Throughout the entire Dominican Republic trip, I feel as though the people here have had a larger effect on me than I have had on them. Visiting villages in poverty and orphanages made me think that I would be the one who was having a positive impact on them, but instead it has been the complete opposite. Today, we went to one of the worst villages in terms of poverty. Driving through the village it was obvious that the residents did not have basic needs, but still had smiles on their faces and waved to us as we passed. We arrived at a day care that allows for the kids of the village to come every Saturday to play, but more importantly to be fed a nourished meal. The building was no bigger then a normal sized living room, but was packed with around 80 kids running around and playing sports such as basketball and soccer. The opportunity given to me to play sports with these kids is something I will never forget. Though I did not understand what they were saying and they did not understand what I was saying we were able to communicate through the universal language of sports. The smiles on their faces were constant regardless of the fact that most kids were wearing dirty clothes and no shoes. Afterwards, we were able to feed the kids their best meal that they would have all week. Regardless that these kids did not have much to eat and were obviously hungry they were patient in waiting their turned to be served their meal and grateful for all they were given to them even if it wasn’t much. Visiting this day care has been the most eye opening experience for me on this trip because it as taught me how blessed I am to be able to have the simple necessities to live. It has also shown me that even when times are tough there can be happiness found in any situation.
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