Essay about My Mission Trip to the Dominican Republic

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It was a hot, searing day as the sun beat down on my skin. The lush green palm trees provided me shade as I sat and observed my surroundings. Children, barefoot and dirty, wearing tattered and stained clothes were running around laughing and playing. Their joyous giggles put a smile on my face and warmed my heart as I watched them. It was my first time in the Dominican Republic, away from my parents and traveling alone. It was also my first mission trip and I loved every minute of it. As I sat and looked around the village of slums and shacks, I saw that the people were so giving and friendly. They had next to nothing, and yet they were still volunteering to give more.
I met a young girl who was thirteen years of age, sweet and
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The day before we left I was sitting under that same tree that provided the much appreciated shade just a few days earlier. She came up to me and quietly spoke in Spanish; her voice was as soft as a feather. I could tell she was holding something in her hands, something small enough that her fist was closed tightly around it. First she gave me a hug and said “Tengo un regalo para ti”, which means “I have a gift for you.” I was touched that she would even think to give me anything.
All of a sudden, I felt her sweaty fingers against my wrist. I looked down and saw her black, precious hands tying a strand of beads to my wrist. It was a bracelet made of black, sparkly beads and transparent beads, strung together by a piece of black string. She began to tell me that she prayed over the bracelet and for me, because I helped her and had formed a friendship with her. The words she spoke touched my heart deeply.

As I examined the bracelet, her choice of colors struck me. I found it interesting that she chose black and white beads. It reminded me of our friendship, she has black skin, I have white, and we both felt so close with each other. Just as the beads on the string were intertwined and touching each other, we had touched one another’s lives.
I later found out that she took the week’s grocery money to go down to the market to

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