Let the mission begin
San Juan Travel Blog› entry 4 of 6 › view all entries
It was here in San Juan, a little town in the middle of the Dominican Republic, that the 52 of us started our 11 month missions experience. We spent the better part of a week training the best we could for what was to come. How do you train for an unpredictable year of missions work, though? It was a chance to get accustomed to living on a very tight budget and in conditions far from what we all had back in the US. My wife and I slept out back in a tent, with 40 girls in a three room house and 11 guys across the street in a one room apartment. It was nice to have some space to ourselves! We had to take bucket showers and pour water down the toilets to flush them. Bucket showers are just that - fill up a bucket in the tap outside and use that water to lather up and then rinse.
With slums nearby, we had to lock up all our things (even carry our tents inside) every day. Almost every night we had a man try to sneak into the girls house for who knows what reason. We also had a man posing as a gardener in an attempt to get in the house and grab whatever he could find.
We were able to find a few small restaurants in town where we could eat for the equivalent of a few dollars. Food consisted of rice, beans, and some type of meat, and little did we know that we'd soon be having a lot of it! I stumbled upon a food I really fell in love with, though - yucca, a root that tastes a lot like potatoes - but much better!
From here, my team of 7 people set off for the desert town of Azua, where we'd be doing our ministry for the month.