Today we got a chance to visit the national offices of Compassion DR. Not every country that Compassion International operates has their own national headquarters — only 3 besides Canada and the US. We got to meet people that worked with software that scans letters from both sponsors and sponsored children, people who developed training videos to save Compassion workers on the far reaches of the island the long trip in to the offices in Santo Domingo, and we met people who translate all the letters into the language of the recipient. There were stacks of letters they were translating just that day — 45,000 letters from sponsored children a month, and 15,ooo from sponsors per month. It’s totally mind boggling the amount of letters that get translated every day.
After our visit to the offices, we went to have lunch at a burger place called Mustard’s. We had pre-ordered before our tour so it didn’t take too long to get our food and drinks and we enjoyed the outdoor setting and lovely breeze. It was in the downtown area and next door to a pizzeria and another restaurant with a red pig in front of it.
On the corner, there was a huge pig made completely of bottles and forks. Totally amazing.
Down the street from the pig was a bowling alley where we all showed up and played a couple of games. It was a huge alley on the second floor of a building that held many enterprises including a comedy club. It was decorated for a couple of birthday parties so we enjoyed the colourful balloons and cakes. On the trip, home we took a different route and saw many interesting shops and street vendors.
We met for dinner at 7:30 in the private meeting room followed by a debriefing for the trip. But in between we had to say goodbye to Tony, our Compassion trip organizer, and all of our wonderful translators. It is very sad to say goodbye. It is truly a blessing that they made our communication with the children and moms everywhere we went so easy, not only translating but sometimes getting the conversation started in the home visits when some of us felt awkward or weren’t sure how to get started.
We spent a bit of time reflecting about our time here and what we’ve learned but I believe it is going to take some time before we fully realize how this trip has impacted our lives and hearts. I’ll be writing more about that after I get home.
There are lots of things I haven’t commented on but will do some of that over the next few days. Right now, the packing is done except for what can’t be done until morning, an early start is scheduled to get to the airport, more goodbyes need to be said, and I do want to read a bit more of my Steve Berry book before lights out. (Ha! The lights have been going on and off all evening!) So, Cheers for the last time from the Dominican Republic.