Republica Dominicana

For those who don’t know, I left Haiti yesterday morning and took a bus across the border into the Dominican Republic. This trip had been planned at the beginning of the month when the national director for FFP in the DR, Kristin, came over to Haiti with the leaders trip. I hadn’t visited the DR since my first stint in Haiti as an intern in 2013 and I’ve wanted to come across and visit since I started my time here but haven’t had the chance. In other words, I am very excited to be here; it’s been way too long!

Capital Coach Line is the bus company I used and they have trips too and from Port-au-Prince and Santo Domingo. The trip yesterday from PAP-SD took around 7.5 hrs which included a stop at the border to get all our passports stamped and bags (for those who had them) checked. It went by pretty quickly because I slept for a good amount of the ride since we just had a group all week in Haiti and I am quite tired. They also provided wifi on the bus after we crossed the border into the DR so I could listen to music as well. Upon arriving to the bus station in the capital, I waited for a young Haitian lady named Fania to come pick me up and take me to the FFP house.

Fania is a Haitian living in the DR and working for FFP at the foundation house. I have known Fania for quite a few years; the first time I met her was in 2012 at the inauguration of the Men nan Men school in Gantye. The whole DR side of the foundation came to celebrate with the Haitian side as it was (and still is) FFPs biggest project. At that time I didn’t know her much or hang out with her but just had met her in passing. The next year as Adam and I were closing out our 9 months in Haiti, we came and visited the DR for a week and that’s when I got to know her more as we spent days and nights hanging out and walking around the city together. She is a great person in many ways and I am grateful for this time that I have to get to reconnect with her and know her better!

This morning Fania and I took a bus ride up to Kristin’s farm in the mountains! It is so beautiful here as it is very green and lush and full of life. Her house is pretty big with a bunch of rustic looking wood beams, ceiling, tables and chairs. She has a pool and a bunch of land that is all encircled by huge bamboo. It’s so cool up here! I haven’t been warm since I got up here besides when I’ve been in the sun (which comes and goes because it’s really dreary and rainy). It is a nice change of pace from the dusty heat of Croix-des-Bouquets. Unfortunately… I forgot my phone in my pocket as I jumped in the pool…………………help. I can’t believe I did it, even as i slid my phone in my swim shorts pocket I thought to myself, “I’m going to forget this and jump into the pool with it.” I guess I should have listened to the Spirit as he whispered to me. I don’t yet know if it is ok, as it was put into a bag of rice soon thereafter. I am going to try to turn it on tomorrow morning but I honestly don’t have much hope for it.. It would be a miracle if nothing was damaged.

Aside from that, everything has been great here. I’ve enjoyed having time to continue to reconnect with Kristin and her staff (there is a family here that is ending their time with FFP in the next week). It is a pleasure to be able to be here for their last few days and meet the family because I met the wife, Callista, a few weeks ago in Haiti. Since I’ve been at the farm I’ve had the pleasure to talk about everything from Haiti/DR tensions to homeschooling pros and cons. It has been a blast so far! These people are genuine in faith and I am amazed at what God has been doing in their lives in the past half-year. Kristin is superwoman.. she has so much on her plate and balances everything well. She is in need of a right hand man/woman to help her run things for the FFP DR side, so if you know anyone who knows some Spanish and has good leadership qualities, please let me know!!!

Tomorrow myself and Callista and her family return to the FFP house in the city and meet up with Fania (she returned this afternoon because she has a soccer game tonight) to hang out and spend more time together. They are planning on showing me a local brewery and we will go out to dinner at one of their favorite restaurants. From the little I’ve seen of the city, I really like it: it is very chill and clean compared to PAP. Last night Fania and I walked around for about two hours, got dinner and caught up and I never felt unsafe at any time. It is much different from where I am in Haiti, I would never go out at night to walk the streets. That was a great experience because some part of me has been missing that freedom to do what I want at night.

I am here until Wednesday morning because I need to get back to Haiti for a team coming in on Thursday morning. I know I will cherish my time away from work and in fellowship with beautiful souls here in the Dominican Republic. I plan to come back and visit for a week or longer before I leave Haiti!!

Please pray for great rest and refreshment for me and for the staff here as they gear up to accept a 28 person medical team on Thursday. I also am hoping that God extends grace to me in my forgetfulness and takes care of my phone because it would stink to have to buy another. But if not, I am hoping I can buy one and get it brought on the SHC team that comes in a couple of weeks.

God is so good. I have seen his beauty in ways I never would have in Haiti. Via the staff here and also the nature of the mountains and just the difference of the Dominican lifestyle. I love this island.

Thanks for tuning in,

Ben

P.S. If you are trying to contact me via Facebook or WhatsApp, I might not be available for a while depending on what happens with my phone. I can use FB messenger on my laptop, but I don’t really use it for anything other than blogging and watching Netflix. Idk, I just don’t like the feel of desktop FB.

 

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