Hello friends. We wanted to give you all an update on our travels and first three days here. My favorite memory of the entire week was just as we started our journey. The car was packed up with our 16 bags and we were loading the kids. Isaiah was still in the backyard playing all by himself. I walked out back and told him it was time to go. He looked at me with a disappointed face and answered with a sassy, "Where are we going." I responded "The Dominican Republic." His face lit up and he hopped off the play set and sprinted to me. Isaiah looked at me and said "You mean it's time to start our adventure." "Yeah, it starts right now!" I responded. A huge smile came over his face, he squealed with excitement and took off for the van.
We arrived in Santiago, DR safe and sound on Tuesday night. Tim Krauss, G.O's Executive Field Director, has been gracious enough to host us at his home while we have been working to get our apartment set up. In the States, getting an apartment ready to live in isn't that big of an ordeal- here it is different! Everything moves much slower here and seems much more complicated, but then again that could be a result of being completely dependent on someone else. Our past few days have been spent in what could be referred to as an infant state. We have to learn a whole new method for doing things. Staying at Tim's house with his wife, Samira, and their two kids has been such a blessing during this time. We have someone available to answer our questions immediately. Although we will enjoy emptying our suitcases and having our own space, we will really miss having someone around to pepper with our queries.
We have also had the opportunity to test our abilities to function on our own. We went shopping for all of our household needs...with no translator....and our four kids. That was an experience! Derek's spanish was stretched to it's limit but it was a great experience. We had to buy anything and everything you can think of, including lots of buckets. Buckets for the shower (in case we have no water) and buckets for washing laundry by hand.
The kids have done well in this early transition time. Macy loves the scented bug spray and is constantly asking for more of it. Isaiah has really embraced learning another language. It is fun watching kids who can't communicate because of a language barrier play with each other. Pastor Felix, who works in the Hole, brought his son over yesterday and there were light-saber duels and ninjas everywhere. Last night we ended the week with an awesome treat. Twelve of us went out to a Dominican pizza parlor. It was a wonderful time of fellowship and delicious food.
Today we hope to completely make the transition to our apartment. If the rain holds off we can finish drying our sheets (whoo hoo!). The electricity is supposed to be turned on today and our camp stove should be hooked up to a gas tank this afternoon. Over the next couple days we will continue delving into learning more about the culture and our roles while we are serving this summer. We really appreciate your prayers during this transition time.
We love you all
Derek and Lydia (& kids)