Food Distribution on Christmas Eve
Alicia and Family at Batey San Josè
Pantomime Group "Espigas"
Candies, Apples, Grapes and Pears
Christmas in Dominican Republic are very colorful, joyful, lots of music, love, sharing, food, roasted pork, candies, apples, grapes, pears and great people. People start putting up their Christmas Tree or Lights since September!!! Yes, September. I asked why? and someone said to me: "well since there is hardly never electricity at least we can see the lights at some moments". It is funny to see simple lights or Christmas Tree at their humble homes making sure their kids enjoy it. I went to visit a school at Batey San Josè and my surprise was that the Christmas tree was made all with recycled soda bottles and the lights were made with construction paper with the names of all the students and the top star was my name! Yes!! My name: Madeline. I was so happy to see my name there and happy that they did it for me. These are the things that make us as missionaries know that we are not wasting our time, and that our lives really have impacted other lives.
On the 24th. families get together to share dinner, talk, enjoy playing dominoes, music and jokes. Many families struggle during the day to see how food is going to be at the table for dinner. Poverty is extreme at some point that only bread or milk is the meal of the day. This day, the 24th., I went to visit 5 families in real poverty and we made sure that dinner was going to be available for them that day. A big bag with: bread (telera), spaguetties, roasted chicken, potatoe salad, cookies, candies and a soda was given to each family that day! What a great experience to see the faces of the family when this bag was given to them and they will see all the goodies inside! Smiles were priceless! Some of these families told us: "God is good, I was just thinking now what we were going to have for dinner tonight, and here you are with all this food. God bless you". For me, this is Christmas, sharing with the poor all we have. After this, then I went with some friends and celebrated Christmas with a nice dinner too. I might not be able to feed all the poor in the Dominican Republic, but at least I fed five families!
New Year´s Eve I celebrated at church. A very humble church I go to with no walls, Only a thin roof and a beautiful Christmas decoration with lights. What a great service we celebrated. Music, pantomime, poems, and a very emotive sermon that made everyone evaluate their actual lives and how we were going to live in the coming year. A powerful prayer to close the year and lots of hugs and kisses like only dominicans know how to do it. No Santa Claus is expected here in the DR only the Three Kings on the 6th. of January. This is the day when kids expect a gift. I love these kids, with a little plastic colorful ball they are happy! Simple toys are ok for them, they do not expect gameboy, Wii, laptops, iphones, etc. they just want a little toy to play and be happy.
Thank God for Christmas in the Dominican Republic. Enjoy the pictures!