Want to update you on a few things: Some good, some not so.
Firstly, we went to visit Jason at the Orphanage in Peurta Plata yesterday. As an aside, the moto concho ride through the middle of the city was such a buzz, weaving in and out of cars, lorries, everyone shouting, tooting, the smell, the heat, the noise, it was total chaos, seat of the pants stuff (no helmet) and I sat there on the back thinking 'this is really living!'
There are certain stereotypes in the DR: The Slimeball from USA or Europe here for the girls, the Haitian who has a hard luck story and just needs ten, a hundred, a thousand pesos, the happy clappy christian missionarioes and the retiree who seems content to come to this country, buy a condo, never go out and drink all day, and moan about how the locals never seem to do anything!
I despise the first, love the second, guess i am the third and just dont understand the fourth group. This country is alive with experiences to have, from the bustle of the city to the beauty of the countryside which I survey as I am driven down the dirt track from the top of the hill (holding on for dear life!) from Esperanza. But wherever you are, poverty and heartache are never far away.
Back to the orphanage. Its called 'The House of Gods Treasures' and we found Jason there and he was really pleased to see us. We spent the morning with him, and he has friends and his resilience will keep him going. But it is a dump and a little bit of money could go a long way. Esther has no money for gas so is cooking lunch (boiled plantane and egg) for 40 kids over an open fire. Its another form of chaos which somehow seems to work, but if it wasnt for the selfless heart of a few, one does wonder what would happen to those at the lower end of the food chain. But looking after each other is what community does and as there is no dorm for the girls, each night they go to local houses and sleep with a family.
We don't allow for community with our big houses, our NHS, our demand for our own personal space. there's no such thing out here! For example if you want to get around your option is a moto concho (up close & personal) a taxi which will be a beaten up old Ford and will squash 4 in the back & 3 in the front, or worse, get a 15 seater Gua Gua which yesterday, returning from Puerta Plata had 21 in it! It was very very personal!!!
But its just great and it means you HAVE to think about others. 4x4 cars in England, 'Quiet carriages' on trains, air conditioned buses? Its just not reality for the vast majority of this world.
Finally, I notice nobodies watching the videos which is a bit of a shame! Please do copy the link into the browser and have a look: Heres two which are something of a contrast. The first is about the school in Esperanza which I moaned about being closed on Monday and Tuesday this week. Well, guess what, on visiting Esperanza again this afternoon it was once again CLOSED !!!
This is really really not on and I am pleased to report that already important people have read my blog and contacted International Needs. I will keep readers updated.
But who wants to end on a low? Of course not, and next is a video of a wonderful school which we raised the funds for last year. This is a Dominican school which is called Nest of Love and it shows what can be achieved. I don't subscribe to this Haitian/Dominican thing. Esperanza CAN work as well as Nest of Love and those of us who love the people of Esperanza have a duty to make sure make sure it happens.
However, it is great to see Nest of Love in action. They are so proud of it! Hey, if you donated, why not come out and see it for yourself?