Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Top 5 things we're looking forward too and will struggle with most about the states

Top 5 Things we are looking forward to about the states: (not in any particular order)

1.       Recreational activities (while there are several rivers and waterfalls, there is a huge lack of organized sports. Josh is very much looking forward to organized basketball again)

2.       (Josh) Being able to utilize my experience and bring in a cross-cultural perspective into the new ministry that I’ll be working in – Youth For Christ

3.       Food (milk, ice cream, cheese, large varieties of everything!... and Starbucks!)

4.       Raising Julia near family

5.       Things being open 24/7

Top 5 things we will most struggle with in the states: (not in any particular order)

1.       Lifestyle

·         The pace of life is difficult for us – it’s so rushed

·         People have a permanent best friend called “smartphone” – the need to be in constant connection with the world/friends/facebook/twitter is foreign to us. When we’re back at Christmas this is one of the hardest things for us to be exposed to, constantly being interrupted by Mr. /Mrs. Smartphone and the divided attention by the person holding it.

2.       Having a different perspective than those around us on materialism and consumerism, and needs vs. wants

3.       Lack of community

·         We are used to and love the community that we have with Students International, coming back and not having that type of community will be really hard

4.       Quality of relationships

·         Relationships here are very intentional and everyone has time (or makes time) for everyone

·         Each day is an adventure with relationships – you never know when another incredible conversation is going to happen, but they happen frequently

·         Not really being known

5.       Hard to relate to others because of the experience and not being able to fully communicate or express this place

·         We’ve been away for 4 years in a place that few of our friends and family have seen and we’ve changed a lot as a result. Communicating who we truly are and the condition of our hearts will be something that will be very hard to do – few will “get it”

Friday, October 12, 2012

Top 5 things we are not going to miss about the D.R.

Top 5 things we are not going to miss about the D.R.

1.       Lack of customer service

·         It’s not a huge deal, but sometimes I do get tired of waiting to pay for stuff or get help because the cashier is checking facebook, having a personal conversation on their cell phone, hanging out with the other employees but forgetting to work, or just simply doesn’t care. I know these things happen in the states too, but it’s on a very different scale… in my experience, it happens everywhere here, including the grocery store, emergency room, nice resorts, restaurants, etc.

2.       Lack of structure and organization (ex. standing in line, applying for residency, driving, putting on basketball tournaments, filling up the car with gas, paying for bills, etc.)

3.       Being center of attention because of color of skin (seen and treated as rich) (getting hissed at)

·         We draw extra attention because we’re white. I (Vicki) get hissed at a lot when I’m walking through town, going for runs, and paying bills. (The hissing is a way of trying to get my attention.) I also draw comments like: mi amor, princessa, and mi visa. The comments and hissing don’t hurt me, but I don’t really like it.

·         Because we’re white, we’re seen as rich. And I know that we are never wanting for anything that we need… so we are rich! But it’s hard to be in a place where we’re trying to do ministry but feel like people just see us as dollar signs. Sometimes people who aren’t even begging will just walk up to us and ask us for money.

4.       Sweating everyday (we love the sun, just not the constant sweating)

5.       Not being able to fully show/express ourselves to Dominicans

·         Due to culture, language, humor, and sarcasm differences, it’s difficult to show the “real me” to latinos. While we’re still able to communicate, share of ourselves, participate in our hobbies, and hang out, it’s still challenging to convey the true me – maybe it’s difficult because we place our priorities and values in different things… I’m not completely sure on this point.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Top 5 things we're going to miss about the D.R.

So Josh and I decided that in effort to help us process leaving we are going to post four blogs each being a “top 5…” list of some sort. Today’s list is the top 5 things we are going to miss about the D.R.


1.      The Lifestyle.

·         It’s super relaxed here (Dominican people are non-crisis people)

·         It’s a very worry free and stress free place

·         Flexible

·         Easy going

·         Relationship oriented

2.      Importance of relationships

·         America is a task focused culture, while here the focus is placed on relationships first. At times it can be a little frustrating as it can take a really long time to get something done, but we have enjoyed this aspect of the culture.

3.      Weather

·         Being in a sunny place is so great!  Waking up in the morning to sun every morning is so motivating. We love sitting on the porch, lying in the hammock, and going to the river and beach. We can always count on the sun!

4.      Being in a community of like-minded people

·         There is something very special about daily being surrounded by people who share the same vision and calling in life. And we all understand one another because we’re all journeying together with the same organization. And for the Americans that are with SI, we all “get each other” and the changes, sacrifices, and challenges that we face being here.

5.      Unique opportunity to minister to Americans in another culture

·         Ministering to Americans while being in the D.R. is a very special opportunity. We can have conversations about things here while only knowing one another for a very short period of time, where to have the same conversation in the states would take months and months if not years to have.

·         Being abroad on missions trips has a way of allowing a person to open up and become vulnerable, therefore allowing for awesome conversations and life changes