The trip to the Dominican Republic for me so far has been a wonderful experience, but yet also very shocking. People of my generation in the United States are so used to our luxuries such as Starbucks, IPhones, air conditioning etc. Our biggest worry can sometimes just be “Is there wifi? How strong is the wifi here?” Coming to this country has been a huge culture shock. The people here have much bigger worries. Some of these children do not even have clean water or know for sure when their next meal will be. Being with these children at Vacation Bible School and seeing their environment makes me realize how fortunate we are in the United States.
-Leah Elberfeld, member of the Cathedral of St. Paul and a student at McDowell High School
Being apart of such a wonderful experience has completely changed my perspective on the things we take for granted as human beings. It has only been the first day at VBS and I already feel like I am changing as a person. It is so inspirational to listen to the numerous stories of Father Paulito, and to look at all the wonderful women who are willing to help and cook for some of the families and children in need, even if they too are struggling financially. It’s just so interesting to see how we are in one city (Santiago) and if you travel one direction you are in luxury and wealth, but 5 minutes later you are surrounded with poverty and devastation. It breaks my heart to see such a beautiful city split in half the way this one is, and I am so glad I can be apart of some change in the community. Making just one of those children smile means the world to me. I have definitely come here to do the right thing.
-Stephanie Onyeiwu, member of Christ Church, Meadville