What Family Means in Majagual

We were instantly welcomed into the hearts of the people of Majagual and felt a part of each one of our families after arriving in Majagual. My sister Elina was there to greet us from the start and she was helpful in explaining things about their family and house so that Emily and I could be easily acquainted. We tried a watered down apple fruit and were shown pictures of other students that had come to stay with our family in the past.

Over the next few days, I enjoyed sitting in the kitchen watching Rafael pull out three glass bottles filled with water and beta fish-feeding tadpoles to each and putting the bottles near each other in order to try and instigate a fight between the fish. We were given dulces (lollipops) coffee, and the hospitality kept coming. In one afternoon alone Elina and Rafael tied four bracelets each to Emily, Rachel Johnson, and my wrists. More than the string bracelets and food, our family shared their hearts. 

As we walked to Susanna and Edovijie’s house for meals Elina and others held our hands. My favorite walk was the one in the dark with Elina by my side, the night before we left. She held my hand tight and led me around rocks along the way. 

We were taught tres-dos, a card game and Kiki one of the little neighbors stayed all night participating as best as he could. Being around the community of Majagual reminded me that just by spending time with people, much can be accomplished. In the USA I tend to make a long to do list and when things don’t go as planned, I’m frustrated or disappointed in myself. The whole idea of “Si Dios quiere” or “if God wills it” is important to Dominican culture, and I should keep this in mind as well. 

As I was greeted by my parents in the airport yesterday, I thought about the campo and thought back to walking hand in hand with my family in Majagual. Far or near, I will forever be a part of these two families (here in the US and within the DR). Both welcoming me each time we are together with open arms. 

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