Our last full day in the Dominican Republic started off with a short walk to the beautiful beach. The bright sunshine and salt water was exactly what we all needed. A few of us did not realize how strong the Dominican sun could be until we felt the painful touch of our clothing against our burnt skin. Upon returning to Loase, hunger struck the entire group. Tacos were made fresh and served by a local vendor in the hotel outdoor kitchen. With our bellies full, skin tanned, relaxed, and refreshed, we were prepared for our final hours with the amazing children and awesome staff at Dove Missions.
When we arrived at the mission, the children greeted us with smiles and open arms. They always act so happy and excited to see us each day we visit. Because it was our last day with the mission, we enjoyed our time by playing outside in the tropical weather. From jumping rope, playing basketball, making jewelry, and learning to dance meringue, we made the most out of our last moments with the loving children. Gaining friendships with the children and staff is what made our trip worthwhile and memorable. Many of the children did not want to say “goodbye,” so instead we said “see you later!”
As a group, we decided to donate any clothing, toiletry items, and any unnecessary belongings that we brought for the trip to the Haitian community of Los Cocos. Seeing how unfortunate the people of that community were and how grateful they were for the donated clothing yesterday, encouraged our decision to do so.
For dinner we were able to visit Maimon , which is a well known fish market in Puerto Plata. It was a very unique experience. We chose the type of fresh fish we wanted and watched as they fried it over a huge fire pit in large pans. We were severed conch, shrimp, and lobster salad with french fries, fried plantain, and fried sweet potato as the sides. Multiple types of fish were served family style to the group. All the food was eaten and everyone was more than satisfied. Unanimous donations were made after dinner to the Mission totaling up to enough money for at least three water trucks for the children. Smiles, hugs, and laughter were shared while saying “see you later” to the mission staff.
It is always hard to say “goodbye” to people that impact your life so much in such a short period of time. This experience has been something that none of us will ever forget!
“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” A. A. Milne
Caitlyn H. & Taylor F. — Senior Nursing Students