Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The most valuable thing I learned throughout my week there was the universality of love and compassion…

Below is a reflection by Allie Finlay of Saint Anselm College who went on a Mission Trip to NPH Dominican Republic.

My experience at Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos was one that I will never forget. I was really anxious about going at first because I had never traveled outside the United States, and I did not speak much Spanish. Once we were in the Dominican Republic all of that anxiety went away. The most valuable thing I learned throughout my week there was the universality of love and compassion. Although I struggled with the language, I was able to connect with the children through play and through non communication. I connected with a group of boys throughout the week at their lunchtime and each day we ate with them I would be called or dragged over to sit with them. The boys noticed after the second day that I was not able to speak much Spanish but we connected over thumb wars and arm wrestling and they even taught me the word for champion in Spanish!

As the week progressed I was able to connect with girls over snapchat and hair and makeup and with the younger kids through play and just hugging them and caring for them. Although I was able to connect without using communication I was able to also connect by communicating to the older boys and girls because they were able to speak English. They were very understanding and helped me as much as possible with my Spanish with the younger kids who would become frustrated easily at my inability to communicate. One of the boys was actually able to hold a full conversation in English and when I would become frustrated he would communicate with me in English to ease my anxiety. I would really like to return in the future to the NPH home once I have improved my Spanish to be a volunteer for at least six months and be able to work in the clinic as a nurse. These kids really impacted my life and the people I met and served will always have a special place in my heart. I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity to serve at this wonderful organization and I really hope I can return in the future!


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