Saturday, March 28, 2009


Day 3: Puerto Plata. We headed down to breakfast this morning, Mrs. Bonorandi's boisterous singing still echoing in our ears. After breakfast, we walked on the winding dirt trail from our mission house down to the main street near the shore. There, a bald, forty-something, Dominican man namd Elvis--who is probably one of the coolest guys I have thus far met here--greeted us and informed us that we would be riding down the highway in what was basically a truck with a long, covered bed and two rows of seating. He would be our tour guide for the day. Did I mention he speaks five languages? We drove through the beautiful countryside, banked on both sides by a myriad of trees thar ran up the sides of the sloping mountains. Elvis took us to a site where handmade sculptures made of stone and petrified wood are made.
Our next stop with Elvis was a small village in the countryside where we had the opportunity to witness how true Dominican coffee, which all you coffee connoisseurs out there know is outstanding, is made. We got a sample shot of the flavorful black roast as well as some hot chocolate made from cocoa beans grown right in the village. Yea, it was amazing...and by that, I mean it was the greatest hot chocolate that I have ever tasted. Lunch was next, and I know I speak on behalf of everyone when I say that it was simply delicious. From beef to chicken, ziti to fresh vegetables, it was likely the best meal we've had here as of yet. We took a group picture at the picnic site, which featured a magnificent, tropical backdrop of God's majestic creation.

It was our final stop, however, that was by far the highlight of our day. If you've never explored and jumped off of waterfalls, do it. The expedition up (and down) the waterfalls were breathtaking...literally. We nearly froze to death in the rushing currents, acquired a few scrapes along the way, and jumped from a 10-meter waterfall into the water below. Translation: "sick nasty." The entire class had the opportunity to hike up the waterfalls and swim through creeks, exhibiting teamwork as we helped each other along the way. Waterproof cameras made recording memories easier, but I doubt it's an experience that any of us will soon forget.

At last, the day came to a close as we drove over a bumpy and rugged--and I mean bumpy and rugged--road back home. However, just before we thought the day was over, we had a bit of an accident. Long story short, Nick injured his knee, and he is doing his best to rest it. We are unsure of how severe it is, but minutes after the accident, a total stranger stopped by the house and called one of the best orthopedic doctors in the area who offered to evaluate Nick free of charge. This Good Samaritan preceeded to drive Nick, Mrs. B, and Mrs. Rhodes to the hospital where he was examined and treated. Furthermore, he went out of his way, drove to two different pharmacies, and used his medical insurance to minimize the prescription cost as much as possible. It is evident how truly provident God is. Even in the midst of unexpected conflict, the Lord has provided for our needs and has worked in unimaginable ways. We thank and praise Him! Continue to keep Nick in your prayers as well as the rest of us here in the Dominican Republic.
All of us, especially Katy, would like to wish Mrs. Carpinello a very happy 21st birthday! :)
We appreciate everyone's love, support, and comments, and we wish you all good night from Puerto Plata.

Posted by: Steven Gallo