“Oh, it’s really an easy position. All you have to do is prepare meals for the teams and keep the guesthouse looking nice.”
I’m not sure if this was an actual quote we heard during our interview process, or a sentence I interpreted differently than how it was intended. Either way, the statement is false. Very false.
Sure, one could argue that being guesthouse hosts was easier than the careers we left back in the states. That, however, does not negate the fact that this job has it’s challenges. In addition to the job itself, we have a new home, are living in a new city and new country, have to learn a new language…LITERALLY everything around us is new and completely foreign.
In all fairness, we were also told to “expect the unexpected.” From the day we tried to fly out of Indiana, our plans have flopped repeatedly. You would think we would be pros at going with the flow by now, but our American habit of sticking to the plan is deeply ingrained inside of us.
For the sake of transparency, the following are challenges we have faced since moving to the Dominican Republic. You have our permission to laugh.
*The VERY FIRST DAY Jonathan and I were off of training, that is to say we were running the guesthouse on our own, we had a breaker-box mishap. This left us without power for about three hours. This really tested our skills because that night we prepared dinner in the dark.
*We spent a morning trying to find the local market. What should have been a five minute drive ended up being a forty-five minute drive. Best part was, unbeknownst to us, we were only a block away from the market the majority of the time.
*We have gotten lost multiple times with team riding in the truck with us. And most of them have not let us forget it.
*We have walked into a store and then right back out because we realize we cannot communicate clearly what we need.
*On an afternoon off, we ate at a local restaurant with some friends. Jon ordered fish. He was not expecting his dinner to come out smiling at him.
*We have been pulled over at two military check points. Both times we had no idea what they were shouting at us. I guess not knowing the language has its perks. It got us out of a ticket.
*Recently, we had a week of the waterworks. First, the kitchen faucet completely came off, spraying water everywhere. The following day, we had a pipe beak in a guest bathroom. Let’s just say, Jon was able to perfect his plumbing skills that week.
*One day, we heard something at our front gate. Figuring it was a visitor, we walked downstairs to greet them. Instead of seeing a familiar face, we found two goats. One was stuck in the gate, the other was behind him, trying to push him through the gate.
It’s been quite the transition, to say the least. Every day is different, and every day we face challenges. Despite the craziness of this transition, we are loving this position. We pour into teams each week, and they pour into us. Recently, we even had a team challenge us to some of our favorite games (euchre and dutch blitz, of course). We’ve laughed with teams, and cried with them. We’ve prayed for teams, and they have prayed for us. We left our families back in the States, but little did we know we would be adopting a new family. Because of that, our job is worth each and every challenge.