Written by Students, Evelyn Ponce & Brooke Bullis
From waking up in a bed with a roof over your head, to eating dinner at a nice table with amazing food on fancy plates with people you love to hang around with… we honestly live a good life. Then, we think about the kids we saw the day before and get emotionally drained from seeing the lives the kids at the Manny Mota Foundation live on a daily basis. Today was very hard to get through, physically and emotionally.
We took food bags that we had prepared to the streets and the canyon where many kids at the foundation live. We saw the shacks they called home and thought, “Wow… how can they be so happy with nothing?” After passing out all the food, we headed back to the bus and chaos arose. Many of the people that did not get a bag of food, came to the buses yelling, pulling, and begging. It was very hard to see and get through. We finally got back to the foundation and had lunch. Just eating lunch was rough because many of us had to listen to the little voices around us asking for just a tiny piece of food and a tiny drop of water. Some kids tell us they have not eaten or drank anything in the past couple of days. Knowing a mob would arise, we could not give any of the things that we had to them. It was heartbreaking. Many of the moms and grandmas crowded the cage asking for the clothes we had left. We passed them out and still not everyone got something. Kids were crying, parents were screaming and we were just trying to block out all the noises. We cried and got in a circle to say what we were thankful for and then prayed. At this point everyone was crying and all the Dominican people saw. They tried comforting many of us as we walked out of the cage. They told us, “Está bien” meaning “It’s okay” although it really wasn’t okay for us.
We played with the little ones for the last hour of the day we had with them. The kids knew that they were going to have to let us go in a couple of days so they too cried a little. We said our goodbyes for the day and got on the bus. We’ll be back tomorrow for our final day.