I am dreaming of a soggy Christmas…

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I have never seen so much rain! The second, third, and forth day of our Dominican trip has been filled with mucho mucho rain. Unfortunately, our gift giving day in a local town was postponed until Jan 7th due to roads being washed out on December 21st. So, instead we did an assignment that our teams do on many of our Hero Holidays. Participants get into groups of 3 and pick a chapter from the book, ONE: A Face Behind the Numbers. Each chapter deals with a different cause and/or effect of poverty and has lots of pictures, quotes, statistics, and stories. With the information that the team learns from the chapter of their choice they devise a plan to help fight this injustice. Participants often think of some pretty amazing and attainable ideas which they often put into action when they return home. After this activity and lunch we all snuggled up, away from the rain, and watched Ice Age 3, then when we found some umbrellas made a soggy trip into town to the grocery story for snacks and phone cards.Our second day (Dec 22) we awoke to rain yet again, but decided that this was not going to hold us back. We went to our work project and worked happily in the rain. On the way to Agua Negra, we stopped at a store and all bought rain coats and boots. People laughed because we looked like one big group of giant bananas (and it was true we were laughing too)! That day we completed one of the cement floors and built up the walls for new roof for the other house. What we all found to be cool was that the single mom of the house getting the new roof and floors, was right out there working with us. She worked so hard and was so grateful for the things we were doing for her family. After dinner and debriefing, our team played a very fun and expressive game of shuraids.Here is a blog from one of our Participants, Melissa, on her second day at Agua Negra (December 23rd)Today was the most rewarding day of the trip so far. In the morning we arrived at the Agua Negra community centre to be greeted by countless children all jumping, singing, and smiling. Each one of them filled with excitement for the Christmas party that was about to begin. We were able to play and dance with the kids as we helped to hand out lunches and a gift to each child (approximately 200 children!). Being able to bring happiness to the childrens’ day was a major highlight of the trip and also brightened our otherwise rainy day.We were also able to see the concrete floor that we had completed the day before all dry and ready for the owners to move back into their house. It looked like a completely different house! In the afternoon we finished the second house we were working on, with the help of local contractors and friendly neighbours. The people of Agua Negra were so welcoming and greatly appreciate of our work. It was a bitter sweet day because although we finished our two projects, we also had our last trip to Agua Negra. The smiling faces and generosity is something that will be remembered by each member of our team.I am happy to tell you that the rain has stopped as of 7pm December 23rd. On Christmas Eve our team enjoyed a day off. We took some time to go the markets on the beach to purchase $5 – $10 gifts for our gift game tomorrow morning. In the afternoon, our team got the chance to hangout on the beach and get some sun. Now we can come home to our friends and family with a tan and proof that we were somewhere warm!Merry Christmas everyone!

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: December 24th, 2009