Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Las Cruces Campo Immersion

Five weeks after arriving to the Dominican Republic, we (members of Comunidad Trece) embarked on our first campo experience in Las Cruces. After much preparation and consultation with the people of Las Cruces, we set goals to build latrines, cement floors and (for the first time in Encuentro history) a greenhouse. Our host families welcomed us with open arms and humbled us with their hospitality. Although admittedly awkward at first, we never could have guessed how incredibly close we would become with our families after merely ten days.

From ridiculously sugary campo coffee to authentic Dominican meals (rice and beans siempre), we embraced the many simple things Las Cruces had to offer. However, in time, our experience grew to encompass many profound moments and memories that will stay with us forever.

Our experiences emphasized the importance of relationships and taught us that even when words fail us, love founds a common understanding that surpasses language.  It for this reason that putting our experiences from Las Cruces into words proves difficult.  We each learned from, found comfort in, and struggled with multiple different aspects of the immersion.  Needless to say, it was an experience that impacted the members of our community on an individual level and in unique ways.  Overall, it is not only an experience that goes beyond simple explanation, but also an experience that we can all carry with us for the rest of our lives.

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