Dominican Republic Blog-Day 1- John Bakke

July 5, 2019

I’m extremely happy to be back in the Dominican this year. I went on the trip last year and had an incredible time, and I feel very blessed to be back again this year. Traveling went a lot smoother this year for me because I was less nervous about flying and leaving the country. We had a great time playing games and riddles on the bus traveling to the villa from the airport. Being together for a long period of time without cell service or anything to do really brings us closer together and allows for us to just enjoy each other’s company without distractions. This morning we got up and had a fantastic breakfast, the food here is just incredible and I am really glad I get to enjoy it again this year. Then, we went to the Jumbo, a Dominican Walmart type grocery store, and got some supplies for the trip. I really enjoyed that experience seeing how it was to grocery shop in a different country and I got some Dominican flip-flops and I got some pesos as souvenirs which was cool. Then we went to El Peñon, a sugar cane village, and we heard from their pastor, then went to pray for some families suffering from illness. Doing that was a really neat experience because the people we prayed for were so appreciative of our prayers and thoughts. We then went out to play with the kids from the village, which was an awesome experience because those kids were just having so much fun with us and were so happy for us to be there. Just the simplest things were so much fun with them like musical chairs, rock-paper-scissors, and piggy back rides were an absolute blast. It was also really cool to see some of the kids that I saw last year when I was at that village and see how much they had grown. We also talked with some baseball players at the village, who were out practicing. The way they were training was so cool to watch, like one of the players was running sprints with a tire tied to him by a string. That just showed how even though they don’t have many resources they are still dedicated and train harder than anybody else. It really puts in perspective how lucky we are to have the resources available to us to train and get better and it is motivating for us to take advantage of what we have more often. When we got back we had a devotion and shared our thoughts about the day, which is always a really cool way to end the day. You always pick up something new through somebody else’s perspective and what the best part of their day was. We had a really great devotion to end the day as well. We talked about the story of the old baseball equipment manager, which talks about how you can choose to follow so many different things in life, but God is the only thing that will fill your heart and never leave you.

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