Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 9

Meaghan and Madalyn with a few campers

Matthew 20:28 says “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many." As a team, we came to serve the kids in the Punta Cana community. I know we have made a positive impact on the kids who came to the camp. Throughout the week, we made a bond with the kids of Punta Cana that will never be broken. I am sure that they will never forget the Virginia Tech students that came to serve and spend time with them. As our time came to a close, many tears were shed, hugs were given, and Facebook names were exchanged, so that we can keep in contact with each other. This trip was very powerful and impacted everyone who was involved. I believe this trip gave the children hope to make it out of their environment and tap into the potential they have on the inside of them. Most of the kids who were involved could not get this type of experience at home or within their community. This trip gave the children hope, faith and self-esteem.

I want to thank Danny White, Jon Jaudon, Katie Cross, and Shane McCarty (Psych Graduate student) for going on the trip with us. They are special people and I just want to thank them for taking time away from their families to come on this trip with us. I want to personally thank Danny White, Jon Jaudon, and various staff members who fought so hard for us to get the opportunity to go on this trip. It was truly a great privilege and I thank you for it. I also want to thank Virginia Tech for allowing us to go on this trip. Without Virginia Tech’s support, this trip would not have been possible. I also want to give thanks to all the coaches who donated supplies for us to use for the camp; it was a great help. Last but not least, thanks to all the people who donated clothing for the kids; they really loved it.

Arriving at the beach for fun day
Wow, what can I say? Time has flown while being here in the Dominican Republic. I cannot believe this is our last day here. It has been an awesome experience and I am so proud of everybody who came on the trip with me. We have all bonded with each other and really grown to care for each other. All of our leadership skills have grown tremendously and that is the wonderful thing about this trip. It gives us the chance to become better leaders for the sports team that we serve on. It is great how we have grown so close with each other in such a short period of time. Danny White and Jon Jaudon put together a great group of students to go on this trip.

Fun day at the beach wouldn't be
complete without a human pyramid 
Being that today was our last day, it was devoted to having fun. It was a day just to relax and hang out with each other. After a hard week of work I think this day was needed. The day started off with some of the team members working and running while others slept in until 9 o’clock. At 10 o’clock, we were headed to the beach. The beach was about 45 minutes, but the drive was worth it! The beach was amazing and the view was beautiful. It was the best beach I’ve ever seen.  The water was so clear and cool which was perfect to play in. You could also rent a surf board and go surfing. Some of the group members rented a surf board for the day and went surfing while others tanned on the beach and just relaxed.

After we made it safely back to the foundation, we all went to take showers and get dressed. For dinner, we went to a Mexican place. The food at this place was amazing! Every single person was pleased with their meal. It was really cheap as well, so that’s always great. After the amazing dinner, some people went back to the foundation and others went to the store to pick up some snacks.  The rest of the night we just chilled and had a good time hanging out with each other.

 I want to thank the DPV guys who came and supported us on this great opportunity.  Rido, Karlito, Victor, and Julio who are powerful young men that are doing great things in their community by stepping up to be leaders. I also want to thank Kenny and all of the Peace Corps members who came and helped translate and lead. They are great people and I commend them for making a difference. I also want to give thanks to Ben Hulefeld, who put all of this together from the beginning to the end. He did a great job connecting all the ends and outs. From all of us who went on the trip and Virginia Tech, we thank you brother and we want to wish everybody the best.

Derrick Hopkins

1 comment:

  1. What a fun summary of your day off, and so heartfelt to thank many of the guiding forces behind the trip. Great post!