A visit with a black edge.
The day before my departure to Sosúa it appeared that my beloved brother-in-law was seriously ill, and that he had only a very short time to live. I departed with this feeling. After I arrived I kept my case packed, which meant I had the feeling that I could immediately leave again. Luckily that was unnecessary; however, within 24 hours after my arrival home, my brother-in-law died. He had even waited for me, as the family agreed.
Happily, there also seemed to be many positive things to report about the projects and that gives a good feeling.
Naturally I visited the Colegio Asher. Along the path, the construction of the new school by the Samaritans from Canada is progressing very rapidly, and is already visible from the road between Sosúa and Puerto Plata. The site is very big and as a result of participation by Feed the Children, next to the building that is under construction, another huge building is being erected. This increase in scale is quite unimaginable. I was unable to spend much time with Judith this time, overloaded as it was by all the activities that are running simultaneously at this time.
In the Netherlands I had conceived the plan to enable more Dominicans easily to become a little more acquainted with the American language by means of courses on Micro SD cards. The Dominican Republic is very dependent on tourism from the US and Canada, but only a few Dominicans speak more than three words of American. A generous Dutch donator has enabled our foundation to purchase nine tablets with Micro SD cards for education. I have installed four courses with a total of some 400 simple Spanish to American lessons on the cards myself. Thus the Colegio Asher has received tablets with lessons from us, and of course the tablets open the way to much more extensive use for the benefit of education. Immediately a big step forward and thus I could see the surprised and happy faces! In this way, adults can also learn something of this language, and it is already apparent that the courses are also successful for those with only six years of primary education from more than 20 years ago.
I also visited our project in Camu again, which is going well. Fortunately, Dave of Sosua Kids always takes me there in his 4-wheel drive, because it is remote and the roads to reach it are very bad. With one of the heads of the school, we checked the list of names of children who had received vouchers for school uniforms with the lists of children attending the school. Apart from a few writing errors in the names, these appeared to be correct.
During the last week of my stay, the "men from Colour4Kids" came from the Netherlands. At their request, over the past year I had gathered information for them on a modest construction project near Sosúa. It has become a school in Puerto Plata, which also plays an important role in the neighbourhood. Information was exchanged in a meeting with all the parties involved and it is now up to the Colour4 Kids foundation to determine what happens next. Our foundation is not engaged in construction, so we remain outside of this. However, I personally consider it rewarding to make a contribution by proposing a project to another foundation. If this project is realised, this will mean disadvantaged children and especially single mothers, will soon again have a lot more opportunities.
After all, this is also the goal of our foundation.
Perhaps with a little additional support, we can buy more tablets in 2015.