Abby Bashaw recently visited the Dominican Republic with her school on a service trip where they would help the local residents of a small town called Hato Mayor. Click continue below to read Abby's story on her experience while in the Dominican.
Abby Bashaw recently visited the Dominican Republic with her school on a service trip where they would help the local residents of a small town called Hato Mayor. Below is Abby's story on her experience while in the Dominican.
Our group came into the school service trip expecting to teach the Dominican people on a few specific topics:
• how to have clean drinking water
• the importance of education
• baseball is not the only means for success
• our group is interested in helping them
I don’t think we ever expected that we would learn so much more from them than what we could teach. The people of Hato Mayor, a small town on the outskirts of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, are the nicest, most genuine people I have ever met. Despite having so little, they live their lives to the fullest, and are completely content with everything they have. It was a culture shock coming from the United States, where we have so much, to the small impoverished Dominican town, filled with people who seemed to be happier with their lives than anyone back home.
Above all, one memory sticks out: On the trip I met a little girl. She was very young, the youngest of seven children and has the biggest heart. We were installing a filter and she was very proud to show off her house, a small one-room steel building with a curtain dividing it to make a bedroom for the large family. It was her doll however that she was even more proud of. I don’t think she put it down the entire time we were there, which is why it made it all the more memorable when she tried to give it to me, her prized possession; her only doll; right before we left. It hit home, how giving she was at such a young age. But that was how all of the people were in Hato Mayor. Everyone was so willing to give, whether it was the food they had grown in their garden, sticks of sugarcane, or even just a place to sit. They live life so simply and are completely satisfied with what they have. They are giving, kind, happy, and some of the most amazing people I have ever met. It was a life changing experience, one that I feel our group may have learned more from and received more from than we ever expected.