Tag Archives: Volunteering



Memories of the Dominican

My next adventure – I’ve been mulling it over.  Once I settle the job situation, I’ll be working on my adventure situation.  I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately because one of the girls I went to the Dominican Republic with, where I helped build houses, is going on another volunteer trip.

She does industrial design and she’ll be helping design/build this eco-tourism center and missionary center in Rwanda.  I haven’t been in close contact with her since the trip, but we’re on facebook so that’s how I found out.  She’s leaving in a few days, to do a trip in Europe and then she’ll make her way to Rwanda from there.  I met-up with her briefly today because she’s borrowing my battery charger.  We both have Canon cameras, and she left her charger at her parents, who live 5 hours from Toronto.  She started a blog about her trip and I told her I would stalk it daily, because she is going to Rwanda so I’m a bit worried, and she promised to update it as often as possible.  It was great to see her, she’s got such a bubbly personality, she’ll do good in Rwanda.

I really want to do a trip that will tie in with some volunteering this year as well.  I think I’m hooked now.  I was trying to explain to a friend how I could never do a resort vacation again, and she didn’t quite get it.  She thought it was because of the food, which is ridiculous, but after I explained it to her I think she was a bit embarassed once she understood that the reason why I couldn’t do it was because of what I had experienced not because of bad food.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with resort vacations abroad, but I crave adventure, being active and doing something worthwhile.  I’ve seen what comes out of a volunteer effort and having experienced it I can’t forget it, I want to keep doing it.  

A couple of countries pop into my head for this year – Africa and Asia.  Maybe I’ll just close my eyes and point somewhere on a map of Africa or Asia and that will be where I go. 

Trust me, there is a method to my madness.  😉


The group that I went to the Dominican with back in February decided to get together for a bbq the other night.  I had gone to the Dominican to volunteer.  It was an amazing experience and left me with a lot to think about.  Even though I’ve processed a lot since the trip, I believe there is still much lurking in my head that I’m not quite ready to think about, that’s how much of an impact it’s left in me.  So, about 8 of us got together for the bbq.

It was a great time, relaxing, fun, lots of good food.  I had not seen most of them since March, so it was nice to play catch-up.  Unfortunately, our leader, who has about 300 of my printed photos (yes, thats really how many I took!), was not there.  I would have liked to have caught-up with him and his wife and, ok, get my pictures back! 

At the end of the night, I was dragging my friend out the door, we had gone together, she’s the one who inspired me to go to the Dominican.  It was late, and I was getting bitten alive by the mosquitos.  My poor ankles still feel sore from the bites.  And, it’s still itchy!!  Anyways, as I was standing by the doorway, the husband of the couple who were hosting came over to me and leaned into me and said quietly “I’m so glad that you came, I wanted to apologize for my behaviour in the Dominican”.  Surprised, I wasn’t quite sure what he meant.

Apparently, he was quite ticked at me on my first morning when I took my first shower in the tree shower, which is another story.  When he took a shower after me, not knowing this, I had used up all the hot water (seriously, I took like a barely 5 minute shower).  That pissed him off – although he later learned our water tank was small.  He also knew that I didn’t do it on purpose but he still got mad.  Obviously, his behaviour towards me bothered him enough to say something to me.  And, I felt like a bit of an idiot for not realizing anything was amiss.

But, for him to come to me after more than 5 months and apologize for behaviour I didn’t even notice must have been difficult for him and to also admit knowing that I couldn’t have possibly done it on purpose but he still got mad at me must not have been easy.  It reinforces to me that its never too late to take responsbility for your actions.  I think it says a lot about his character and integrity.  I could learn a thing or two from this guy.  It’s good to be humble, hard, but good.