It is hard to believe that I have been in the states for a little over a month. Just like many of you, my family and I have been in a stay at home order for well over a month. I have stayed busy working on school, participating in zoom meetings with the SRI board, and the full-time SRI staff, training Rio, going on walks, playing PlayStation, playing Sequence, doing puzzles, and visiting family (from a social distance haha). I don’t know about your house, but at ours, the days are flying by. Schoolwork is keeping us all very busy. I am currently taking a class on Christian ethics, along with my brothers and mom who are also doing online school. My brother Cole came home from Olivet Nazarene University and sadly missed his spring golf season. My youngest brother Quinn missed his first high school baseball season. My dad is working as he normally does, and my mom is a teacher and doing online teaching. Despite the disappointments we have had during this quarantine we are staying positive and focused on all of the blessings in our life. This is time that I never thought I would get to spend with my family.
Rio is getting so big! I would say that he is officially potty trained. He is so smart, quick to listen… and especially loves getting a treat. A few weeks ago, I taught him how to sit. It only took one day for him to learn this command. Last week I began teaching him how to lay down, but he is being a bit stubborn about this one. I’m happy to say that Rio is even sleeping through the night. I think that one of the reasons he is behaving so well is because he has our twelve-year-old Labradoodle, Zoey, to look up to. They are best friends! A few weeks ago it snowed a few inches, and I took him to the park to run around. I figured this would be one of the only times he gets to experience snow. He has no idea of the warm weather that is in his future!
Over the weekend, while at the grocery store, I noticed they had green plantains for sale. I was so excited because I have wanted to make tostones for my family. Unfortunately, before now I have never been able to find good plantains. I was so happy because they turned out amazing and everyone loved them! It was great to have a little bit of Dominican food. I plan on making my family a few of my other favorite Dominican foods while at home.
In my last blog, I wrote about the uncertain times that are ahead, and man oh man we are still in the midst of these times. It’s hard for me to understand all that’s going on around me, but I am leaning on God during this time of uncertainty. I have been reading “The Circle Maker” which is a forty-day devotional that focuses on prayer. This book has strengthened my prayer walk, which is just what I needed. I love how God gives us just what we need! This time at home has been great, but also unexpected. I have to share with you that I find myself thinking about the Dominican very often and I’m ready to go back. I miss the guesthouse, I miss those I work with, I miss my friends, I miss the food, and I miss the community that I have there! I’m excited for the day I get to return. I want to encourage you to continue to pray for our staff that is in the DR. Pray for SRI. Pray for the Dominican Republic.
The month of May is staff appreciation month. I was looking forward to being able to celebrate the great staff that I serve with. Sadly, I will not be in the DR to celebrate with them during this time. Our plan now is to celebrate with them at a later date. In the past, SRI has thanked our staff by going on beach trips, paintballing, and pizza parties. I would encourage you to check out the SRI website to find out more about our great staff. This year, during this unprecedented time there is also the option to donate to our part-time staff. Many of our staff cannot look for jobs elsewhere during this time, with no teams at the guesthouse, there are minimal ways for our staff to make money. Check it out HERE.