Yesterday we all had the opportunity to experience the religious culture here in the Dominican Republic. The first church that we visited was a traditional Dominican Catholic church. The first thing that i noticed was the phenomenal architecture of the building, including the very intricate and beautiful stained glass. The small details in the church demonstrated their devotion and love for their religion. My favorite part of the architecture was this one stained glass window in the shape of a cross, in which it depicted Jesus hanging on the cross.
The next worship service we took part in was a Haitian Christian church service. We were able to participate in communion with the church congregation, and they really allowed us to be involved with the worship service. Although the decorations were very minimal, especially compared to the Dominican Catholic church, the reverence was just as sincere among those in attendance. What really touched me was the very welcoming manners of the people. They thanked us for coming, welcomed us and said farewell to us with open arms and hugs, and they made me feel as though I were among family.
Seeing just how welcoming the people are here, makes me really evaluate our culture in the United States – and what we could do in our country to make foreign visitors feel welcomed and “at home” while they are away from home. I will never forget the experiences that have made this trip so special, and I hope to take the loving and accepting attitude of these people back home to the United States.
Amy B., Senior Nursing Student