Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A Final Word

Day 7: Puerto Plata. What a relaxing day! Today was truly the ultimate day of rest and fellowship for our senior class. Departing from the mission house this morning, we traveled to a dock in the town of Luperon where we boarded a catamaran. God couldn't have blessed us with a better day for boating: the oceans were calm, there were just the right amount of clouds in the sky, and the warm, Dominican sun was shining brightly. We took a dingy to the boat, and in no time, we were sailing out of the bay and into the beautiful, blue-green waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Laying out in the "hammock" that connects the two hulls of the catamaran, we soaked up sun rays and napped while Caribbean music lilted in the background. In addition, we sailed out to a reef where we had the opportunity to snorkel and swim among numerous tropical fish and coral. What an amazing sight!

We then sailed to La Playa de Cambiaso, a small shoreside town, to have a beautiful lunch near the water and under the palm trees. Many local children were there at the beach, so we had the chance to minister to them and sing praise songs in their company. You can truly be a witness anywhere you go! Following lunch, some of us swam back to the boat and others took the dingy, but we all enjoyed the remainder of the afternoon relaxing on the catamaran and snorkling for a second time. Now you see, regardless of how much sunscreen you apply, 20 people out on a boat for 6 hours inevitably equals sunburn somehow. Most of us faired pretty well (excuse the pun), but there are those few who came out with skin as red as Logan's hair. All in all, however, it was a fantastic day of tropical paradise that all of us really enjoyed. To be honest, though, it was bittersweet at times. The fact that our last trip together is soon coming to an end is a realization that is hard to grasp for many here. After all, some of us have known each other for 13 years! Kindergarten feels like it was so long ago, and now we're suddenly seniors in high school. Remember thinking how 2009 was ages away? Now I can hardly believe that graduation is only 2 months down the road, and I know many of you feel the same. Despite the sadness that may come with these reflections, the senior class is making the most of this final night of our mission trip.

Seeing as this is the final night, this is likely to be the final blog post. You have all been so gracious in your comments and prayers. We are truly grateful for all of you back home and for your love and support. Though the Dominican Republic has been both fun and a blessing, we are looking forward to coming home and seeing you all again soon. At this point, I would say "good night and see you next year", but of course, this is my final year blogging for a trip. I personally would like to thank you all for your kind compliments, and thank you for reading! It has been my pleasure to keep you all updated throughout this week and in past years as well--I will certainly miss it. And so for one last time, good night from Puerto Plata, and good night from the Class of 2009.
Posted by: Steven Gallo


Anonymous Mrs. Carpinello said...

You summed it up beautifully Steven. The class of 2009 has surely left a legacy of friendship, service, love for Jesus Christ and one another. You must all take what you have learned and apply it to the new chapter in your lives about to begin soon. God has prepared you for what lies ahead. Look only unto Him. You have been nothing but a blessing to all. Class of 2009, the Carpinello family loves you and will always keep you in our prayers........Can't wait to have you all over.....:)alas... the song......
A well deserved time of rest and fun was indeed yours to enjoy today.
Cannot wait to see you all tomorrow and begin the next two months of joyful, tearful memories.
To God be the glory GREAT things He has done!!!
Mrs. Carpinello

4/01/2009 8:54 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. Weil said...

I love the does look wonderful! The beach reminds me of Trinidad and Tobago! =) You have certainly had a full tip, and this day of rest was well-deserved! Have a blessed last night/day and safe travels home tomorrow! Can't wait to see you all! Miss you, Jennie! I'll be praying! Thanks for your blogs, Steven! They've been amazing!

4/01/2009 9:51 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. Poole said...

Thank you so much, Steven, for your service to us! All of you in the class of 2009 are a blessing to everyone you meet - whether in the United States, Dominican Republic, or anywhere else. Thank you for the reminder for me to savor these last few precious months with our dear senior class! May the Lord fill your lives with such warmth, joy, and peace both tonight on your last night in the DR and in the years to come!
--Mrs. Poole

4/01/2009 10:00 PM  
Anonymous Gayle said...

Hey seniors,

I hope that God has done amazing things in your lives this week! Hold these memories dear to your heart, because you will never again have a week quite like the one God has just given to you. I encourage you to read through Steven's wonderfully written blogs and jot down other little memories on your own so that the details are not lost to time; as memories fade, you'll appreciate it.
And as you return to school, keep in mind that although your surroundings in Boca Raton haven't changed, you have. Enjoy your last two months together, and know that God really, truly loves you (and so do we)!

Love and Hugs,

4/02/2009 7:50 AM  

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