Opal Siren

My life in dreams

WELCOME

on September 10, 2012

At a spur of a moment I decided to go to the Dominican Republic. Part of me was bored of being home and the mundane, and the other part just wanted to see my relatives. So I get to cross off visiting my homeland from my life’s list. I have to say that doing the things that are on my life’s list have not been too difficult, and I actually feel more accomplished each day.

Visiting my old home was VERY difficult. It is as time never passed. Everything was the same except my grandmother’s smile which was painfully absent. I was pretty sad my first few days there. I thought about her and how she used to welcome me with a big hug and those bright green eyes. That was the thing about my grandmother…she made EVERYONE feel special and welcome, and her eyes told you everything you needed to know. Her name, Bienvenida, means welcome in Spanish. My great-grandmother hit the nail in the head when she named my grandmother. She helped so many people in need. She comforted and supported her family. She was not judgemental or critical. She was just warm and welcoming like her name.

I don’t know if this trip was a good idea or not. I just know that now I miss her even more. Things got weirder when most relatives did not recognize me, since I left home when I was 15-years-old. I had a good time seeing my dad and other family friends. I also got to see some of my high school friends and old places I used to visit. It is a bit odd to see everything that one has left behind: old friends, homes, schools. Everything from my past life was there and pretty much the same, except ME. I was different and that threw me off. I was more tolerant and understanding of things, and then there were other things, like mosquitos, that drove me nuts. I would say to myself: “How did I do this everyday??!!!”.

The most important lesson I took from this trip is how incredibly lucky I am to have the comforts I have: to have food on the table everyday, even if it is from a drive-thru window, to have a good education and now a stable job. I really needed this trip to give me a reality check and be happy for what I have now.  Too many times we take the smallest things, like having hot water, for granted. I will always give thanks for a nice hot shower! I surely do not miss those cold showers from my trip LOL.

The other lesson I learned on this trip, is the sense of compassion and family togetherness that developing countries, like the Dominican Republic, have. I really missed that and unfortunately I do not see a lot of togetherness here in the U.S. In the Dominican Republic, families depend and rely on each other. Here in the U.S., we are all on our own it seems. Everything is about the person and the sense of “me” and “I” , and not ” we” and “us”.  Event though many Dominican families have the bare necessities, if that, they have their immediate families and extended families to rely on. This togetherness was refreshing, admirable, and comforting to see.

Here are some pictures for you to enjoy from the trip. They were taken in Sosua and Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic 🙂

Happy Reading!!!

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