New approaches...¨Si Dios Qiere¨

Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
Trip End Nov 07, 2007

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Flag of Dominican Republic  ,
Thursday, May 4, 2006

After a few more weeks of frustration, I started to realize that I needed to put a new mask and toss out the old one. This new mask launched me to new heights of satisfaction and happiness in my work. This new mask has written upon it a new philosphy.... Live, Breath, Listen, Have fun! They have a saying here that I have also adopted with my new way of thinking. Whenever you tell someone goodbye and that you will see them later, they respond ¨Si Dios Quiere¨...If God Wants. This simple phrase has made me realize to count on my faith more than anything, but also that you can want something so bad but it´s not what´s meant to be or what ¨Dios quiere¨ so you just have to listen and discover clues which tell you what you are REALLY supposed to do. Live, because I hadn´t been living. Breathe, because I held my breath too much waiting for something that wasn´t going to happen. Listen, because in my attempt to do things the ¨american way¨ I wasn´t listening to suggestions people were giving me (such as a small girls´group in each barrio, instead of a huge meeting of girls in the whole town). Have on.

This was something I learned a few weeks ago. After more failed meetings, I attended a basketball tournament given by the Red Cross for the municipal games which were taking place all over the country. It was hot and I wasn´t playing, so I didn´t have much of a desire to do attend, or thought maybe I would just attend for an hour and ¨make an appearance¨. I however instead, stayed the entire two days and it was probably the most ¨successful¨ meeting I had. I met so many motivated youth, who are very interested in helping me with some upcoming projects, as well as found many girls who had the desire to play basketball but didn´t know how to play, nor thought anyone would want to teach them. Some of the players in the tournament told me they would be willing to teach the girls if they wanted to start a team. Even I, having a horrible time trying to play basketball, became excited about starting this new team.

I found some posterboard in the red cross and had the kids make signs supporting their teams and everyone had a great time, and so did I! I then realized that taking the time to spend it with the actual people of my community and getting to know them in whatever I do is so much more useful than trying to get people to ättend a meeting that some ¨gringa¨ ïs having. The people of this country enjoy each others company, whether it be chatting over a ¨cafecita¨ late in the afternoon, or a heated domino game, or going to the beach. I have learned these are the best way to recruit people in my work.

During the last week, I had to finish my dreaded ¨trimester report¨ which, in short, is a list of all the things that have been done in the community and how many people have been effected by them, to send to Washington DC so they can continue to fund PC programs. Many volunteers dread these reports and I realized after some time (since really nothing had been done in my community to date) my purpose in the PC was to learn a new culture, help people, and find myself. None of which was being accomplished by worrying about a trimester report. And when I do, I put on my new mask and everything makes sense.
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