Dominican Republic Folknography
When I first decided to take this trip, I had no idea what feelings it would awaken inside of me. As I saw the reality of these lost people I was shaken to the core. But as I looked closer I started to see more. I saw their warmness. I saw their politeness. I saw their bonding. I saw their happiness. It made me realize that I needed to look more deeply into the hearts of people rather than the physical side. This is not to diminish the plight with the impoverished physical surroundings of the Dominican people. It is only to point out they do have some special gifts that are not materialistic.
These people willingly, almost eagerly, wanted to tell me their stories. They welcomed me into their homes and into their lives. They were just as curious about me as I was about them. The sounds of their music, their laughter (and there was lots of laughter) and their conversations are forever etched into my memory and my heart. I take away with me so much more than I had when I first came to this island.
I can’t explain the feeling that it evoked in me when I walking down the streets of San Pedro and ran into one of my cultural guides. He was hollering my name across the street. It took me a second to realize someone was saying my name. When I finally realized someone was talking to me, I turned and waved. His face lit up. These are the bonds they create here.
As I prepare to leave and head back home, I can’t help but hope the work that I have done here will help play a part in their lives. I hope that I will always hear their music and language. I hope I remember the look in their eyes forever. It has taught me to take a closer look. And, truly, I have heard the voice of the people!