Field Note #117: DR Trip: Two Years Later


 

I did a trip to the Dominican Republic two years ago to volunteer with Wine To Water, and ever since, I have been wanting to experience another trip or give back in some way. The Tap was a perfect way for me to do this.

Looking back, I was completely unaware of the impact those 10 days would have on my life. Our lives were touched and forever changed by the people and culture of the Dominican Republic. It was so inspiring and eye opening to see a culture and community that has so little in regards to resources but is so rich in things that actually matter, like community, happiness and love for life. Still, two years later, this has changed the way I view the world. One of the best gifts this trip gave me when I returned home was a reawakening of the sense of gratitude: for a toilet that works, for access to endless amounts of clean water, for a roof over my head, for family, friends and so much more.

I went to the DR to experience the people, the culture and most of all, a small part of the Global Water Crisis. I remember all of the little things now. The first warnings: don’t drink the tap water, don’t flush toilet paper down the toilet. I remember taking ice cold showers and having to be extra cautious on how long I took (especially if it hadn’t rained!). I remember all of us having to wait an hour or so for our water to finish filtering when we ran out or if someone forgot to close the tap and we would then have to refill it with rainwater.

The whole experience opened my eyes, and I’m thankful that I was given the opportunity with 16 others to experience that journey two years ago. Sometimes, I'm left with the feeling of bittersweet memories: the gift of having done something so wonderful and having been there living in those moments. Then the awful heartache that is left at the bottom of every heart: wishing that something so impactful could last forever.


- Lauren