We’re here. We’re safe. And we’re tired. I might see 2:30 a.m. once in a while as a bedtime. But, as a waking up time? Never.
Today was a first and by 3:07 a.m. Dan, the kids and I joined our group of 30 at church to take a bus to Newark airport. And even though I’ve been awake for 13 hours, my thoughts haven’t wandered far from “I am so tired. I need to take a nap.” I’m not proud to admit, but I’m a baby about my sleep!
Today, however, is a “buck up little camper” day! And buck up we’re doing.
And it’s going great so far. We’ve arrived in the Dominican Republic, safely, with all our luggage and without incident. Right now we’re in the Foundation house where we’ll be staying, enjoying one of the few down times we’ll have. The kitchen staff is making dinner and the delicious smells blanket the house. A bunch of us are hanging out in the common room chatting. Some are unpacking supplies. The medically-oriented among us are meeting on the porch to plan the week’s medical activities. A few are catching some shut eye. Someone is playing Viva la Vida on a tinny piano down in the living room. And the kids, including my son, are outside playing soccer. “It fun speaking Spanish!” he excitedly proclaimed.
In no time at all, we’re settling in. I can’t speak for the group, but I think most of us are excited to get a good night’s sleep (which won’t come for at five more hours) and really start our DR experience. Tonight after dinner we’ll attend a church service with the Dominicans that we’ll be working with. I have a feeling it’ll be a worship experience unlike most of us have ever been a part of.
As my sleep-deprived mind tries to process the sights, smells and sounds, a few of the day’s highlights spring to mind, like:
Watching the blazing orange sun rise over the New York City skyline.
- Starting to bond with our group and realizing there's been no whining or melt downs by anyone.
- Realizing that after months and months of planning, this trip is really happening.
- Meeting our wonderfully enthusiastic in-country team, Anna and J.J.
- Being serenaded on the bus from the airport by a few of the children from the church we’re working with.
- Enjoying a general sense of joined purpose and anticipation.
I don’t have any deep spiritual insights to share today, but I do have an overarching sense that all is well. We’re here. . .and we’re ready.
P.S. In the time that I’ve written this, the nine chatty people sitting around me have ceased talking and have all nodded off!
The call just came in..."Time for dinner!"