Monday, March 31, 2008

d to the r

i am fully aware of how long ago we returned from this trip but things have been insanely busy. we went to the dominican republic for spring break to work with a non-profit organization called building homes, building hope. no, this does not mean that cade and i are responsible for the corrugated window in the above picture. because we were only there a week, we weren't able to build a house, so instead we laid a cement floor in this house for a family of six. before, they were living with a gravel floor that had plenty of scorpions and rats cozily cohabitating with them...a little sketchy. we had to sift the dirt and mix the cement all by hand, which was a good work out to say the least- but the family was so grateful.

yes, that is a sweat rag hanging out of my shirt. don't judge me. when we weren't working on the house, we were at the elementary school. cade drew a huge mural on the school wall and we all helped paint it while playing with the kids. the kids were great- i only had to break up seven or eight fights during a simple game of 'simon says' but we had a blast. the only thing they found more interesting than the mural we painted was our friend, dave kuwada. a great asian boy, he spent an entire week being followed by children who continuously chanted 'jackie chan.' needless to say his, hand was sore from all those autographs.

we made a lot of new friends in this little town. it was an amazing experience. we split into twos and lived with different families throughout the community. we had no running water and we had to bathe in a river. quite the experience. the food was amazing and it was refreshing to see how little we actually need to be happy. the people there were perfectly satisfied in life with just the bare necessities because the most important aspect in life is a family.

the kids would come over every night to our house and we would play games with them. others gave us scooter rides around town, a near-death experience. yikes. they were so great!

this is the river we bathed in. sooo pretty.
don't worry, we were able to go to the beach (cade fit right in with his speedo), see the santo domino temple, eat spaghetti on the beach and even go to church while we were down there. it was amazing. the dr is a beautiful place and the people there are so genial and loving. we loved every second of the trip.

Friday, March 21, 2008

best friends and birthdays... what a pair.

today is my best friend laney's birthday. i love her. we have been best friends ever since she cut her hair like howie mandel and i thought i could help the girl out... (just kidding, laney. we were friends before that- but after the cut, i knew my calling in life).
but seriously, we have the most amazing memories together and i am so thankful for the person she is. some of my favorite laney moments are: salsa dancing in costa rica (followed by a strange obsession with latin dancing in utah and the movie dirty dancing: havana nights), school lunch in high school, skydiving in mesquite, roadtrips to every possible spot, the freshman year 'nair' incident, chirstmas karaoke and every other major event in my life for the past ten years. it has been one incredible ride (pun: a play on words). i love you, laney!