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Thursday, August 11, 2011
The Bisons spent their first morning in the Dominican Republic visiting a village whose destitute residents formerly worked at a now-closed sugar cane farm. The visit was a very emotional and eye-opening stop for the Bisons.
Click on the image to the right to play a video of this morning's visit.
After leaving the hotel this morning in two small mini-buses, the team stopped at Jumbo which is the Wal-Mart of the Dominican Republic. Food was purchased and packaged into forty kits that would be distributed to forty families at the "Sugar Cane Village." Each food package cost about $8.75 USD and was expected to last a family for two weeks.
The team then proceeded into the country-side towards the preselected village. Turning down a non-descript side road, kids soon came running from every direction to meet the team. This village was coined the "Sugar Cane Village" by the SCORE International staff because it is located on a now-closed sugar cane farm. After the farm closed, the residents had no where to go and now live life in deep poverty.
There were about 150 people at the village but only a few houses were visible. While the residents had no possessions, they all acted extremely happy just to be alive. There are an estimated 2,500 villages similar to the "Sugar Cane Village" located throughout the Dominican Republic. The video and pictures speak more about the stop than can ever be written.
After returning to the hotel, the Bisons had lunch and then visited the pool and the beach. The team can best be described as contemplative right now. Even though they are having some time to relax, many of them were talking about the morning's experience and how the game of basketball seems so menial compared to the fight to simply live that they saw at the village.
The Bisons depart the hotel at 5 p.m. central time for a game in Santo Domingo. Previously it was announced that they would face a Mauricio Baez team, but that has changed. We'll apparently know our opponent once we reach the gym. Everything is very fluid here.
You can follow game updates on Twitter on the LipscombBisons account and we'll have a recap late tonight on LipscombSports.com.