I think if Marsia learned anything this week, it was that mission trips can sometimes be difficult.
We went back to Boca Chica in hopes of finding the young chicle vendor, Simon, to outfit him with his new school uniform that we bought for him earlier in the week. If we could find him and give it to him, he could start going to school like all the other 10 year olds in his town. Not so simple. Simon was nowhere to be found. And after walking up and down the beach on a lazy Tuesday afternoon, (a slow day for vendors), we ran into several people who knew him, but had not seen him since earlier in the day.
Word got out that the "Misioneras" were in seach of Simon. Soon his brother came running up and introduced himself to us. I couldn't quite understand his name and asked if he could spell it for me. He kneeled down and wrote it in the sand.... FRANK.
Frank turned out to be a wonderful boy. He earns $400 pesos every 2 weeks, and uses that money for school. $400 pesos is like $12. He spent the better part of his afternoon helping us find Simon, just because. He didn't earn any money for it, he just wanted to help us. He told me Simon was not in school, as he was, because he didn't have the necessary papers to register for school. They are both Haitian kids, and Frank is fortunate enough at least to have his papers. Simon is hoping to have everything in order to register for the next school year. We really hope it works out for him.
Frank got word that Simon was shining shoes at the gas station on the corner of the highway. He offered to take us to him. It was going to be quite a walk so he helped us take the bus to him. Once we got to the gas station, Simon had just left to return to the beach in search of the missionaries that were looking for him. We then walked back to the beach. At this point, it was getting late and about to get dark soon. Frank insisted on locating Simon for us and we agreed to meet the following day next to the barrier for our hotel's beach.
The next day, promptly at 12:30, we went to the beach and Frank was waiting, although Simon wasn't with him. He wanted to take us to his "house" (they sleep on the street most nights) so we could try to find him there and meet his other brother. We knew Nasu wouldn't go for that and would not be happy with us if we went there, as it might be dangerous. We told him we would like to but were unable. He then asked us to come back in one hour because he was going to scour the beach looking for Simon. In the mean time, we went back to the hotel and got some food to give to Frank and his brothers.
When we returned to the beach, Frank was back and unable to locate Simon once again. He took our phone number and wanted to call us when he found him. Jill informed him we had to get back to Santo Domingo that afternoon and weren't sure when we would return. Since he was so helpful and, we honestly had more time to bond with him than Simon, we gave him the supplies and food and told him to use what he needed. He was such a sweet boy. He assured us that he would pass the uniform along to Simon and has our number so once they connect, he and Simon will call us to let us know that the uniform made it to him. He is such a good kid and it's extremely unfortunate that he has to live his life the way he does. It just breaks our hearts. We will be looking for him everytime we return to Boca Chica just to chat and bring him some clothes or toys if we get the chance.
Our trip wasn't strictly business. We did manage to get a little sun and get a few scenic pictures for your enjoyment. The Hamaca hotel was beautiful, nestled in a serene, beachfront
setting. It was very big with several pools and restaurants. It was an all-inclusive resort that we picked up for $49 a night, which was a bargain! We felt compelled to eat all the time and try a variety of different things. We also got some time in to practice our synchronized swimming routine. It will be great and we look forward to sharing it with you all when we return. Fortunately, since we sleep in the same bed, we can practice/choreograph in the evening and sometimes while we sleep. Although, the launching portions have created some loud noises and messes in the wee hours of the morning. Below is the part of the pool where the magic occured.
Today we spent a majority of the day sorting and organizing all the clothes and toys that we brought and were sent. We arranged them by size and age. It was a time consuming process and we are glad to be just about done so we can get on with the missions.
Well guys, until next time...... take care, God Bless you all! Thanks for being faithful readers. We love your comments and enjoy sharing this experience with you all.
Word of the day: Bachata: This is the type of dance that the locals dance. Oops, I mean locals, and MARsia. :) Actually, I'm so proud of her Spanish. She's really doing well, and she's a trouper. She tries all the food and is having conversations in Spanish now. Can you believe????