Today was a day filled with songs,laughter,basketball, tag, and an abundance of smiles and memories that are never to be forgotten. As we sleepily arose from the comforting cocoons of our beds, we traveled through the town, waking up with the locals and taking in the sights and sounds of Puerto Plata. The work site was a 2 story school, and was very impressive by any terms, with a basketball hoop, a playground, and many areas for people to sit and socialize. We gathered in a room, surrounded by unfamiliar faces, along with our group, and said a prayer. Groups were then formed, and off to work we went. My group was tasked with painting the ceilings white, and at first it seemed to be a boring job, but with the help of Cory, Mark, Mrs. Beaty, and Mrs. Beaty’s phone, it became one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had. Guys being guys, we talked about video games, movies, and the like, until someone (me) suggested we sing a song. It was… a good effort. Stumbling through a couple acapella versions of various One Direction songs, mostly because of the presence of a mega-fan on the trip, we were losing interest until Mrs. Beaty, who had recently joined the room, started playing music from her phone. Oh, how the tides turned. We sang our hearts out to Train, Adele, Neon Trees, and mostly Adele until lunchtime. “Great, uh…singing” was a reply that we got often, but honestly who cares. One of the workers and locals, Frank, asked me and a few others if we wanted to play basketball. In the 90+ degree, insanely humid weather, we played. After 20 minutes, if even that, we were bent over, gasping for breath, and Frank hadn’t even broken a sweat. Dominicans man, they’re amazing. Following more painting of ceilings, a game of tag with some of the children who lived near, and more basketball, we packed up and headed to
Mosovi, a settlement outside of Puerto Plata. It was one of the most impovershed places I have seen with my own two eyes, but we were greeted with smiles and waves from the locals, which we readliy returned. We were shown the church in the middle of the town, and our foreman, Charlie told us about the plan to give people access to running water, which was being taken from the people by large tourist resorts, which is just inhumane. The busride back was a sleepy one for most, except for someone (not naming any names but he/she is a large fan of a popular boy band) was asking someone else (me) a lot of questions, such as, “OMG WHOS YOUR FAVORITE MEMBER???!!” and “OMGOMG WHATS YOUR FAVORITE SONG BY THEM??!!” To this person’s parents, I salute you both. A quick shower, a dip in the pool, and dinner were what followed, and now here I am writing this. Today was one of the coolest days of my life, and I can’t wait for what’s to come over the next few days. We’ve only just started our journey, but I already know how much I’ll miss the people, Puerto Plata, and all of the happiness.