Dominican Republic: Departing Tinajita

July 5, 2011 — My head had whirled with high emotions as we prepared to leave. My heart pours out to the villagers who I will probably never see in my lifetime after this visit. Time moves by so slowly here and I just keep thinking about how it would feel to be living in their shoes, where they are disconnected from life outside the mountains. I pray that someone will save the children from this isolated and desolate area that is cut off from modern civilization. The school is so small here; there is not enough room for all the children to attend. No child should have to live a life blindfolded from the opportunities and basic resources that other children enjoy.

Climbing up the hill, I felt as if I was crawling my way out of an abyss.  Climbing my way toward modern life; toward a direction that the residents may never see in life. I was able to freely get out of this mess; they cannot. I was free and they were almost prisoners in their own native country, chained to living a rural life, disconnected from opportunities in society. It was this experience that really opened up my eyes to see that I am a rich and spoiled. I have everything. I shouldn’t complain that I don’t have a chic condo or drive the latest BMW. Because there are people, who I just witnessed who are just surviving, even if it’s going without food for a day.

Our drive down the mountain, I started to get more frustrated. I was upset and outraged at the fancy mansions perched atop the mountainside, overlooking scenic pastoral views. How could you live like this knowing your neighbor is lying on the floor hungry, without clean running water and basic necessities?  They are ignorant to the poor.

Coming back to downtown Santiago it looked like a more comfortable place much better off than Tinajita. The streets are bustling with life. The mountain journey gave me a new perspective on the downtown area.

Author: Kimberly Kweder

33 years old, career woman, Pittsburgh native, and loves projects that involve communications, social media, and international development.

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