Thursday, September 27, 2012

Our First Month in the D.R.

Our Amazing Makarios Staff and Teachers
Such exciting things are going on in the D.R!  The Fall semester is officially in full swing as Makarios kicked off another school year on September 19.  As we drove through the streets of Montellano on our way to school, we were so encouraged to see students dressed in their Makarios uniforms and excited about their first day of school.  The day went amazingly well and was better than what was expected!  The students were full of excitement but well behaved throughout the day.  If you want more of an “inside look,” check out our video.

We are continuing to get acquainted with our new neighborhood.  We love taking walks and meeting the neighbors while practicing our Spanish.  This culture is very “community oriented” and you can find people gathered around visiting at any time of day.  Everyone is so kind and eager to make us feel at home in this country.  It has been fun for us to have a home that has become quite the place to hangout after school.  At any given day, we can have up to 25  kiddos playing basketball, baseball, climbing fruit trees, or just running around in our yard.  We love it and hope to influence these kids for Christ.

And finally, last Saturday, we hosted a party for the Makarios staff and their families – about 45 people in all!  It was fun to fellowship with the American, Dominican, and Haitian staff and show them our appreciation for all their hard work and dedication to this ministry.  One thing about this culture, they know how to have a good time! 

We have so many highlights, in fact every day is filled with them.  But, here are just a few:

Margaret’s Highlights:  Hearing the kids at our gate yelling, “Paco” to see if we are home and able to play.  Also, I love driving down our street and seeing Samuel, who is 2 years old, running out saying, “Adios Paco!” Another highlight was hosting the All Staff Dinner and Game Night as well as Brunch with the ladies.  Such a great time of fellowship.

Doug’s Highlights- Playing baseball in the backyard with the neighborhood kids and being at Makarios and seeing the excitement on the first day of school.

Thank you for your love and support.  

We Are Blessed,
Margaret & Paco

Monday, September 3, 2012

Our First Week

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been here almost a full week.  Hurricane Isaac delayed our arrival by 2 days, but we got here just in time for our orientation with Makarios.  On our first night in the DR, we were greeted with a Welcome Party given by the Dominican, Haitian and American staff.  We spent the next 2 days at orientation getting to know each other and learning more about Makarios’ mission.  We capped off the week by having fun with the staff at a local water park. 

Back at our new home, we are getting adjusted to our life here and we absolutely love it.  We’ve ventured out of our neighborhood to go shopping for groceries and to go to church.   This might not sound like an accomplishment until you witness the driving here.  Let’s just say that there aren’t many road rules being followed. 

Another big change that has occurred since we arrived on the island is Doug’s name.  We “officially” changed his name to PACO.  We felt like this was necessary because of the confused looks we got when people heard Doug’s name.  One guy started barking and another said, “You are moving with your DOG?”  We quickly realized that “Doug” doesn’t translate well. 

One last change we thought we’d mention is our new pet.  When we moved into our new place, we inherited a rooster named Lovey.  (That’s him on the left.)  He is good company and he makes sure that we don’t oversleep in the mornings.  We are hoping to get 3 hens in the Fall. 

We love the nights here.  You can see a million stars and the sunsets are amazing.  Also, our neighborhood is very active...from our home we can hear the Pentecostal church competing with the roosters crowing, the crowd cheering at the basketball tournament, dogs barking, horns honking, the guy driving the banana truck saying something through a megaphone, and other random neighbors' different from what we are used to...and we love it! :-)  

Thank you for your partnership, prayers and encouragement.

Margaret & Paco