Monday, March 19, 2012

Third Service Trip to La Suiza Orphanage in the Dominican Republic Through the Bement School

There has been much written lately that teenagers are not willing to take positive risks and are not willing to travel. I beg to differ.

I believe that this generation is socially conscious and willing and wanting to help out others in need. I also believe that, if given the opportunity, and if they find the resources, teenagers today will travel to help out in communities less fortunate.

I am now in my second week in Gothenburg, Sweden and am marveling at the wonders of the society here.

My daughter, in the meantime, has returned from her third service trip to help out at La Suiza, which is a boys orphanage in the Dominican Republic.

She first traveled to La Suiza with her fellow 9th graders three years ago, as part of an initiative started at The Bement School, from which she graduated. She returned there last year, as a student at Deerfield Academy, and as part of a Bement alum trip.

The above photos she took this past week and, yes, that is a tarantula. The Bement alums painted the alphabet at the orphanage and engaged the children in many activities but most, importantly, they shared with those who have very little, their smiles and gave them the attention that they sorely need. There are now about 50 boys at the orphanage.

Along with her good friend, my daughter, Alexandra, has helped to raise money for books and to pay the librarian at La Suiza so that the library does not stay shuttered. I knew that having her go back again might be risky but she wanted to see the good that was done through raising additional funds. Her reflections on the trip last year, with information on the bracelet initiative to raise funds, can be found on The Bement School website.

When she returned from La Suiza this past Friday (after almost 3 hours getting processed at the JFK airport) she said that each time she goes back the experiences are even more special.

The human connections made last a lifetime.