About a year and ½ ago, we purchased a pineapple to eat, twisted the top off and planted it in a pot. We watered it every once in a while, but basically forgot about it. It produced a very pretty plant that we have enjoyed. To our amazement this week we found it is producing a flower---a sign of a future pineapple! We wonder if we can do this in Mesa, Arizona?
We traveled to Higuey this week to look at two potential humanitarian projects. One is for an orphanage of Haitian children whose sleeping quarters burned to the ground just last Saturday. Our hearts went out to the little group of Haitian kids huddled in the corner. We hope we can do a project for them.
VIRGIN OF ALTAGRACIA
We took advantage of the opportunity while we were in Higuey to visit a famous spot in the Dominican Republic called the “La Basilica de Altagracia”. January 21 will be the Virgin of Altagracia feast day during which thousands of people pilgrimage to Higuey for the chance to file past the image of the Virgin of Altagracia where they promise to do things in exchange for favors or miraculous intervention by the Virgin. Many people will crawl long distances to get into the shrine to wait their turn to stand before the image. Another big day for the Virgin happens during August of each year. Herds of cattle are driven to the Basilica in honor of the Virgin and again to solicit favors. The cattle are given to the priests who sell the cattle to pay for basilica upkeep expenses.
The image of the Virgin has been around since the late 1600’s and is said to have miraculously appeared in different locations and performed many miracles.
WHALE WATCHINGWe took a little break from our mission activities since the whole world seems to be on vacation. We went with a group of other missionaries to Las Terranes on the North shore of the island. We spent the night at a little Dominican motel called “Casas de la Mar Neptuna”. The purpose of the trip was to see humpback whales who are supposed to come to the Samana bay as part of their reproductive cycle. We took a 4 hour trip on a boat out into the bay to keep our end of the bargain, but the whales didn’t get the message we were coming so we didn’t get to see any whales. We came home and watched some youtube postings of whale sightings instead.