DOMINICAN REPUBLIC BY ASIYAMI GOLD
I recently visited Bavaro, Dominican Republic for my spring break. I heard from friends who have been that it was very similar to West African countries so I decided to go see for myself. Overall it was a really incredible experience. I met people who reminded me of how beautiful life can be. With our daily routines we often fail to sit back and truly appreciate life for what it is. We coincidentally come in contact with people everyday who we build relationships with. These people may or may not change our lives but there's a lesson to be learned from those we encounter. The biggest lesson I learned from my trip is that people will make decisions on their means of survival. That does not necessarily mean that their decision thinking coincides with their morals. On my very first day in DR while eating at the beach a group of kids walked up to me asking me to buy peanuts from them for a dollar. While I was pulling out money from my pocket and giving a dollar to each one of them, one of them got extremely aggressive and took the rest of the money out if my hand and ran away. Immediately after it happened I was terrified. On my last day while walking home I ran into the same group of kids, they were sitting in the corner breaking bottles with rocks. A bit apprehensive at first but something inside of me told me I had to talk to them. After walking pass them I walked back and immediately the first thing I said was, "hey!!! you stole my money and you didn't even give me peanuts". So he immediately handed me two bags of peanuts, I asked if I could sit and talk to them and they agreed. Wilson the one who took my money and ran away happened to be a sweetheart. Their parents live in Haiti and they sell peanuts on the beach to make money, it was tough to absorb the things they were telling me because these children are around the same age as my younger sister. The irony of the story was the fact that I believed that these kids steal from people but it's not something they willingly want to do but they do it because they need it. I told them they could get hurt doing what they do and they needed to be nicer to people if they wanted some compensation. People are more willing to give when you're polite. I'm not sure if they understood what I was saying but at least they got it with my demonstrations. My experience with these kids was the most memorable thing that happened during my trip. I'm truly grateful for the people I met and I'm glad for my new profound appreciation of life.