Today was a day of relaxation and fun. We got to enjoy the water and beach before leaving the Dominican Republic. I often have to remind myself that even God and Jesus rested. It doesn’t come easily to me, but today was very nice.
We started our day in town at the market. Michael wanted us to see how many people make a living and buy food. You can find just about anything at the market… produce, beans, meat, clothing, bikes, and much more. I love the colors of all of the vegetables and fruit!
We took a drive to the west of Barahona. The drive was beautiful. We stopped a few places along the way for photos.We ended up at a beautiful waterfall where we spent the morning swimming. The water was ice cold! The key was jump in and stay under the water until your body adjusted to the temperature. So I decided my first jump would be off of a rock/cliff. It look me a minute to get up the nerve, but I am happy to say I didn’t chicken out. The water was very clean and refreshing on a hot DR day.
On our way back to Barahona we stopped for a swim at the beach. There is no sand but instead is covered with pebbles. It hurts a little on the feet so my Chacos sure helped. The water was cool and clear with lots of orange seaweed. It isn’t slimy like Florida seaweed, and it almost looks like the plastic seaweed you buy for fish tanks. The water is SO salty! I met a creepy looking cat who ate leftover Chilo (red snapper), experienced chickens walking on the beach, and got to take some great photos. I also picked up all of the dark rocks I could find on the beach as a reminder of all of my Dominican friends from this week.
When we got back to the HMM compound we gave one of HMM’s sweet pups, Leo, a haircut and bath (before and after below- he could not see his hair was so long). He looked like a Jamaican dreadlock dog! He is so happy and clean now – sleeping next to me on the porch. Two locals brought in some souvenirs for us to purchase. We bought wonderful gifts to take back to our families. We also had one last wonderful dinner. It was my favorite so far – best chicken enchiladas I’ve ever had with homemade guacamole.
We have said our goodbyes to the children, packed our bags for the airport, and are enjoying the cool breeze on the porch one last time during this trip. But not the last time forever… I’ll be back to this place that I already love so much and will be bringing more people with me to meet and serve my new Dominican friends!
I got to hug Dariel one last time. I picked him up and brought him to the stairs of the house where I had packed a ziplock bag full of Tootsie Rolls. I stuck them under his shirt and told him to go hide them somewhere safe. I will miss that little boy! ❤️
Before I say goodbye I want to explain the purpose of these blog posts. The stories, photos, and actions this week are in no way intended to receive praise for anything I have done, or the team has done, on this trip. Instead, the purpose of the 5 days of blog posts is to glorify God for the work he has done throughus this week. He has guided our paths and instructed us through His Word… the Bible is very clear! We are merely obeying our Heavenly Father.
The other purpose is to raise awareness for the great needs and people of the Dominican Republic and to encourage you to help HMM in its mission. It really is a wonderful ministry. Pastor Michael and his team love these people so much. They have so much compassion for the families they serve. It’s amazing and contagious. You will forever be changed in the best way possible if you decide to join one of the mission trips!
To learn more about Hispaniola Mountain Ministries (HMM), go to www.gohmm.org. Download the app for great resources. And, please consider donating financially at gohmm.org/support/donate so they can continue to do the work of the Lord.
And, of course, ask me anything you want to about HMM! I would love to tell you more about the organization and my trip. Thank you for reading about this journey and for your prayers. I encourage you to please help by sharing the posts and telling others about HMM.