Tuesday, April 3, 2018

We feel we left NPH with so much more than we gave...

Below is a reflection from Joanie and Norah Sullivan from the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast region who recently visited NPH DR!
Our trip to NPH in the Dominican Republic was a life-changing and heartwarming experience for us. Before we got to NPH we were excited and a little nervous about being in a new culture and having to speak a new language. Immediately, we realized that the language barrier and the cultural differences would not be an issue. 

On our first day there, children would come up to us and start conversations, want a hug or ask to play. As the week continued, we came to know many individual children and often heard right from them how NPH had affected their lives. We developed friendships with them: after school we would play games with the younger children and have conversations with the older kids about school and sports. They were so much friendlier than we were used to. For example, when we were playing cards or talking, someone would come over just to say “hi” and give us hugs. Even though sometimes we couldn't understand what the children were saying, we still were able to communicate with each other. This experience was so different from our lives in Boston that we feel we left NPH with so much more than we gave. Our visit taught us many important things that we will never forget.

When we arrived back in Boston we were much more aware of wasting food, electricity, and water. We were also so touched by the friendliness of the children at NPH that we have tried to continue to go out of our way to act the same for people here. We also learned to appreciate our education. Many of the children outside NPH did not attend school at all, and many more received a very poor education. Arriving back in the U.S, we are determined to take advantage of all the opportunities provided to us.

Although we came to NPH in the Dominican Republic so we could give back to the children there, we are so grateful because the children gave us something much more important instead. We left with new friendships, an understanding of what is important in life, and many amazing memories. We were so sad to leave NPH at the end of the week, but we are already planning our next visit to come and to see all our new friends again.

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