When we were planning this trip our advisors asked us to bring gifts for the families that would be cooking us lunch daily! While preparing my things I did pick a few things from home like dish towels, children books and a few other things. While visiting my family the first few days I observed there was nothing on the walls except a picture of their oldest son Makayso when he was about 5 and presently he is 8 or 9. While thinking of a perfect gift Ebone and I thought it would be great if we took a family photo and gave it to them. Well we were able to get a picture of each of the children, the mom and middle children which was a student of the Montessori school and a picture of Ebone and I. The gift was a total hit. The family treated the pictures as it we gave them a million dollars in a sweepstakes. The mothers eyes became watery and the children were so excited and fascinated. This was one of the greatest moments I have ever felt to give back to someone. I felts so appreciated.
In these passed days I have been exposed to a variety of things!!! We have been attending a Spanish class daily for three hours!!! During these classes our teacher has not only encouraged the class to expand on their knowledge of Spanish but to learn the Dominican Republic's culture! So I made up my mind that I would take full advantage of learning all I can! I am just so glad l took her advice on taking this experience and expanded my horizons! I ve not only learned rich history but met some amazing people! When you really want to learned you have to have an open mind and approach situations differently.
A few days ago I was so blessed to hear stories of how life is for a Haitian family in the Dominican Republic! While she was telling her stories it was one of those time I just wanted to just hug her not for pity but because she was so strong and I wanted to encourged her to keep being strong and pushing towards excellence for her and her children! She expressed how when a crime was committed a hatian was allegedly accused of the crime. As a result of this the police came in the community and started questioning the Haitians.This parent told us that the police approached her and asked her where was her husband and when she replied at work they asked her where she told them far away they demanded her and children come with them. The police deported her and her children back to Haiti! How can I paint you this picture of her expression while she was telling her story. I can say I was angry and emotional because racidm exist in the United States but I was able to learn that it exist in the Dominican Republic. This is also another experience that makes me really want to make and be the change.
I was counting down the day until I would be traveling to the Dominican Republic but all day I have reflected what and who have contributed to this experience! First I would have to say my mom for always encouraging me to have an abundant attitude and disposition! Everyday she has constantly instead in me they saying LIFE IS IN THE POWER OF THE TONGUE YOU EITHER SPEAK LIFE OR DEATH!!! Im so grateful!!! To my dad that always makes lifes obstacles into an encouraging adventure or story and he always have did what he could do to contribute to my success! Although my parents are important this five year old gentleman named Dontae is my true inspiration! Some of you that don't know my history may say why? He is the reason I thrive!!! He made me interested in finding out whats best for him and other children! During my visit in the Dominican Republic I was reminded of that feeling of why children need great modeling because a greater can foster a child ambition and give them a push when they feel their dreams are impossible because of their circumstances!
You want to talk about wanting to wrap up a little one up and placing her in my pocket to bring back with me its my new friend Dejaminea!!! The way you pronounce it is ja/me/ma!!! She made my heart melt soon as I saw her!!! She is the littlest thing you ever seen. Her frame is the size of a mouse but a personality the size of elephant! She was one of my little friends that joined me when I was singing!!! She constantly smiles and laughs!!! When I look at her she reminds me of myself because no matter what I smile or laugh!!! Shes my mini me!!! After reading her the books I asked her to show me some work!!! She first pulls out a basket full of colored shapes that you have to stick a shoestring through! As she was engaged in this activitiy I would say the colors to her in english she would repeat!!! While she was also doing this activity the teacher was giving me background information on my new little friend!!! She has only been at the school for a week, she speaks french and shes adopted! I would of never knew that!!! I took french in grammar school and high school so I told her my name in french and asked her for hers and she looked at me and smiled and took her pointer hand and said no Spanish! I laughted so hard!!! The next piece of work that she pulled out was with the intentions of placing the correct tops on the correct containers!!! Again my little friend her own objectives!!! She mocked what she has seen at home there was a spray bottle so she made the sound and tried to spray my neck. Another container appeared to be an old lotion bottle so she pretended to lotion my hands and arms and my hair!!! After pretending she finally started on her work one thing she is very independent and want to accomplish her goals by herself! THE BEST THNGS COME IN SMALL PACKAGES
Yesterday was our first day interacting with the children! Sarah the director asked the group not to approach the children but to allow the children to come to us!!! Well my group had this marvelous plan that we could do a few finger plays and they would come but every good teacher knows that the best idea we have hardly never goes well!!! It figured out a while back that those activities that we come up with on the spot be the best opportunities to get to know the children and it strikes their interest! Im not the best singer at all but I just started singing one of the songs I used to sing when I was a lead teacher in the toddler room! Its called all the little fishes!! Well one child came over and by the end of round two I had an audience of 8 to 10 little smiling faces!!! I must have song 15 songs I had that groups attention for over an hour!!! It was very cool because one of the teacher came over periodicly and would sing the songs in English and would try to learn the song if it was new to her! Then we did books how fun for the children to point to various things and say the words in spainsh some words I understood and others I didnt but the children were able to pick up the words in English very well!!! Then there were circle time the children did typical date, counting all of this in English and spanish then my group did mr thumpken and we did old McDonald!!! The childrens expressions looked very confussed!!! After all of the the teacgers needed another song so I jumped in and sung all the little fishes and if your happy and you know it what a hit because lots of movement I HAD A BLAST! That moment gave me validation that this is my passion to be with children and touch their lives in some kind of way such as this!