We're back!

First a great big thank you to all of you that supported our trip! We're back and have lots to share! (If your interested...) There's a lot to share, so Emily and I thought we would start by giving a run through of what we did, and a tour of where we were. Then as time goes on and we continue to process the trip, we'll share some stories - some fun ones, and some that may either warm or break your heart.

So, from the beginning... our time in the Dominican started in an area called Hato del Yaque. Jen (the long term missionary in charge of our visiting team) gave us a brief history of the area. In 1979 the city of Santiago was flooded in Hurricane David from the swelling of the Yaque river. Our bus driver told us that as recently as last year, there was flooding along the river from another storm that brought the water levels up 10 feet above the level of the main artery in Santiago that we were driving on (flooding the first floor of all the residential buildings along that road). Anyway, the 1979 flood destroyed tons of homes and businesses in Santiago - Hato del Yaque is a town across the river, and slightly more elevated, that was formed by a collection of refugees from Hurricane David. As you can imagine not the best circumstances for forming a town.

In the video below, notice the lack of infrastructure provided to the community. You might be able to see on the drive in that the roads are... well they aren't what we might call roads. There is a curb in some areas intended to serve as a gutter, but rain water usually runs down tire impressions making very deep swells in some cases leaving the road nearly un-drivable for lower profile cars, like sedans. The other thing that might be more difficult to see is power lines are fashioned locally. The point at which the pavement ends is all the point at which the power lines officially stop. Locals have propped up all sorts of doo-dads to run power lines to their own homes. EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. Jen told us that one of the leading causes of death in the DR has been electrocution or related burns from people that get up on their roofs and try to connect their own wires to the makeshift power lines that run through this and many other similar communities. Anyway, here's some footage of our drive in, and a tour of where we stayed and worked for the first half of the trip...

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