts and crafts with plastic bottles. Seeing them come from nothing but smile those hopeful smiles, it broke my heart as I couldn’t spend more time in order to be more sustainable for those children. For now, anyway…
Later we learned about MUDHA. MUDHA was created in order to empower Dominican-Haitian women who live in the Bateys. We learned that MUDHA provides education up to a 4th grade level that is supervised by the Ministry of Education but not supported by them. The women that were present show up everyday, work with over 100 students ALL. FOR. FREE. There’s no steady income. They show up with a passion to be an example, educate, and empower.
After the lecture, another group was waiting for us to engage with them! Our group helped with numbers, letters, and phrases in English.
Although people were tired, all we cared about was giving joy to children who don’t have the same joys as we do.
We later said our goodbyes and had some see you laters. Today was serendipitous. It was meant to happen for some of us. Whatever we choose to do with our experience, we’ll all at least had have the experience.
So I end today’s blog with heavy heart, a mind that’s still processing everything and reflecting, but also with a hopeful, beautiful future…This trip has been more than just my eye opening. It was the excursion through el barrios en Capatillo, the humane prison system, the Batey community that not only opened my eyes, but my mind, emotions, and heart that opened. I only hope to have this short trip and it’s experiences diffuse into my life. I hope I’m able to remain as loving and hopeful as the people with whom we have encountered and engaged.