July 15 – Blake Bevis

July 16, 2023

This is my first trip to the Dominican Republic, and it has been an amazing experience. Today, we traveled to El Penon and distributed food to wonderful families, toured the village, and then played a little baseball with the kids. A frequent theme that has emerged from my stay here, and was reinforced today, is how little they have. They are without basic things that I wouldn’t even think twice about having such as clean streets, water, essential hygiene/medicines, among many other things. Despite all of this, they are some of the most joyous people I have ever encountered and I have yet to ever hear them complain. Seeing the sights of the Dominican Republic really reinforces how fortunate and blessed I am to have what I have at home. I have an amazing supportive family, I never have to worry about my next meal, and I never have to worry about basic cleanliness. I can see now through my time here just how much of a privilege it is to be in my situation. I would say my favorite part of the trip so far has been visiting the girls orphanage. I was nervous going into the day, not knowing what to expect, what to say, or how to communicate with these girls who didn’t speak the same language as me. But as soon as you arrived, all of that vanished. Those girls were the happiest people I’d ever met, and they had a certain infectious excitement that brings out the best in others. This has been such an eye opening experience that I will cherish forever. I’ve made memories that will last a lifetime here and cannot express how appreciative I am to be able to experience this trip with a great group of people.

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