The Faces of Dominican Republic

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Our life is full of faces. Faces that in our society pass us by. How often do we see the faces that pass us by? It seems as if we are so focused on where we are going and putting one foot in front of the other, that we often forget where our foot is in a specific moment.

Here in the rural areas of Domincan Rebuplic, I often find myself looking down at my feet, for multiple reasons. At first, it was a foot full of concrete followed by a complaining thought. But what makes me look up at the face in front of me is when I see the people of this society running though the  dirt streets, cluttered with garbage in bare feet, and the realization that my concrete covered shoes can’t be described as anything other than fabulous. When I look up to a smiling face in front of me, it is one that I can not forget, and with that smile, the only person you feel sad for becomes yourself. For as I sit here ad listen to some debatable karaoke music and a slightly sore back, if those are my only complaints, there is really nothing to complain about!

The people I have met in this nation I often find myself troubled to feel sad for, for they are always smiling. It causes you to consider if possibly love can be a greater power than we believe. You hear words of happiness- and not just words, but voices. Specific voices, coming from a specific face,  coming from a specific identity. These people are not a statistic, they are individual identities, named Migueal, Anniette, and Klara. Along with their faces and voices you find joy and faith.

Last night as we had the privilege of taking part in multiple Haitian weddings, where they sang a prayer. A prayer that brought tears to my eyes. Although these tears were not brought on because it was a prayer of despair or complaint, it was the pure happiness that caused me to wipe my eyes. If it is possible to feel energy within a room, this room would not have been able to collect it all. Not because we were in a small room, but the energy and joy was too imense for even an NFL football stadium! As tears started in swell in my eyes, it was hard to think of a happier moment, because their happiness was all you could hear. To find out that the prayer was not only a prayer for them but a prayer for us, was truly warmed my heart. The fact that a stranger I just met has taken that time out of their day to put thought into my well being is astonishing because I come from a society that often screens phone calls from their own family members.

As we toasted the brides and grooms, I realized that their faces are more engraved in my mind than the students I pass each day at university. I think this is because you see happiness. Among hardships, there is always a smiling face waiting for you to come along here: to embrace you and welcome you to their home. To show you their pig, which brings them more pride than any owner of a flat screen TV at home. But maybe it’s because the pig even seemed happy. And why shouldn’t he, he is alive and loved. Really, what more do you need?


~Megan, D.R. Hero Holiday VolunteerFaces

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: January 3rd, 2012