Well, almost two weeks down. I think I have each of the girls’ names memorized, all my pictures up in my room, wifi figured out, transportation is still in the works sometimes, and I’ve found my favorite store (La Sirena! Basically a Dominican Wal-Mart). I arrived to La Vega, DR last Sunday, July 1st after a mini vacay in Puerto Plata with my parents. We, of course, met at my new favorite store, La Sirena with my boss and were brought to the original site of the first safe house/school. She brought us to the barrio, up a steep, muddy hill to a small house that was used to house girls for many years. After this, we drove to a different neighborhood to our most recent safe house. It truly is amazing how much God has done in New Hope Girls since the beginning. The safe house where the girls are is also where I am living. This gives me the space to know each of the girls intentionally and walk together through life for a year.
My first day of work looked like meeting with the psychologist, Ada and figuring out my schedule. During the summer until school starts, I will be teaching English to each of the girls, the women in the workshop, the psychologist, and the care-takers. During the year, I will be working with the girls in transitional care, the ones that are not able to go to school yet, working on all academics together. This will allow the girls to not regress in their learning while they are not able to go to a school in the neighborhood. Also, during the year, I will continue with English with each girl, caretaker, and woman. With learning English, all girls and women of New Hope will be able to communicate with their visitors, future workers, and those of collaborations in the workshop like Vera Bradley.
These first couple days here have been amazing, overwhelming, difficult, joyful, tearful, and truly wonderful. Lots of emotions, right? I thought so, too. Getting to know the stories that each of these girls have has been one of the highest honors I have held in my life and I know that I will continue to feel that way throughout the year. But as for now, I’m holding on, I’m exploring, I’m teaching, I’m learning, I’m challenging myself, I’m discovering, and I’m loving it all....even the hard stuff.
Welcome to my journey, a crazy, messy, imperfect, still figuring it all out journey. Walk with me, pray with me, chat with me.