Update Letter, Nov. 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
We’ve seen a bit of it all recently, but we’ll start with the good. At the beginning of the school year we helped the High School students apply for two grants from the German Embassy here in the DR, and we were blessed to be selected for two small projects. Both projects are trying to establish sustainable small businesses here in town, the first being a composting and fertilizer opportunity and the second a retail outlet for a Dominican non-profit organization that distributes low cost water filters to try and make clean water affordable to everyone. Two 10th graders led the proposals and it was pretty exciting to have representatives from the embassy here to present them with the checks (photo). Since that time we have been meeting with the teams for an hour each Tuesday, teaching them about business plans, and marketing ideas, and simply getting some things built. It is slow going working with High School students, but the experience is invaluable to them.
The other good news of late is that we enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving holiday with another missionary family here whose children attend Doulos. We shared expenses on a house rental near the beach a few hours from our home and enjoyed a few days of sun and sand and relaxation. The house even had TV, so it was funny to be watching Thanksgiving Day football games with all the turkey and fall color imagery, only to look out the door and see palm trees swaying in the ocean breeze…
The Bad
We recently had a half-day of school so that our students could attend the funeral of a friend of theirs from another school. Even though he was only a teenager, he had been drinking and was driving his girlfriend around on a motorcycle at night when he came around a corner and met a truck. Motorcycles are ubiquitous here, but almost no-one wears a helmet. And yet everyone knows at least one person who has died in a motorcycle crash. I guess one aspect of poverty is when you can’t afford a helmet to protect yourself, or when you don’t value life enough to wear a helmet because it isn’t fashionable. Hopefully this latest tragedy will help the message get through to our students.
The Ugly
Well, it had been a good ride, but we finally got the chance to experience what having a parasite is all about. We’ll spare the details and the worst is behind us, but suffice it to say that it isn’t a weight loss regimen that we would recommend! It was shortly after this that we caught Logan drinking out of a hose bib at school – much to our dismay. But fortunately the meds to treat such things are quite affordable and the side effects mild. Aren’t you glad we waited until after the Thanksgiving meal for this latest update? 
Harley, Abby,

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About harleymc31

My wife Abby and I are missionaries in the Dominican Republic, working as a High School Math and Science teachers at Doulos Discovery School. We are joined by our three boys, aged 9, 7, and 5 who attend the same school and bring us untold joy every day.
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