Thursday, March 31, 2011

Yale Service Tour to the DR -- Epilogue

Saturday, March 18

Early in the morning, Tyler and I got up to go to the airport.  We were to fly out at 8 to meet Lisa and the other kids in Puerto Rico for a quick beach vacation with the whole family.

As we went through customs in San Juan that morning, we were picked for screening by customs.  We were pulled aside and the customs officer started going through out bags. The clothes he saw did not look to him like resort clothes, so he asked us where we had been and what we had done in the Dominican Republic. We started by telling him that we had taught music at a school.

"In Santo Domingo?" he asked.   No, we said, Las Charcas, near San Juan de la Maguana.

Were you there alone? No, we were with a group. We explained the clinic, the house and the other educational projects

Was this a church group?  No, we said, a college group ... Students and alumni.

Which school?  Yale.

I didn't know schools like Yale would do such things. How many people went?  About 90, we said.

Did other people bring their kids, because your son is pretty young?  Yes, we said, other kids were there.

And, you said Yale did this?  That's right. 

He then grew quiet. He looked at me and Tyler.  His eyes began to water.  "I know San Juan de la Maguana," he said.  "Thank you for coming to the Caribbean to do this work.  Please keep doing it."

With that he zipped up our bags and told us we could go.


So, if  you've read the posts about the DR, you now have a glimpse from my point of view of what it was like.  What do you think?  Interested in participating in a trip like this?

-- Tim

1 comment:

  1. Tim,

    Thank you for passing on that touching experience!! Your son did a great job teaching music - I am sure that many students will never forget that - as well as your work and the entire groups projects. It was wonderful to meet such compassionate volunteers!

    My airport experience just consisted of the customs inspector trying to stop me coming into the DR. He asked very sternly what was in the big grey container that I was wheeling through the airport. When I said it was materials to fight Cholera he just immediately flagged me through and moved away from me with a totally different look on his face :)

    Another memory that really sticks with me is the joy of the fellow whose family was getting the new house we built. He was literally jumping up and down clapping his hands with a huge grin on his face when we told him that it was almost finished. Such a sweet guy -I am very happy for him and his family!

    Also, keep on the look out for our new 2012 programs for YASC - to be announced soon!!!

    Best - Connie