This is my friend, Sarah.  She is our guest Blogger today.  She will share how 6 mangos represent an act of selfless care and kindness in the Dominican Republic – and how that has shaped her desire to continue the legacy when she returns home.  We could all benefit from her self awareness while pondering  these questions:
What can I be doing to make a difference at home?
How have I looked outside myself today?
All I know is when I get home, I will never forget the selfless acts of the incredible Dominican people.

When I decided to go to the Dominican Republic I was very focused on how exciting it was going to be to spend my days at the beach & definitely didn't think too much about what it would actually mean to live in a third world country. Upon arriving here I was in total shock, we live in the ghetto, people here have absolutely nothing, & by absolutely nothing I mean it. Dirt floors, holes in the cinder block/broken wood walls for Windows, & rusted tin roofs. The power here works anywhere between six to twelve hours a day, & when it's on it's barely strong enough to power basic things.

When I decided to go to the Dominican Republic I was very focused on how exciting it was going to be to spend my days at the beach & definitely didn’t think too much about what it would actually mean to live in a third world country. Upon arriving here I was in total shock, we live in the ghetto, people here have absolutely nothing, & by absolutely nothing I mean it. Dirt floors, holes in the cinder block/broken wood walls for Windows, & rusted tin roofs. The power here works anywhere between six to twelve hours a day, & when it’s on it’s barely strong enough to power basic things.

. The kids here wear the free Toms that are delivered when you buy a pair in America, & since being here Feed My Starving Children has made two huge deliveries.

. The kids here wear the free Toms that are delivered when you buy a pair in America, & since being here Feed My Starving Children has made two huge deliveries.

 I'm only saying this so you can get a better understanding of what we deal with here, the best way I can describe it is absolutely not America. While living

I’m saying all this so you can get a better understanding of what we deal with here, the best way I can describe it is absolutely not America.

 While living here the past eleven weeks I have been the recipient of so many acts of kindness from the locals. I remember the first week I was outside talking to one of our neighbors when it out of nowhere started pouring rain, and we all ran for cover. As I was sitting inside I heard my name being called from the gates that surround my house. Standing at the gate was my neighbor I had been talking to minutes before, now completely soaked from the rain, with a bag of mangoes for me. I tried to turn them down, but she insisted, so incredibly grateful towards me for playing with her children & teaching them English. I still cringe at the thought that they probably went without dinner that night because of it.

While living here the past eleven weeks I have been the recipient of so many acts of kindness from the locals. I remember the first week I was outside talking to one of our neighbors when it out of nowhere started pouring rain, and we all ran for cover. As I was sitting inside I heard my name being called from the gates that surround my house. Standing at the gate was my neighbor I had been talking to minutes before, now completely soaked from the rain, with a bag of mangoes for me. I tried to turn them down, but she insisted, so incredibly grateful towards me for playing with her children & teaching them English. I still cringe at the thought that they probably went without dinner that night because of it.

I think the biggest thing I’ve noticed here is that people have so little, but they want to give so much. I have so much to learn from them even now. I’ve spent a lot of time here thinking about how I can apply the life experiences I’ve had here to my life back home. I think if anything, I’ve learned that no matter how little we have or how busy we are, we always have something to give & we need to look outside ourselves a little more, be selfless not selfish.

There is a man that we met our first night here named Sami, he’s in his mid forties & has two daughters. He repairs motorcycles on the corner of our neighborhood & everyday when we walk to school he greets us by our names. He has very little, but he’s done so much for us, from looking out for us on the street corner, to delivering birthday gifts that are so simple but so incredibly generous by Dominican standards. One day when we got out of school, he was at the corner with the man that pushes sugar cane around in a wheelbarrow and sells it. He bought all the teachers sugar cane as a thank you for teaching the niños. Everytime people offer us things, they make me feel so guilty for not offering them more or offering more of my time.

What can I be doing to make a difference at home? How have I looked outside myself today? All I know is when I get home, I will never forget the selfless acts of the incredible Dominican people.