Traveling to the Dominican Republic has changed my life. My eyes have witnessed some of the poorest people on Earth and how they still find joy in life from the smallest things. For example, a plastic shopping bag combined with some string and sticks can make a kite. Or even a two dollar pair of sunglasses can entertain a child for hours. These are things I took for-granted before traveling to Batey 50. I cannot even imagine growing up relying on these inanimate objects for entertainment; I can’t even imagine living without electricity, running water or a stable house. My imagination was tested in Batey 50 when I saw what I thought was impossible was a reality for many people. There is no way an American can think that they have been handed the shortest stick in life because, compared to the people I personally met in Batey 50, America has the largest stick. We walk around and say we are starving when we haven’t eaten for a couple hours. Imagine not eating for days. Would you be starving then? One little boy in Batey 50 came up to me with tears in his eyes saying “Tengo hambre”. This means I am hungry. At this moment I realized that, even though I hadn’t eaten since breakfast, I was not the hungry one: he was. Because of this moment I was beyond happy to hand out boxes of food to families in the Batey on New Years Day. We even were able to hand out sandwiches and orange juice to each person. Watching them eat was probably one of the happiest moments I have ever witnessed. Besides the food, we were able to hand out shirts that matched our own as well as provide some clowns for the children’s entertainment. Seeing them all dancing and laughing was heart warming. The best part was seeing each child’s face as they walked through the church to receive their t-shirt. All of us stood on the side and cheered as the child would walk down the aisle. At first they were kind of scared, but then a smile would creep across their face. We gave them self confidence. In return, each person in Batey 50 gave me more than I could ever ask for. They opened my eyes to reality. They welcomed me into their homes and gave me an experience of a lifetime. In class discussion we talked about how the people in the Batey’s pray that help will come to them. Each day that a yellow school bus pulls up with a group of Americans is the best day ever for the people in the Batey’s. These are the days their prayers are being answered. I plan on continuing to educate people on what is going on in the Dominincan Republic and hopefully return one day to Batey 50 and see the smiling faces of the beautiful families that live there.