October 15th is the unofficial/official day many start to put up Christmas decorations in the Dominican Republic. Since Thanksgiving is not celebrated in the Dominican Republic, and the temperature really never changes, this is a way I see Christmas is right around the corner. In the states, you start to feel like Christmas is coming with the cooler temperatures of fall. Here in the DR that just isn’t possible and that takes getting used to. This is my favorite time to live here because the weather is perfect.
November was a busy month, starting with a staff retreat in Casa De Campo, a new part of the country for me. Our house had two golf carts, and I enjoyed taking Brantley on golf cart rides through the community. Pastor Brad Burkholder did an excellent job bringing the staff together and discussing self-identity. Following the retreat, we hosted our fourth and final team of the year. Northwoods Community Church brought a small barrio team and provided medical care to four communities around San Juan. During the week, Joe Zimmerman, Director of Solid Rock, was also in San Juan. I enjoyed spending time with Joe and having a detailed tour of the Revolution Clinic by the project Financial Manager, Frank Beltre and Clinic Director Dra. Odette Canario.
In my last blog, I wrote about how we started the process of organizing and updating our student sponsorship program. I have worked alongside Oto, Kamanda, and Jeff to get this project completed. We have visited all five of our sponsor schools and will finish up the photo-taking process this week. This week we also hope to complete all the translations of the letters the students write to their sponsors. While visiting the schools I enjoyed catching up with the two kids I sponsor.
Last week, I was a part of two thanksgiving meals—one with the Bucher family and a “Friendsgiving” with Kailey, Hannah, and Alejandro. I enjoyed eating all the thanksgiving food! I am so thankful for my friends, that have become family here.
I have also stayed busy continuing my studies and am just eight months away from graduating. Currently, I am taking a Christianity and Culture class.
What’s next? Well, this weekend we have our year staff party. I am excited to celebrate our staff and thank them for all they do for SRI. Our staff is also participating in a Secret Santa this week. Following the staff party, I will head to the States, on December 6th for Christmas and I’m excited to spend time with family and friends.
- Easy travel days