lovelikeheloves

Love Always

Memories

Man alive! This month flew by! I can’t believe December 1 is tomorrow!! Happy belated Thanksgiving to everyone! Hope y’all had a lovely time with your loved ones 🙂 Mine was good, thanks for asking. Haha. But really, it was fun. It was 2 Americans, a Chilean, 2 Nigerians, 3 Germans, a Dominican, and a Brit celebrating Thanksgiving. All in all, a lovely time.

This month has been filled with new experiences and fun adventures! I went on 2 different retreats, traveled to different parts of the country, went snorkeling for the first time, and met some new people. It’s been my busiest month here so far for sure, but I enjoyed it!

So when I was thinking about this month’s blog, I realized I haven’t shared many pictures with y’all…my bad. Sooooo that’s what I shall do! Below are some pictures I’ve taken over the last several months. I didn’t want to bombard y’all with too many pics but it’s was also tough choosing some because there are so many! So here ya go, some photos from my crazy life in the Dominican Republic:

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Dany and me before Festival Presidente

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Saw Prince Royce, Daddy Yankee, and Bruno Mars in concert at Festival Presidente

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Isla Saona-aka paradise

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Love never fails

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A weekend with these crazy nuns...don't worry they say we're crazy too 🙂

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A memorable night with beautiful people

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God's creations are beautiful

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Community 🙂

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She gets me

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Beautiful people

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Two of my little ones 🙂

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Always a fun time with these goofballs

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An international Thanksgiving dinner

Like I said before, I have wayyyy too many photos but I figured I’d share these with y’all.

This first semester has gone by so quickly which is slightly surprising. Sometimes I feel like I just got here but then I realize it’s been 4 months! Ill be here another 3 weeks and then I get to go visit my family for 2 weeks!! I’m beyond excited to see them!! We’re all counting down the days! It’s funny because I have journal entries from when I first got here saying how long it would take for December to get here and now that it’s pretty much here I can’t believe it.

The Sisters tell me the second semester goes by super fast so we’ll see how that goes. I’ve learned so much from the people here that I can’t even put into words. They’ve changed me. This experience thus far has changed me in ways that I didn’t expect it to. I know I’ll be forever grateful for this experience and for the opportunity to work with these people.  I pray that I continue to learn from them throughout the rest of my time here and that I may continue to serve them the best I can.

As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Love always,
Gabby

Ps. Yay for the first Sunday of Advent!! I pray that we may all use this time to prepare our hearts for our Saviour’s birth.

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace. His dominion is vast and forever peaceful

Isaiah 9:5-6

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Typical Day

I’ve been here 3 months and I finally have a routine going. Better late then never eh? If you read my previous entries, then you know that the first month or so was difficult, but it’s been easier since then. Well, easier isn’t the word, more like I’ve grown accustomed to living here. When I was still home, people often asked what I would be doing once I got here. I usually replied with “um, teaching…not sure what I’ll be teaching though ::insert Kanye shrug::.” I didn’t really know what exactly I would be doing or what to expect, I just knew it would be something new. Well, ain’t that the truth!

So now that I have a routine, let’s pretend you’re asking me “so Gabby, what exactly is it that you’re doing? What’s your typical day?” Well I’m glad you asked! Here it is:

I wake up at 6:15, say my morning prayers, get dressed, make some good ol Dominican coffee, eat breakfast, pack my lunch, and at around 7:15 I hear incessant honking outside which means the guagua (aka our ride) is here. (There’s a picture of it in my second post I think if you care to look.) Anyhow, about 23 of us pack in there and set off for school. We get to school around 7:35 and kids are already there waiting to greet the profes.

I go into the classroom and straighten up a bit to get ready for the day. I’m outside with the kiddos at 7:55. For the next four hours I’m with 26 four to five year olds trying to not lose it. Jk..well, kinda. They are an active bunch to say the least, the very least at that. These kids come to school hungry and sometimes with little sleep. Now everybody knows that being both tired and hungry do not make a great combination, especially in kids. Needless to say they teach me patience every morning. But I mean really, how could you not love these faces??

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So from 12:15-1:30 is our lunch aka my naptime. Yes, I really nap. No, don’t judge me. At 2pm my little ones come. These are the 3 year olds and they’re adorbs. They can get cray from time to time as well but there’s not as many of them so it’s a bit easier. They like to dance. Scratch that, they LOVE to dance. It’s so cute!

School let’s out at 4:30 and we usually leave on the same guagua by 5. By this time I’m exhausted, but the day isn’t over quite yet.

We (the nuns and the other volunteer I live with) have dinner together Mon-Thu. We each take turns cooking. On Mondays, the German volunteers that are apart of another program that also works with the school come over for dinner. Tuesday is my night to cook which means I start cooking as soon as I get home so we can eat at a decent hour. Let me just say Pinterest has definitely come in handy! Wednesday and Thursday we have community prayer after dinner and we take turns leading it. It’s a time to reflect on the week and talk about where we’ve seen God in the week. Now the weekends are time to partayyyy!! Just kidding. I do a lot of sleeping on the weekend. We’re each assigned an area to clean so I do that and I also do my laundry. I know, I know, it’s exciting stuff. The other and volunteer and I will sometimes go out dancing or go the concert that the city puts on every Sunday. I’ve been practicing my bachata and merengue but I still don’t have the salsa down. I’m determined to be at least an okay salsa dancer by the time I leave though! 

So there ya have it! My week in a nutshell. There are some other things that are pretty “typical” here, such as ants, lizards, cockroaches, mosquitos, flies, and sweat. Haha, but really, it’s still freaking hot. So enjoy your Fall because I don’t get one this year.

I didn’t know what to expect before coming here, and even though some days are incredibly challenging for many reasons, I know I’m right where I need to be. I didn’t know what God had planned for me once I got here, but every day I try to let him lead me with His spirit of love and he never fails to show up. God shows himself to me in so many ways and always at the perfect time. So even though my typical day 6 months ago is nothing like my typical day now, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. God’s called me here to love His people and that’s what I intend to do. I won’t lie, there’s times when I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, but I try to spread some LOVE nonetheless.

There’s a song by Hillsong United called Oceans that I love (even though it’s kinda old) because it reminds me that God will guide me even when I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. So if you ever feel that way too, know that you’re not alone and that God will always guide your way if you let Him.

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and you won’t start now…

… Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior.

Love always,
Gabby

PS. Happy Halloween!! Also, I would like to wish my crazy nephew Jacob Anthony, who turns 4 on Wednesday, a very happy birthday. Moni, tell him I love and miss him very much. And tell him I especially miss his silly faces and funny singing! I would also like to wish a feliz cumpleaños to mi padre who turns the big 55 on November 28! Te extraño mucho dad! Que Dios te bendiga con muchos años mas! Espero que tu día especial esté lleno de amor y felicidad y todo lo que disfrutas (Bebe una margaritas para mí..haha) Love you!

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