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cadet blogs

Mission to the Dominican Republic

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2012) Permanent link   All Posts
 Katie Schumacher Spring Break is finally here, nine entire days to forget about school work and the Academy. And to make it even better, I am in the Dominican Republic on a mission trip. We drove to JFK airport early Saturday morning and flew Jet Blue to Santo Domingo, DR. Then, we took a six hour bus ride to Banica to stay for a day in an established mission with electricity, running water, and beds. Monday morning, we were ready to head into the mountains and start building a church from the ground up.

The trip was bumpy. And not just a little bit. The roads so far had been paved, but weren’t smooth and most of us were sitting in the back of a big truck with piles of backpacks and all of the gear we brought underneath us. We went up and down, up and down hills and all of the bags would shift. We picked up a young girl walking along the side of the road and gave her a ride. She was beautifully dressed in white and blue and my friend, Sarah, gave her a lollipop and peanuts; the girl’s eyes lit up with happiness.

We only had to drive 25 miles or so, but the ride took two and a half hours because of all of the hills and bumps. We arrived at Billiguin, a little bruised and nauseated, but ready to go. We unloaded our luggage into an already built church church where we would be sleeping and eating and then we headed off for another half hour ride to the site where we would build. The men from the community were already hard at work clearing the brush away and digging holes for the posts for the frame of the building. We helped pull the dirt out of the holes and made sure they were deep enough.

We brought food to be made, and one of the ladies at the site cooked the beans, rice, and sardinas for us. She cleaned bowls and spoons and made sure we all had places to sit and were comfortable. They had two tiny little dogs. In our limited Spanish, we asked what their names were, but she said they did not have names, that they were just “perro uno” and “perro dos”. Orlando named one Orlando, and we named the other one Beethoven.

After lunch, I went on my first sand run. We would be laying concrete for the walls of the church, as well as a concrete slab for the floor. We had concrete and a river nearby for water, but the best place to get sand was a half hour away. The water was cool and the truck backed into the river so we could shovel the sand right in. We worked for two hours or so and then took the sand back to the worksite to dump. On the way back to where we would be staying the night, God gave us another beautiful gift; a beautiful sunset against the red, brown, and green hues of the mountains in the Dominican Republic.

More about Katie.