Ben Wetenhall, Infielder
College of Charleston
As we our in our last week here in the Dominican Republic, it makes me come to realize how blessed I am to be in this amazing country one more time. This morning, we woke up early (per usual) and headed to San Pedro de Marcorís to play against a local village team. This team was different than the other teams we have played since it was composed of all local players who have not yet signed. Though they had no ties to an academy or professional team, I found them to be the most enjoyable to play against. Every player came to the field with a joy to play the game that is especially unique to this country. One thing that stood out to me during the game was that one of the players was using gardening gloves as batting gloves. When using my broken Spanish to communicate with him, he was super excited to show me his gloves. It was a great reminder to myself that the “stuff” we have is not what provides us happiness on the field or in life, but it is our attitudes for relationship with God that determines it.
As the game concluded, we hopped back onto the bus and made our way to Santo Domingo. In our time in the capital, we were able to visit a local market and eat dinner with the De La Cruz family. The time in the market was quick and mostly filled with bargaining. Which is always a very overwhelming and awesome experience to see in person. Next, we headed to the De La Cruz house. One of the members of their family is Richard who played with me my first year with the Pride in 2019. When entering their home, they treated all of us with a warm Dominican welcome as if they knew everyone of us. Mrs. De La Cruz cooked us a traditional Dominican dish of chicken, rice, and beans. In addition to the fantastic dinner their sincere hospitality was such a blessing. It seems as if the majority of people in the DR focus on relationships with one another so much more than we do. I do not know many people that are so willing to communicate and welcome so many foreigners as willingly as the people here.
As our trip is getting closer to its end, I would like to say how thankful I am to be here one more time. This is a place that shows you that our relationship with God is so much greater than the “stuff” we have or want. Ultimately, God does not care what kind of batting gloves we have. He only wants us to grow in a relationship with Him and love each of our neighbors similarly to the way the people of the Dominican do here.