Monday, May 7, 2007

On the Ground in the Dominican Republic

This week we’ll go back to one of the places that stands out most in my memory because of its incredibly ugly poverty – and I’ve been to a lot of poor places.

Before you read any further, please take a look at this video. Then I want to share a couple of things about it.

Did you notice the two young boys standing in a doorway in the first few frames? In particular, did you notice the little black spots that seemed to be moving all over their faces and hair?

They were moving.

The little black dots are flies. These little boys live in the community you see in the next frames of the video, the one with the blue-green houses and families standing around in the street. The community is in the Dominican Republic and its name is La Mosca, which in Spanish means “The Fly.”

I was part of the team that was in La Mosca the day that video was filmed. As I mentioned to you in a previous post, I grew up in an impoverished country and am no stranger to desperately poor neighborhoods. But I’ve never seen anywhere worse than La Mosca.

I don’t know if you noticed…there appears to be a small mountain in the background of the shot of the blue-green houses. It is a mountain – but not a mountain of dirt and rocks. The mountain you see is garbage, because La Mosca is literally built in the city dump.

You’re almost afraid to open your mouth in La Mosca for fear of swallowing flies. They are everywhere, swarming in thick black clouds, crawling on people’s faces, in their eyes and ears…and the weary residents of this stark community no longer seem to notice them, they’ve been exposed to them for so long.

Left to right: Jacob, Kelly, Sarah, Erin, Jennifer and Deron just prior to leaving Kansas City for the Dominican Republic.

Jennifer and Deron were also there that day. Now we’re back in the Dominican Republic, along with Erin, Sarah and Jacob. We’ll be posting throughout the week to keep you updated as we visit the children and their families in the sponsorship communities.

Deron’s comments will be particularly interesting, so be on the lookout for them. He’ll be talking about his own sponsored child – among other things – and how we came across him on our last visit. It’s a very moving story.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

This is awesome. My husband and I cannot wait to go and visit our sponsored child, Robinson, of the Dominican Republic.

Thank you for the inspiration!

Keep up all the great work!