Dominican Day 32

April 2, 2015

WEATHER: I’m not even sure what the temperature was but I could tell it was a hot day. Surprisingly, I used my jacket while in the van on the way to the beach because the warm gusts of wind blowing in were a bit too chilly for me. I have no idea how I’m going to survive back in Toronto.

MOSQUITO BITE COUNT:
Same count as yesterday. Very surprised that I didn’t get any new bites today. Perhaps it was because I was on the beach? Something about the beach is just good for me all around.

SHORT STORY:
This is a very short story because today was a rather simple day. I woke up early in the morning feeling cloudy headed from the day before. I was so exhausted and through my slow transition out of bed, I’d considered forgoing the day’s activities. I quickly remembered that it was my last day and that I should make the most of it.

I rushed as much as possible to be ready for 8:15am, the time that Juan and I agreed that he’d pick me up. I surprisingly was ready in time and waited outside for a few moments. I decided to quickly run to the corner store to grab some Gatorade. My stomach had been really unhappy with me the day before and at some point even exploded on me. Yes, I had the poops if you were wondering ☺ I made it back from the store and still Pincho wasn’t there. By this point it was almost 8:30 and I worried that maybe he had come way earlier and took off when he didn’t see me outside. I wanted to be upset but instead, I went into problem solving mode.

Though I had brought my phone with me, it didn’t seem to work while I was in the Dominican so I had no way of contacting others. I looked around the house hoping to find Freddie’s floater/work phone. Success! It was found but dead so I charged it a bit and went to the call log to find Pincho’s number. I found a few entries that said “Juan” so I called … and his wife picked up. Oops … turned out that I called his personal number. Okay, plan B. I had asked for Pincho’s number when I was travelling to the DR so that we could contact each other and arrange for my pickup at the airport. I searched through my email for the number and found it. I called Pincho and said, “Buenos dias, Pincho! Que paso?” He seemed surprised by my question and after going back and forth a few times I realized that he said 8:50 and not 8:15. I gotta love that guy … with his accent and all.

He is, after all, the one who says, “I lubyou” ahahhahaah.

TODAY’S CHALLENGES:
• This morning’s pick up confusion had left me a bit anxious especially since I didn’t have a phone to connect with people. I am glad that I finally got a hold of Pincho though.

• When the kids and I got to the beach, they were shuffled into small groups to have surfing lessons while I kind of just lingered on the side. I got the impression that the lessons would only be for the kids. I figured that since I had my bathing suit with me I could at least go swimming. I was too shy to ask the staff about surfing because in the event that the lessons really only were for the kids, I didn’t want to put people on the spot about having lessons for me. My original thoughts were strengthened when I was asked a few times if I was supposed to be taking pictures of the kids who were in the water. It felt as though people thought I was there only to monitor the kids and take pictures for Dove.

• The group of volunteers who had invited me out to surf came back to shore after their surfing. Danny, one of the volunteers and a Dove board member, and Spence, another volunteer, kept trying to persuade me to have a surfing lesson. At that point the kids were already in the water and truthfully, I had become extremely shy about wearing my bikini around the volunteers. I’m not one to show a lot of skin especially around guys. In fact, I’m so shy about it that when Brad and I went on our first vacation, I told him that if he wanted me to come swimming with him at the beach he’d have to wear a speedo so that he could understand how I embarrassed I felt. If you’re wondering, yes, Brad happily wore the speedo 😉

• I was also very conscious of the cost of the activities. I felt bad enough that the things I did participate in were $35 USD. I wasn’t sure how much surfing would have been but the fact that my entire trip was funded by generous donors made me nervous and self-conscious about spending money on recreational activities. I didn’t feel right about spending any more money on activities and decided to skip the surfing after all.

• At some point in the morning my throat had become very dry and as the day progressed I started getting an increasingly bad sore throat. Every once in a while, my body would shiver and weaken but I had kept shrugging it off as just being tired. By the evening I realized that I was really sick and went to bed at 8pm with an upset stomach, a sore throat, and fever.

• Not having anyone around to help me with my sickness. I was home alone and had no way of calling anyone for help. I considered going to the hospital but truthfully, I didn’t even know where the private hospital was and even if I did, I had no way of getting there. I asked both Brad and my aunt to pray for me. I really wasn’t sure how I’d fare in the evening while fighting this sickness alone.

THINGS I LEARNED TODAY:
• The kids think of me as being a very serious person. Noelia, one of the volunteers, had commented on how my laugh was infectious. Then one of the little girls from the club had explained that she had never heard me laugh before. She perked her back right up and wore a very serious expression to act out what I usually looked like. I giggled about it and though I’m typically known to laugh all the time, I’m okay with knowing that around the kids I was serious and professional. Now some of the kids know that outside of work I’m a very fun person 🙂

WHAT I’M GRATEFUL FOR:
• I’m so grateful that Pincho was able to pick me up and drop me off at home. Without these rides, my day wouldn’t have been possible.
• Can I tell you how happy I was that Freddie happened to leave the floater/work phone behind?!! I’m not sure if she forgot it or if it was purposely left there hidden in a corner but either way, it was a huge blessing
• I was fortunate enough to see some of the kids from the club and spend time with them. It was so good to see them doing something unusual and fun.
• Having meaningful conversations with Noelia and Tom, two of the volunteers from the group.
• My final walk to Jose Luis. I’m going to miss that “guy”! So grateful that he had aloe juice for my sore throat and Gatorade for my stomach

MY PRAYER:
Father, I’m all alone and feeling very sick. Please help me. I’m worried that tomorrow will be riddled with these ailments. Since I’ll be travelling home tomorrow I ask that you heal me please. I don’t think I’ll be able to cope with flying and being so sick. Trusting that I’ll be as healthy as I need to be to make it home.

QUESTIONS:
• This one is for the educators out there – what do you do to remain professional yet be true to yourself while in the classroom? Curious to know if any of you are like me – serious in the class and fun outside of school.
• I’m really sick and not sure how I’m going to do this evening. If you think of me will you please pray for me?

 

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