We were as diverse as we could be and yet we came together as one. We had Josh Powers as our fearless leader and he made sure that everyone had their individual needs met without making anyone feel like a burden. He was very fun to be around, easy to talk to, and made this trip so enjoyable for all of us. He and my roomie, Diana Sarro are the best at making every moment count and living life to the fullest. As a DRMT Lite group, we were separate but for the most part we were able to join the main group in all of the major activities. Furthermore, as a member of this “elite” group, it was nice riding in a nice, air-conditioned van and, of course, staying at the luxurious Casa de Campo villa. Because Josh had been there before and had developed so many connections throughout the trip we were able to do other exciting things around the Casa de Campo compound and meet many other great people. From beginning to end, it was really a very nice DRMT Lite experience/missions trip for me. I loved talking to the honorary members of the DRMT Lite group hearing stories of the past when they were here many years ago when the project, the school, and the hospital were at its infancy stage. It was really touching to see Pat MaClary cry as she walked through the halls of Buen Samaritano Hospital and reminisced about the time she and her husband, Dave, worked on the foundation of the building. We awed as Deb Huegel walked on the beautiful marbled hospital tiles that she and her husband, Bill once helped carry and installed. I also admired Debbie Gravell’s commitment to help the teachers at the Joe Hartman school at all cost. She not only came with bags of goodies and instructional materials that teachers could use in their classroom, she also made a commitment to help them get what they need in order to teach these needy children. Debbie Gravell was relentless. She also came out in the hot sun to help me with the 20+ kids that had gathered at the school on Monday, July 6th when the Week 2 construction crew were out in the fields working. Debbie Gravell came with a bag full of toys and games for the kids to play and she saw I needed help and that I was greatly outnumbered and decided to give me a hand out there with the kids.
It is so easy for those of us that came afterwards to take for granted what is standing there now but hearing the stories of what once was nothing but dirt and a vision was very touching. Now, meeting and being friends with the people, American and Dominican who had a hand in building it from the ground up is great. Thank you to all of the faithful people that persevered through the years and during the hottest and harshest of conditions to make all this a reality.
– Cindy Jones, RI