ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

My Life in the Dominican Republic

Updated on October 29, 2013

San Isidro

After graduating high school in May of 2013, I went to live in the Dominican Republic with my mom and younger brother for 3 months. During this time, we lived in San Isidro, a sector of the capital city, Santo Domingo. Coming from the suburbs of Overland Park, adjusting to what even Dominicans would consider a dangerous neighborhood was a challenge. I could share plenty of stories that made living there very unpleasant, such as the possibility of dying from a leak in the gas tank that sat right next to the stove in our kitchen, waking up to an invasion of cockroaches, and the very awkward position of having our pastors be our landlords. However, each of these could be a story in itself. My life in the Dominican Republic wasn't one joyous, happy ride, but there were lessons that I learned that I don't think I could have received from being in any college classroom.

Appreciation

I never realized how much I had in the United States, until I came to the Dominican Republic. When I was able to fill my bath bucket with water I was overjoyed, because I knew that some days I wouldn't be able to do that due to the daily outage of water. There was only cold water but that didn't matter, because at least I had water to wash myself. Having fewer comforts and material things provoked me to give more of the little I had and more of myself. Before coming to the Dominican Republic giving for me meant an offering at church, donating to a worthy cause, and things of that nature. Otherwise, giving was not something that I would naturally think about. After living in San Isidro, however, giving has taken on a new meaning. I am beginning to actively look for ways to give to people around me whether that be of my time, my energy or my resources. The act of giving is the fruit of having a grateful heart and an appreciative mind for one's own life. Just breathing alone is something to ponder and give thanks for daily, and each act of giving is a new opportunity to demonstrate this.

Discernment

Whether you're moving to the richest country in the world or the lowest of the third world countries, having discernment about the people you come into contact with cannot be taken for granted. It's important to avoid making assumptions about relationships. We were told by some "Mi casa es su casa" but it ended up being out of politeness, because it was customary to say. In reality, these people were rarely there when we really needed a helping hand, and when we needed to use something in their home, we didn't genuinely feel welcomed. Ironically, the people we might have least expected to help us, due to their own lack of resources, were the ones who ended up coming through in the biggest way. These were ones who gave out of the little that they had to offer, but did it with all sincerity of heart. These were the true givers in our neighborhood. We didn't have to look for them, because they came to our door wanting to know how they could help. Having discernment between people who will be there for you, and those who are fake is very important and can save you a lot of time and headache.

Un-offended Heart

When life is comfortable it's very easy to put confidence in planning ahead and believe that what you planned will happen. Now obviously no matter where you live, things happen that cause even the best made plans to fail. However, during my time in the Dominican Republic, there were "detours" in almost every plan, making each day it's own adventure. When the course of your plans change from what you wanted or thought would happen, it takes humility and an un-offended heart to accept the change and move on positively. For example, my family and I moved to this country with the intention of serving in a church after being told we would be provided an apartment for "missionaries" to live in by the pastors. However, once we moved in, the pastors informed my mother we would have to pay rent for the apartment that some days didn't have running water or electricity, but had plenty of "cucarachas" or in English, cockroaches. To be honest it was really frustrating being there, because there were so many of these instances in which we were told one thing that ended up being something totally different. Emotionally, it would have been very easy for us to become bitter and resentful towards our new "landlords", but that would have made the stay even worse. We chose to stay focused on our purpose for being there in the first place which was serving people. No matter how challenging the situation, it's important to keep a fervent faith that there is purpose in what you are doing and believe that you will come out of the situation a stronger person.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Xplor profile imageAUTHOR

      Xplor 

      4 years ago from Kansas City

      Thanks so much for the comment V.J. and that is so true.

    • profile image

      V. J. 

      4 years ago

      You can never have too many reminders to be thankful for all you have. Thank you for taking the time to write this wonderful, vivid reminder!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)