There's a phrase they use in the Dominican Republic, si Dios quiere. It translates to mean something like, "If God wants it," "If God wills it." (When I was there last summer, the locals used it so often that it almost became comedic. Pase buen dia, they'd say, ...si Dios quiere. "Have a good day...if God wants you to").
But regardless, I knew what they meant. Deep down, it was an expression of their faith in something -- someone -- bigger than themselves to get them through the day, whatever that day might bring. Maybe here and now, we know this thought better as the idea that everything happens for a reason. We spent our fair share of time using the phrase jokingly, but in my quiet time alone, I remember thinking how special it really was.
The faith of the people there will forever surprise me, confuse me, and most of all, inspire me. Many of them have never even heard of half the things I'm sure I couldn't bear to live a day without. There's no indoor plumbing, electricity (if you're lucky) for just a few hours each day, a shortage of healthy food and sanitary water, and diseases that most Americans won't ever have to encounter.
I'm applying to be a coordinator for the program again next summer, and hoping that I'll be able to work it into my Internship for my master's program that I have to do. Lately I've be
been really struggling to find that same purpose and faith and inspiration that I had during my first time there, and that I was so excited to bring back with me. And so, I'm just trying to remind myself of my experience as much as possible, and keep it alive in my life everyday.
Some of my favorite pictures from the DR: