Posts Tagged ‘Punta Cana’

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I had a personal trip planned to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in February 2010 – just after the earthquake hit Haiti. Being they are the same island, I was determined to find a way to help someone out, to make even a little bit of a difference.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I like to visit orphanages in my travels. So, I contacted the resort where I was staying to find out if they could donate some towels. The staff told me that every hotel in the area had donated everything they could to Haiti for their relief effort. That certainly made me very happy to hear.

Still determined, I did a little internet research and “googled” information on how I could get myself to an orphanage that was about 1 1/2 hours away from my resort. It seemed that I would have to hop a local bus on a very bad dirt road, but I was willing to spend a full day doing so… why not?  It sure sounded adventurous to me; the definite “feel out side your comfort zone” type of adventurous that I have been known to crave.

I then managed to stumble upon a blog about the orphanage, and made contact with Yumi, a woman who said she visited the orphanage a couple of times a month. She strongly suggested that I should not take the bus for security reasons and… just in case the bus broke down. And then she offered to take me to the orphanage, personally. I was ecstatic!

The morning she was to pick me up at the resort, she called me to state that her car had broken down. I was pretty bummed, needless to say.  So in a last-ditch effort, she said she would meet me at the airport the next day to pick up a bag of rubik’s cubes and playing cards that I’d brought for the children at the orphanage. She said she would deliver them for me.

It’s been about 9 months, and just this week, she sent me these pictures of the kids playing with the cards and rubik’s cubes. And here’s what she said about it:

“Finally here are some shots of the boys enjoying your gift of rubik’s cubes & playing cards. They went down a storm. Those who gave up trying to solve it used the cubes as playing dice instead… lol”

What I’ve learned from all this is that helping people isn’t about instant gratification. All that matters is that I did my best to make a difference, and it eventually paid off. And if putting a smile on a kids’ face is the most I can do, that’s good enough for me.

If you’re ever in the Dominican Republic, and need a heads up on what to do while you’re there, contact Yumi! I wish I’d have met her earlier and had a chance to go  paddle boarding with her! Her blog is:

Yumi is yet another selfless inspirational person I’ve met in my travels. Thank you, Yumi!


I thought these images captured the overall essence of our vacation in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic last month – calm, laid back, days filled with palm trees, white sand beaches and beautiful ocean blues.

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