Sophomore distance runner Katie Bianchini sends an update on the track and field team's mission trip to the Dominican Republic.
Daihatsus, mosquito nets, electricity…oh my!
After meeting Santa and handing out Magi boxes to all the kids, we headed out to Bobito! We’ve been riding around in a cool vehicle known as a Daihatsu—an open-backed truck with bench seats on either side—and this trip was no different. We loaded ourselves and our suitcases into the Daihatsu and set off over the bumpy roads toward the mountains. The sun was already almost down but we were able to see a few small huts and homes as we got further away from Santiago. Soon, we bumped down a pothole-filled road that led us onto the highway. I use the term “highway” loosely…imagine driving on a windy back road at 50 or 60 miles per hour with honking cars and motorcycles zipping by on either side. Eventually there were no more houses with lights in the windows, cars passing with loud music, or billboards. We rode along in the dark for quite a while, listening to the sound of the car’s engine as it struggled up the hill…and then the singing began. I’m guessing we sang every known Christmas song and maybe made up a few on the way. We also went through a good portion of the Disney tunes and ended with various Taylor Swift hits. Overall it was a fun ride through the mountains.
At around 10:30 p.m., we turned off the highway onto another rolling road and held on tightly as we dipped in and out of ditches. Finally at 11, we saw the Manna campus lights and wobbled off the Daihatsu to our mosquito-net-clad beds. Fun fact about electricity in the DR, it sometimes turns off without any notice. You guessed it; we were merrily brushing our teeth when suddenly we were in the dark! So that was our cue to go to sleep. However, at about 2 a.m., all of the lights turned back on because we had not flipped the light switch. We are learning a lot so far :)