Where do I begin? The excitement in the weeks, no, months leading up to this incredible experience? The amazement of actually being in the Dominican Republic, experiencing the most incredible week of my life? Or the weeks after getting back, of non-stop recollection of memories of the great trip I just ventured upon? My recent journey with the D.R.E.A.M.S. trip was an overall thrilling experience, from the very beginning to the very end.
From the very first time I ever heard about the D.R.E.A.M.S. trip in elementary school, I knew it was an adventure that I would one day love to embark upon. The day came at the end of my grade 11 year…the news that I had been one of the lucky students chosen to travel with St. Mary’s to the Dominican! Ever since that moment, it was never-ending anticipation…it felt like the March break would never come.
It really started to hit me about 1 week before we were leaving, as I was trying to pack. The hard part was attempting to fit all the donations I wanted to bring with me into 2 bags – the limit for the airplane. I wanted to bring as much as I could because from what I had heard, the Dominicans had very little. Nothing could have prepared me for what it’s actually like there. From the moment we arrived, as we were driving down the road, you could instantly see the poverty, how different things were from Canada. Once we got to our village in the mountain however, I was able to see that the people are also very different. They are so much happier than anything you would ever expect.
The whole week in the Dominican was unbelievable. The bonds I formed with the people of the Dominican, the bonds I formed with the members of my trip, and the hard work put into building the house for the family. Even now, after being home, I still have in my memory the awesome week down in the Dominican Republic.
The D.R.E.A.M.S. experience has changed my life. I have a new appreciation for everything and realize how privileged we are in Canada. I don’t feel the need for so many material possessions. I realize that you don’t need to have money, or clothes or electronics to be happy. You really just need to be in the presence of friends and family who love you. I hope to spread the word and let others know about how amazing this opportunity is and ensure that the D.R.E.A.M.S. trip continues to happen in the future!
D.R.E.A.M.S. the (Dominican Republic Education and Medical Support) is a program in which grade 12 students at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School of Hamelton, Canada. Groups of students go to the mountains of the Dominican Republic to build homes and help in other ways. These witnesses are sent to me from time to time by my friend Don Hall