Dominican Republic Blog- Day 15- Ben Wetenhall, Infielder, College of Charleston

July 28, 2019

Today was our 5th day in the Dominican Republic. After waking up early, we started our day listening to Andre Hevessy leading our morning devotion. Andre focused on the point that having a strong foundation with the lord is like building a house on solid rock. We cannot go though our lives being a Christian without a strong and lasting foundation. Soon after, we left for our morning game in San Pedro de Macoris. Our group of guys got the opportunity to play against Paulino baseball academy, one of the top baseball academies in all of the Dominican Republic. Paulino academy has produced many big named baseball players such as Robinson Cano, Alfonso Soriano, and Sammy Sosa. For a player to join this academy they must be one of the best players in the area. As the game started, it was clear to see how well coached this group of teenagers were. At fifteen years old, their second basemen had signed with the Red Sox (800K) and shortstop to the Yankees (3.5 Million). The game was a back and forth contest with us pulling away in the last inning to win. The best part about the game was not the final result but seeing how happy and competitive every kid at Paulino was. No matter how they performed that day, every kid left with a smile on their face.
Later in the day, we headed to a girls orphanage in La Romana. Once we arrived, every single one of us was greeted with some the happiest kids we have ever seen. So happy that many girls quickly grabbed our hands so they could show us their home. Looking around the orphanage, it had study areas, housing, playgrounds, and a t-shirt shop that the girls made to raise money for their home. After our tour, our group played a long and intense game of kickball with the girls. Every single girl there played kickball with the same intensity as baseball is played here. Throughout our time there, it was awesome to see how these girls treated each other like family. Even though they do not have an immediate family, these girls share a love for one another that is unique and unbreakable. Leaving the orphanage was one of the hardest things to do all trip. Those girls left a lasting impression that I guarantee none of us will forget.

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