Sunday, November 24, 2013

131124 The Temple

We recently volunteered to be Temple workers one day a week in the Santo Domingo Temple.  The Santo Domingo Temple is the 99th temple constructed by the Church and was dedicated on 17 September 2000.  It is a beautiful temple and a privilege for us to have this opportunity to serve there in Spanish in addition to the humanitarian mission we are serving.  We hope to continue serving in the Mesa Arizona Temple in Spanish when we get home.

The Temple has been and is central to our lives.  We acknowledge and give thanks to God for the blessings that have come to us for this life and promises for the next because of commitments made in the Temple and would that everyone could have these same blessings.  We feel blessed to be able to serve for a short time as temple workers in this beautiful sacred Temple.  
Today is a special day for us as related to the temple.  Today, 24 November 2013, marks the 42nd anniversary of our marriage in the Arizona Temple in 1971!  We have had a wonderful marriage and have been blessed with 8 children and 19 grandchildren.  We have 1 grandchild whom we haven’t even seen yet.  Evan Andrew Haws was born while we have been in the Republica Dominicana.  Several little grandchildren probably think we are just characters on the computer screen since that is all they know of us.  We look forward to getting acquainted again.  Our travel home date is 15 February 2014.
This week was not very eventful but here are a few scenes from our week.

The city of Santo Domingo has been improving the city park across the street from the Temple for the last 2 years.  It is nearly finished with running and bike trails, children’s play area, exercise plaza, pit for iguanas, gazebo for artists, walking trail for the caves, etc.  Unfortunately, we do not live close enough to be able to use it every day.
There was a dinner at the bishop’s storehouse where we live to honor those who have served so wonderfully and to pass the baton from one stake president in charge to another.

President Christian Olivero and his wife that were in charge.

Pres. Valentin Valdez and his wife who are now in charge of the storehouse
Which couple has the biggest smile?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

131117 Slings in the Dominican Republic

We are assigned to visit with a pair of missionaries every Monday so they can practice their Spanish and discussions.  Somehow we got on the subject of slings and they ended up asking Wallace to teach them how to make a sling, which he did.  The Elder on the left is Elder Stichfield going to Puerto Rico.  The Elder on the right is Elder Haws from Mesa, Arizona going to the Santiago mission.  We didn’t know Elder Haws before this.  He is a relative a few generations separated from us.
This is Elder Leon and Marilyn Button from Mesa, Arizona.  They are finishing up their mission this week and returning  to Mesa, Arizona.  Leon is Edith’s brother’s wife’s brother.
We had one closing this week of a project with a hospital called Santo Socorro.  Santo Socorro is a public children’s hospital that many members use.  Some of the items we donated are behind the people in the picture. The members recently did some great service projects for the hospital as part of the World Day of Service.  They spread gravel in their parking lot, painted and cleaned up an outside area.
The following are a couple of people we see often during our morning walk.  Wallace gives Edith a Spanish lesson during each of our walks.  Edith concentrates on walking without falling into holes.  Wallace gives the lesson material.
The first picture is of a man who cooks “tostones” for sale (flatten banana rounds fried).  His are unique because they are the only ones we have seen to have beef mixed in with the bananas.  We haven’t purchased any so we cannot vouch for their taste.  He starts with slices of green bananas, cooks them in fat, then presses them flat, adding the meat during the flattening process.  He finishes the process by frying them again and salting them.
The above picture is Anna Maria in front of her house on Cervantes street.  She has a big dog (behind the fence) that could eat you up in one gulp if it was hungry.  We gave a pass-along card to Anna the other day.  She expressed interest in receiving a Book of Mormon and is now taking the missionary lessons.  Wallace passes out cards nearly every day on the walk.

This man is carrying what looks like a bed frame on his motorcycle.  The only unusual thing about it is that it appears he actually has it tied down instead of just balancing it!
This is a picture of some missionaries getting together at Elder Rucker’s B-day party.
Chuck and Vickie Rucker; Jill Dunford, Leon and Marilyn Button, James and Jill Crismon, Wallace and Edith Haws
We are singing a song we made up about Elder Rucker.  It was fun and great entrainment.  Too bad Wallace didn’t have his ukuwally with him that evening!

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Bahia de Aguilas is the name given to a 8 km beautiful isolated beach near the SW corner of the Dominican Republic not far from the border with Haiti.  This is the highlight of our blog this week.
Our adventure began with a trip to Batey 5 to attend a closing of a water project we had at the school there.  It was fun watching the children all wanting to participate and try out the new water facilities all at once.

  The purification part of the water system consists in the installation of a fiber cylinder to filter out the particles, the 2nd filter is a carbon filter to improve taste and the last is an ultra-violate system to kill all kinds of “bugs”.

The new system also included installation of large water storage tanks on the roof

After the closing ceremony in Vicente Noble we drove to Barahona and had lunch then on to a hotel named “Playazul” built on the edge of the ocean.  It was a great place to rest and relax a little.

We played a few dominos while we were there.  The Crismons taught us a new game called “Mexican Train”.


Sister Crismon is an artist and really enjoyed sketching what she saw.

We found an area alongside the road that was a regular graveyard of hundreds, even thousands of conch shells.  It seemed really odd, but they were lying all over the ground.  Most were not worth picking up, but we did find some really nice ones.
Saturday morning we drove 2 hours to the Bahia de Aguilas.  We didn’t really have very good directions and were beginning to doubt ourselves when we started driving down this long dirt poorly maintained road, but we eventually came a little fishing village called “Las Cuevas” from which we hired a boat to take us to the Bahia de Aguilas and then to prepare us lunch when we came back.  The following are some pictures, but they just don’t do it justice.  The scenery is outstanding and the white sandy nearly secluded beach surrounds shallow crystal blue water.  The water was a perfect temperature for swimming and snorkeling.  We spent 2 hours enjoying ourselves, then our boat took us back to a native meal of fish, rice, cabbage, tomatoes, avocados and tostones (fried bananas). 
It was a fun adventurous day after which we drove back to the Playazul Hotel and spent the night.  The next day we attended church in Vicente Noble, then drove 2.5 hours home in Santo Domingo.

Wallace transplanted a few tomato plants he had started as seed.
Every Monday we help at the Missionary Training Center here in Santo Domingo. The Elder on the left is Elder Haws from Mesa, Arizona.  He and his companion Elder Stinchfield are  the missionaries we are working with this month.
Funny scene we saw on the way home.  A sow was riding in the back of a small truck.  The sow had its snout tied to the truck and a man was lying on the bed of the truck with his knee braced against the sow to keep it from falling over and it was raining (though you cannot tell it in the picture.)