With the dawn of Day 5 you could feel the excitement in the air of what lay ahead for us this day. The plan for the morning was to pick up all the supplies required for our BBQ extravaganza at the village near the Don Juan outreach community centre. This included approximately 500 hotdogs,500 buns, 45 bottles of 2.5ltr Coke, 5 2Ltr ketchups bottles, 3 mayo bottles, 3 mustard bottles and 12 half litre cheese squeeze bottles (apparently cheese and mayo is very popular on hot dog in the DR). We also bought two large garbage bins to use as coolers for the drinks and some of the food, 450-500 individually wrapped suckers and individually wrapped cookies, 3-4 bags of charcoal and enough napkins and utensils for everyone.
We were able to buy all the at the Wal-Mart equivalent ‘Jumbo’ in San Pedro. Here is Mark’s video post as well as all of us leaving Jumbo and loading our truck with all the food/equipment.
Before the BBQ the team split in two with half going to the Don Juan outreach community centre to plant the 100 fruit trees our team purchased as well as lay over three quarter of a mile of drip irrigation kindly donated by the Toro Ag division. The idea of planting these trees here is that it will allow for centralised management of the process and once the plants become fruit bearing the fruit will be shares amongst 18 bateys with any remaining product being sold to help provide income for the villages to purchase other items they need.
Shawn & Jesse provide an update on the completed project.
The other half of the team returned to the orphanage to finish the rest of the sod laying with the help of some of the local Dominican workers and of course a dozen or so of the orphans, as it was Saturday and they weren’t in school. By mid afternoon all the sod that had been delivered was laid and we headed back to the outreach centre to prepare for the BBQ.
Before heading off to the village we had one more event to celebrate. Happy Birthday Rob! We all shared a delicious cake while some of us lay on the cool tiles to recover from the hottest day we had so far.
We arrived at the local village with all of the items we purchased earlier plus to big 44 gallon drum BBQs...you could feel the excitement in the air. As you as ‘big blue’ (our truck used to transport us and all of our equipment around for the week) arrived the work spread fast. We co-ordinated with the village teacher who spoke English thankfully, and the ‘mayor’ who also helped with some strategic planning. We set up station in one of the ‘school’ buildings. They had erected some shade for us (a tarp tied between two building that was low enough that when Rob, Ryan and Jordan were getting the BBQs started we thought the tarp might go up as well.
Each member of our team had their particular station, and got ready to the 4pm kick off.
A line up started form along the road where we were getting things started and soon the first children allowed in were ushered into the other school house to wait. Prior to our arrival we had arranged for tickets to be handed out to try and ensure each child got one hotdog and there weren’t any double ups.
Once Rob, Ryan & Jordan had cooked up the first batch of hotdogs we started bringing the kids through. Terry handed out the dogs, Jody on ketchup, Shawn on squeeze cheese and mustard, Greg on mayo, Steve & Mark on popcorn/lollypop/cookie duty and Jesse/Rob handing out Coke. There were many special moments but one that sticks in my mind was the children that were able to say thank you in English. We knew they were all very grateful, as were we for the opportunity to be able to participate in this event but to hear those two little words was very special. Also special were the signs welcoming and thanking us and these were posted on the side of the school building.
Thank you signs
If any of the other team members would like to post their comments or special moments from this event please share them in the comments section below.
As the afternoon went on the excitement continued and while we thought it was quite chaotic we were advised that actually this was one of the most organised events they have had.
The video will speak to their version of organised vs ours.....
A photo slide show of the event and the many happy, smiling faces: