Discombobulated: Coming Home from the DR

DR street stall for web

This past January, eleven women from Prince of Peace went down to the Doulos Discovery School in the Dominican Republic. I have had the honor of bringing groups to Doulos for several years, and each year it is an amzing trip. Jody Schobel, one of the members of our group, has written a wonderful piece about her time in the Dominican Republic and what it’s been like being at home again. I’m sharing Jody’s thought here. As you can see, these trips are life-changing. Please join us next year.

Eight days in the Dominican Republic with 10 wonderfully crazy women on a Service/Learning adventure apparently results in total and complete discombobulation.

That’s what I’m feeling this week. Discombobulated.  Thrown into a state of confusion.  But it’s not a bad confusion.  It’s just a confused confusion, an off balance, which-way-is-up confusion.  A feeling of suddenly discovering that there are more pieces to the puzzle than I had realized and I’m so glad to have found them but now I’m faced with figuring out where and how they all fit in.  Definitely discombobulated.

I walk outside now and my body shakes and my teeth rattle and everything is stark white.  Where is the warmth? The lush green? The palm trees and mango trees?  The flowers?

I’m missing my 10 life long friends that I met for the first time just two months ago.  I can’t understand how it is that I haven’t always known them.

I’m missing starting my day in the Doulos staff prayer circle and ending my day with popcorn prayers, while we keep one eye open watching for the tree rat scurrying around above us.

And where has my dear sweet driver, Giovanni, gone?  I had to drive myself to Target this morning and backed right into the garbage can.

No fresh mango and pineapple to go with my oatmeal.  No one to bring me tea and biscuits at night while I sit around with my dear, sweet, brand new, lifelong friends and discuss how to make all the new pieces fit.  And then, there are all the new friends that we made and had to say goodbye to.  So many amazing people, with so many amazing stories and I wonder if I will ever get to see them again.  So much to miss…

And now it’s back to reality….but it’s a such a great reality!  And I’m so glad to be home.  And it felt so, so good to sleep in my own bed!  With my own pillow! And to turn on the faucet right there in my kitchen and have plenty of fresh, clean, safe water right there, ready to drink up.  And a nice WARM shower.  How is it that I ever let these things slip past me without even realizing how incredibly fortunate I was?  I hope that I won’t let that happen again; I hope that I won’t forget.

How amazing to go to Target and recognize every food, be able to read every sign and label.  To talk easily with the cashier and not have to play charades to try to communicate.  It’s all so easy and so comfortable.

I am so happy to be home.  But I am also discombobulated.  Because there is so much that I miss, so much that I learned, so much I want to share.  And I want so badly to share the story well.  I want to tell you about every single minute we were there and show you ever single picture, all 400+, even the blurry out of focus ones.  But I really don’t want your eyes to glaze over and I really don’t want to start sounding like Charlie Brown’s teacher.  And I have no idea where to start.

So I’m going to take a couple of days and try to get less discombobulated and try to figure out how to tell the story. 

Watch for more of Jody’s story in coming weeks.

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