Today was the last and best of our days with kids because almost everyone on our tour sponsors at least one child in the Dominican and got to meet with them today, some for the second time but most of us for the very first time.
Compassion DR booked a resort villa for the day and we headed out by bus, arriving about an hour before the 3 buses with the sponsored children, most of whom arrived we their tutor from the Compassion centre where they’re registered and one or more parents. We were introduced to our child and then went off to one of the poolside tables to get acquainted.
At first, my boy, Eduardo was quite shy but his mother said he had been awake most of the night and kept asking, “How many hours until we go?” We talked about what life is like for him and what he wants to do when he finishes school. Unlike most DR boys, he doesn’t want to play baseball — he wants to play basketball for the LA Lakers.
After a while, Eduardo, Ronaldo and I changed into our swim suits and went in the smaller of the two pools. Neither of the boys knew how to swim, so first we tried floating and then when they mastered that and they felt comfortable, they were able to swim and tred water. We had a lot of fun. Then we headed for the basketball court where Eduardo & I taught Ronaldo to play basketball. We did that until it was time for lunch.
Afterwards, it was time for the sponsors to give the children the bags of things we had brought from Canada for them and for their parents or siblings. It was such a joy to see their faces light up with pleasure and gratitude. We had a time of prayer together and then had a wonderful group picture and it was time to say goodbye. It was very hard to leave. I learned a lot about Eduardo and his family. He had a sponsor before but his sponsorship ended and he had been very excited to get a new sponsor so quickly. Even though it was only about 3 weeks ago that I took sponsorship, he has already sent me a letter so I’m looking forward to receiving it and will send him a letter tomorrow with the pictures we took attached to it. He has a small photo album with pictures of my family he can add them to.
Here is our group picture. Eduardo and I are in the front right; he’s wearing his new Blue Jays cap. Cheers from the DR!