A Reflection on the Dominican Experience

By Michael Murphy 4-A

The night before we left, my parents asked me “are you nervous?”. Having had both my siblings go on this trip and having spoken about it with several other travellers, I gave them the most honest answer I could “No, not all”. However, some 3000 kilometres later, all that changed as I walked through my new town for the next week. The reason it all changed is because you realize that it’s one thing to hear about it and to talk about it, and it’s a whole other thing to live it!

The best way to describe this trip is, truly, eye-opening. From walking into our host-families’ homes to a walk through the slums, this was one of the most meaningful experiences of my life and I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to live it. Despite the fact that the locals had very little, the vast majority of them are very happy and the kids run through the streets barefoot with nothing but smiles on their faces. Seeing the huge smiles on the faces of the people living in the slums as they saw us walking through truly puts everything into perspective and reminds of what is really important in life. Everything and everyone we saw was able to teach us something important about how we live, and this trip will certainly change the way I do things and the way I think about certain things for many years to come. It was a fantastic experience which reminded all of us just how much we have, and how little we actually need to be happy. Seeing the men working in the sugar cane fields as they do everyday in the beaming sun and getting paid just over 2 U.S. dollars per day to feed their families will allow all of us to appreciate the food we have at home much more, but more importantly to never take it for granted.

To read more about the 2016 Dominican Experience, please click here.