Caribbean

  • My eyes pop open as the cooing of roosters awakens my slumber. I roll over on my paper-thin mattress, careful not to hit my head on the bunk above me. Stepping onto the filthy cement floor, I look around to see the other fourteen women in my room. It is hot, sticky, and crowded, but I could not be...

  • After living in the United States for 5 years my parents could no longer renew our Business Visa. We had to go back to Europe, but this was also the perfect opportunity for my parents to finally accomplish their dream, sailing around the world. We searched around Holland and finally purchased a 44...

  • It was my first day in Little Bay (Philipsburg, St. Martin, Dutch Antilles); my first day in paradise. Clear water, velvet-soft sand, piña colada paradise. In the turquoise water I felt at ease and breathing under water was natural; as if breathing on land had been strenuous training for the...

  • Falmouth, Jamaica, marked the third port of call on the cruise my family had taken this summer. Like many of the other ports of call, the presence of shopping was overwhelming as one first walked into the harbor. This part of Jamaica was immensely different from the typical Jamaican land only a few...

  •      When our team leader told us our first mission work experience was going to be a visit to Pasitos de Jesus girls orphanage; I remained trapped in my timid and overly cautious state of mind regarding interactions with the native people. We arrived to a shelter that was smaller than most of our...

  • The alarm clock buzzes at six in the morning and I immediately shoot out of bed.  Despite the early start, I contentedly wake up and start packing as I review my checklist—towel, fresh ripened mangoes from the backyard, coconut water and a bathing suit.  While everyone else is still frantically...

  • Up until three years ago, I never concerned myself about the world outside the United States. The most I knew about other cultures and foreign lifestyles came from what I read about in textbooks or had seen on the news or travel channel. During the summer of my freshman year, my family and I had...

  •                 The summer before my first year in high school my family and some of my close friends went on a cruise to the Bahamas. I had never visited outside the country before, nor had I ever been on a cruise. I had feelings of both nervousness and excitement and couldn’t wait for the journey...

  • In late July of 2014, I retracted back to my “home” village in the Dominican Republic for a week. By joining the Village Mountain Mission the year before with my mom, and building homes for impoverished and stranded families, I fell in love with not only mission work but also a village called...

  • On an oppressively hot day in mid-July, armed with hundreds of hastily assembled ham sandwiches and bundles of clothes, I climbed on a bus and rode with thirty other students through the dusty switchbacks of Juan Dolio. In forty-five minutes we’d pitched ourselves from the lofty suites of Los...

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