This was a grab bag of activities this week starting with an after-dark visit to the national park across from the Temple. The park is the most lit-up Christmas scene of any we have seen anywhere. The following photos really do not do it justice.
We are collecting supplies for ten more chicken coops and gardens in Monte Plata. Wallace unloading the truck to store supplies until we get them all together to be transported.
We participated in a birthday party for Jill Dunford. Jill and her husband Rob completed their mission this week and returned home to Georgia.
These two gentlemen attend us frequently when we get fuel. Wallace tried to research where the DR gets its petro. The answer is difficult to find, but he thinks it comes from Venezuela.
We attended a luncheon going away party for the Dunfords at the Area office and heard a group of youth on tour from Puerto Rico give us a bell ensemble.
The highlight of our week was driving to La Romana to help in the vision health promoters’ workshop. This is a project Edith has been working on for several months. This is the last workshop of this project.
BOLA (by Wallace)
In my vocabulary and that of many of my friends, the word “BOLA” is the title of a game I invented that is played using bowling balls. I thought I had invented the word and didn’t know it actually meant something until I arrived in the DR. Now I know what it really means and want you to know as well!
We had no idea what was going through the head of that little boy! About 12 years old, he looked like most every other Dominican street rascal; black hair, dark skin, ragged clothes with a big smile. He would have gone practically unnoticed, and soon forgotten, except for what he was doing.
When I get behind the steering wheel to drive our vehicle on the streets of Santo Domingo I feel like I am stepping beyond the confines of my protective little village into the jungle wilds beyond the fence with nothing on but a loin cloth, a sharp knife at my belt and a long spear in my hand. It is an adventure! My motto is “Be Alert!” or be gobbled up by any one of a number of monsters.
We, my wife Edith and I, drive in a big truck, windows up, AC on, inside our protected little bubble. We are in the jungle, but prefer to just drive carefully through the alphabet soup without contact and just observe the wild animals outside like we would in one of those big drive-through zoos. We cringe at the possibility of actually be physically engaged with any part of the jungle beyond our windshield. Today though, that one little boy about 12 years old, who normally would not merit more than a brief glance, was destined to penetrate our little glass bubble.
Up ahead a “guagua”, an elephant on wheels, bullied its way down the street, fast, then slow and sometimes stopping without warning. More like a pile of junk metal, it lumbered about the street with total disregard to any other animals on the road, man or beast. Then like a small rock flipped up from the asphalt, we noticed the little boy of this story sitting/clinging on the back bumper of that monster. With barely room enough to sit and with nothing to hang onto, the little boy performed a balance act of surprising dangerous dexterity. To our amazement he jumped on and off the bus with its starts and stops dodging trailing traffic. We were sure he would be creamed!
Suddenly there he was face to face with Edith on the passenger side. The little scamp was pounding on our window yelling bola! In Dominican talk that means, “Give me a ride!”. True to the “rules” of the jungle, not waiting for an answer, he scrambled into the bed of our truck. The traffic was moving, there was no time to argue, the little leech had become part of our world!
Just another day in the Dominican Republic and now you know the meaning of the word “Bola”.