Showing posts from October, 2018

Human Care

Last week I had the privilege of helping host 11 Venezuelan pastors. The conversation started before my time, but basically, the idea was that, in light of the grave economic situation plaguing the entire country of Venezuela, something needed to be done to bolster those who steadfastly continue shining Christ's light. That idea became a reality in the form of a week-long retreat in the DR: strategic planning, training, fellowship, worship, rest, rejuvenation, encouragement, and much, much more. It was truly a (last-minute, in many cases) team effort, but I took the lead on logistics. More so than that, though, my presence and that of the many others who pitched in throughout the week was one more way to epitomize "human care" for them. Two carts later...Jamielynn, Jo, and I had groceries for the week under control.  Last Tuesday consisted of the first Venezuela FORO. Several collaborators from the US joined the pastors and selected members of the missionary

Hurray for Jarabacoa

At the prodding of Spanish teacher Jacqui, some friends and I planned a Saturday excursion to Jarabacoa, a town in the Cordillera Central mountain range about an hour and a half from Santiago. Jacqui wanted us to take public transportation, but some cultural experiences are just unnecessary when you have a car, so I drove. We started our day off with a tour of Belarminio Ramírez e Hijos coffee, followed by two waterfall hikes.  It takes approximately three years for coffee plants to start producing beans.  A Zen garden of coffee beans, with outer layer #1 removed, drying in the sun.  It smelled like chocolate in this room! Small batch roasting & brewing equipment in the QC lab.  Working hard or hardly working?  After the beans are sorted by size and weight, 12-15 workers (all women) labor for 6-8 hours at a time sorting them by hand. Only the best are roasted, packaged, and eventually, brewed.  Jo, Natalie, me, and Alba.  Our search f

Ruta de Murales

I can't stop raving about something I did this weekend, by myself and somewhat spontaneously thanks to Instagram (the best way to find out what's happening around town): a " Ruta de Murales ." Essentially, it's a walking tour of Los Pepines, the neighborhood that was the birthplace of the murals now seen all over the city. I've been wanting to do it ever since my on-field orientation cohort spent a  cultural day in the city  back in August. It was SO worth the RD $300 ($6), as it included three food and drink stops.  We - a group of maybe 20 or so, including several families with kids - met near the monument. From there, a team of two guides took over. We had ample time to take pictures while being enlightened by their commentary on the neighborhood's historic and cultural significance. The murals aren't just art for art's sake; they have stories to tell and messages to share with the community and the world.   #sorrynotsorry for the numbe