We thought you surveyors out there would enjoy this picture of a surveyor who chanced to come to the survey monument we told you about last week to get a shot. A surveyor here is called a “Agrimensor”.
After the meeting with ADR we went to the “Colonial Zone” to purchase a topographic map for one of the areas we have a water project in. It was an interesting experience locating and purchasing a digital copy of the map we needed.
Figure 129 Getting a Digital Topo Map
Afterward, we took time to do a little sight seeing in the Colonial Zone. The Colonial Zone is a part of the city that has many old structures built back in Columbus’ day.
Figure 130 Church next door to last known residence of Columbus in Santo DomingoFigure 131 Edith in Colonia Zone
Figure 132 Edith on steps at Colonial ZoneFigure 133 Wallace at Colonial Zone
Contrary to the impression often given in our schools in the USA, Christopher Columbus did not land on USA soil. We researched it a little bit and it doesn’t appear he ever set foot on what is USA soil. Rather he landed on the island of Guanahani in the Bahamas and on his second voyage he claimed the land for Spain all the land occupied today by Haiti and the Dominican Republic. He died in Spain, but his remains were moved several times. The Dominicans claim he is buried at the “Columbus Lighthouse” here in Santo Domingo.
On Wednesday (23 May 26, 2012) we visited Hogar Mercedes, the highlight for the week. Hogar Mercedes is a home run by a few nuns for the benefit of 23 orphans and a school for the orphans and children from the neighborhood.
We found the children very well disciplined as Sister Livia Campoverde Encalada, the Catholic Nun who manages the school gave us a tour. She and the three other Nuns who live with her at the school provide everything for their needs: food, housing, medical and religious and scholarly education. They are an excellent example of people who have dedicated their lives to a marvelous work and a wonder, creating miracles in the lives of a few of God’s children, following the example of Christ and doing it with nothing but the power of faith. We were very impressed with their example and how God is working through people of all faiths to watch after and care for his children. It touched our hearts and lifted our spirits and at the same time condemned us for our many acts of selfishness throughout our lives.
The two year old standing in front of the statue of Christ in the following picture was brought to the school as an infant when her mother had abandoned her. She is a happy intelligent child today. What do you think, is the sacrifice of Sister Encalada worth it? We think so.Figure 135 Wallace, Sister Encalada, child, Edith
Last week a young man walked into the engineering office of our son Nathan to apply for a job. Because of this interview, Nathan called Jim Nelson, a professor at BYU and discovered that he had a contact in the DR. This contact is Fidel Perez, a high level person in INDRHI (Instituto Nacional Dominicano Recursos Hidrolocos) here in Santo Domingo. Jim introduced us to Fidel via email and we visited with Fidel this week. It was a great meeting and we feel this contact will be a key contact for the water projects we are doing here. We do not feel this was a coincidence. The Lord created this circle to put us in connection with Fidel. He has offered all the help he can, particularly if there are people or organizations who may need a little prodding to get things done. They also have ground water and hydrologic and flood data that will be very important. He will also help us to understand the processes and how to get things done. INDRHI also has some smaller water projects they cannot get to that maybe we can pursue. You are going to hear more about this in the weeks to come!
Figure 136 Drill rig promised by Fidel for our use
Finally after 7 weeks of working hard, we took a little time off to relax. We went with 3 other adult missionary couples to Playa Juan Dolio about a 45 minute drive from Santo Domingo. The following are a few pictures of our outing. The beach was beautiful though the snorkeling wasn’t very good. It was fun to get away.
MOVIE OF JUAN DOLIO BEACH
We tried a little snorkeling, but the water was pretty murky and we only saw a few fish.
We did find a shell occupied with a hermit crab about the size of your fist. It was fun to watch him carefully extend one claw, dig it into the sand and flip himself over. The fun ended when a native came along, waited for the crab to stick his claw out, then the native took out his machete and cut the claw off. He said he was going to eat the claw.
MOVIE ABOUT HERMIT CRAB
Figure 138 Wallace and Edith at the beach
Well that’s the end of another great adventure. It was a great week. The Lord continues to bless us with many growing experiences in a beautiful land full of beautiful people who look to God every day for their daily bread and are content with what the Lord has seen fit in his wisdom to grant to them.