. The videos are from our time in Jarabacoa, where we visited an orphanage, a school, a care center and a couple barrios (neighborhoods) from which children come. The photos are from a trip two hours away visiting another site in Canstanza. Each orphanage has multiple homes with a couple who serve as parents to eight plus or minus kids. The schools serve orphans, as well as other disadvantaged kids- the poor of the poor. As the Trautweins have more than doubled the number of kids Kids Alive is serving in the DR, they have found new, more cost efficient ways to serve. For example, their care centers offer half day focused academic and spiritual development for underserved kids who are in public school during the other half of the day. Two of the videos below are from our visit to the school in Jarabacoa and the other two are from our barrio visits. Seeing these homes really "hit home" for the kids and us too. The photos have some commentary imbedded if you hit the image. Overall, it was a great chance to see more of the Trautweins work in progress and visit with some of the folks there, including the beautiful children. Lastly, I have a picture of a roadside home in the shelter of a beautiful blooming tree. The contrast of the bare shack and the beautiful tree struck me. It reminded me of my travels in Bombay India over twenty years ago, where the poverty was truly overwhelming and yet when we broke through into the scene of a wedding once or into a volleyball game the next day, we realized that people are people wherever you go and that in some ways the simplicity of life has its positives. In this same vein, Lexi asked me after her first day going to one of the schools with her new friend, Chase Trautwein, "when do I get to meet some orphans?" I responded, "you already did in school today." Not sure what she expected an orphan to look like, but I am sure all she saw was beautiful, eager, resilient girls and boys.
So we decided to visit the DR as a detour to our US based travel plan, and for good reason. We wanted to catch up with our dear friends - the Trautweins and also let the kids see a world unlike any they would see as we visited historic sites on the East coast, natural parks in the Southwest and a mix of attractions up the West coast.We buffered the trip with some nice beach time on both sides. Our stop in Santo Domingo has already been well covered in one of our recent entries, however, I wanted to reflect a bit more on the Trautwein visit and the amazing work they are doing in the DR. We have followed their lives from afar ever since they uprooted their stereotypical lives in the suburbs of Chicago and replanted their family of six in the mountains of the DR. A curious thing to do for a couple with Dartmouth degrees and advanced business (Standford GSB) and medical (Columbia U) degrees. By most standards, they'd already arrived before they left, but compelled by the conviction that they should bring the love of God into the lives of some (now) 1,000 kids from the poorest of the poor neighborhoods from several parts of the country, they are joyfully laboring in the DR.The videos and photos below will add more than words could, so if you are so inclined click to view