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


Anonymous Mrs. Weil said...

I'll be praying for you, Nick...

Sounds like it was another amazing day! Love the pictures!

You are all in my prayers!

3/29/2009 8:03 AM  
Anonymous Mrs. Caperna said...

It's wonderful to see all of you enjoying yourselves so much.

Tell Nick I'm praying for him. Hopefully, it isn't anything too serious. Please keep us updated.

Have an awesome day!

~ Mrs. Caperna

3/29/2009 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it true? Mrs Bonorandi jumped from a 10 meters high waterfall? I am in awe! and glad that there are no waterfalls in Boca!
Special prayers for Nick quick recovery of his knee injury, and thanks God for providing a doctor an support. Get well soon Nick.
Praying for the group's safety and work that touchs other lifes!
Mr. Bonorandi

3/29/2009 9:52 AM  
Blogger Matinee said...

It sounds like all of you are having a marvelous time! I will be keeping you all in my prayers!

3/29/2009 11:16 AM  
Blogger Matinee said...

It's great your all having such an incredible time! Stay safe! Your all in my prayers. -Brenna

3/29/2009 12:31 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. Burklin said...

Wait. . . are you saying Stephanie went into really cold water???

Nick, we are praying for a speedy recovery for you!

Thanks for the great updates!

3/29/2009 7:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seniors, we miss you. Nick hope you get better before Friday. Ryckur, we missed you at the wedding. Everyone sends there loves and prayers. Hope you have a great time.
Our prayers are with you!!! Did the hermit crab decide.
Mrs. Schuttler

3/29/2009 7:52 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. Carpinello said...

Thank you so much for the shout out. I love you guys so much!!
Being 21 is great!! I can't wait to read tonight's update. I love that you guys are really having fun!!! I pray you are also realizing how much God loves you, and those you are ministering to. There are so many people out who are lost and need to meet the life changing, life-saving Savior. So many places God wants to send you with His mission. Some of you I know will pursue full time missionary work. There is no greater joy than leading someone to the Lord, and I pray that each one of you has that chance. Continue to take care of each other, especially my "turkey"
boy Nick, You're awesome:) I love you Katester, house is too quiet without you!! Lightning lost in the finals.:(
Until next time,
Mrs. C

3/29/2009 7:56 PM  
Anonymous Mom Mom said...

The updates from Steven have been very interesting. It's so nice for us back home to have some insight as to what is going on with this special Sr. Class. Paigey, have a wonderful experience working alongside your friends doing work for Jesus and demonstrating His love. We miss you and love you and will be anxiously awaiting your return. As always, you're in our prayers as well as your classmates.

3/29/2009 11:18 PM  
Anonymous Sharon Williams said...

Hey Seniors...
It was so awesome to finally read your posts!! Thanks Steven. Wow, it sounds like your days have been really full. I'm so excited for all of you to have this opportunity to see and experience new places and things... and especially to serve God in such a unique way. You all are a great group of kids... Love you all...I'm praying for you... I miss you so much my Paigey Girl. Take care sweetie and have lots of fun and a special time of bonding with your friends. :) Love Sharon

3/29/2009 11:59 PM  

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