Thursday, August 27, 2009


I woke up to the sounds of motorcycles going by. The lady outside is selling avocado and bananas. I sweat while sitting still. The electricity is out. There isn't water in the kitchen tap. The tile floor seems to be the only respite from the heat. A truck just drove by wanting to buy scrap metal. The horns honking on the road in front of our apt. are endless.
I am back.
Once again, in a matter of hours, I feel like I was beamed from one world to the next! It is still a strange thing travelling between the States and the DR. I get so used to life in each country that being in the other one still comes as a shock at first. Despite all the "quirks" of this country, it is nice to be here again. Nice for everyone to see that I am truly alive, that Ariel does indeed have a wife, and so nice to be back to whatever the "normal" of my life is!
School is set to start on Monday (I think) and I still am trying to figure out what that means for me. I want to be careful in how I adjust back to work and daily routines. I want to go slowly after 3 months of illness and make sure that I take care of myself...after all, I want to be able to take care of others and can't do that well if this happens again! I am looking forward to seeing all the kids bright, shiny eyes and new hair braids and catching up with the staff again.
I ask for your continued prayers in the transitions that I'm going through , in the adjustments and plans that are taking place, in the homesickness that will surely hit soon! I want to live in this time and place for now and not look too far ahead, for this is where I am today...and it is good. Thanks!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

At last

I'm back!!! I made it into the DR yesterday to a very excited Ariel. It is so nice to be together again, 2 months is a long, long time to be apart. We are spending every second together now and got to play in the pool this afternoon which was great. So far, so good with my stomach. I'm going to go slowly with everything and not be so adventerous with my food. It is hot and humid like crazy...a bit of a change from Oregon, that's for sure!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

From one home to another

So the long-awaited day finally will be here tomorrow...I'm heading back to the Dominican Republic! I have such crazy, mixed emotions as I leave one home to be back in my other home. I am excited like crazy and a little nervous all at the same time to see Ariel (it's been two months!). I've been feeling mostly good with my stomach stuff. I think the preparations and anticipation of it all has made it a little hard to sleep, but hopefully that will pass as I get back! Please keep this next transition in your prayers as I want to be as careful as possible with my stomach and body and adjusting to all the new changes. Thank you again for being so supportive during all these ups and downs.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A quick trip to Phoenix

I got to go to Phoenix this weekend to spend time with my college roommate and best friend Julie! She was trying to make it to Oregon before I left, but couldn't make it work with her schedule, so her mom Eileen offered my her free ticket with Southwest!! It was so amazing to spend time with Julie again...she is so special. We did a lot of talking, visited Grand Canyon University again (which has changed a lot!), saw some movies, played with Lucas, visited her parents, and ate at Ajo Al's twice!! Even if it was a fast trip, I am so thankful to have gone!

Happy Birthday

We celebrated my Grandpa Dixon's 83rd birthday the other night. We went to Mexican food and then back to their place for a bit to continue the party!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Summer Update Letter

The months seem to fly by and already I find myself at the end of summer, looking forward to the start of a new school year. In May we finished strong for the year with a great Mother’s Day program and presentations. I feel like this past school year has been our best yet as I reflect on the progress, growth, and maturing that has taken place. We worked hard with attendance and had almost 20 (not all pictured) kids with perfect attendance this year! For me that is HUGE because these kids mostly have only themselves to push them out the door each day. I am proud like a mother of each one of them and am excited for all that lies ahead this coming school year.

The biggest challenge these last three months has been my never-ending illness. Ariel and I were tested quickly in our marriage on the vow “in sickness and in health”. I became very sick in the DR and after being hospitalized for a week, and then not improving in the week to follow, we decided it was best to seek care in the States. It was one of the hardest decisions to make, but we knew it had to be done. I spent 3 days in the hospital in Oregon and have since been on numerous meds, in and out of doctor’s offices, and after almost two months in the States, I am so happy to say that I am feeling pain free and healthy again! It is still a slow process of getting my stomach strong again, and a little frustrating that no definitive diagnosis was found apart from gastritis, but the important part is I will be back with Ariel soon! This has also been a great time to be cared for by family and friends and a place where I have been able to truly heal.

On that same note, we have a new financial need that hospitals, medicines, and immediate travel have created, on top of regular needs. I thank God for those who continue to give so faithfully and ask that you would pray with us that the monthly support and one-time donations we are in need of would come in, as we trust will happen. If you would like to send support, the address is listed on the bottom. You can also support online through (follow “Around the World” then “Dominican Republic” to find me)

With much love, Jessi

Please send financial support noted for Jessi Veras to: Kids Alive , PO Box 2117, Valparaiso IN 46384

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Not a Dominican Republic beach!!

Last week, to flee the heat, my brother John and I went with my nephew Josh down to Newport Beach where it was foggy and cool. I wore a sweatshirt the whole time which was a bit of a change from Gresham! We had such a fun time sitting on the beach while Josh dug and dug, then went shopping in Newport and had some tea and hot chocolate. It's been such a blessing to have all this time with family.

Pool time

We got to play in the pool last week with Bethany and her little man and Jenny and her kids. We tried out floaties and Maddie showed off her was fun to go to grandma's again like the good old days!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

On the mend!

It has been one whole week, 7 glorious nights, of pain-free sleeping around here!!! I am so thankful that (hopefully) those days and nights are gone. I am feeling stronger, less wimpy, and can go a whole day now without napping! I continue to have my meals/snacks every few hours, but that might be for awhile! I got out the other day and picked berries at my parents was nice to actually do something again that makes me feel normal. So if all stays well, as I hope it pray it does, I will probably head back to the DR in another 3 weeks. I am excited to see Ariel again, although I feel like we may have to start with introductions and dating all over because it's been so long! Just kidding, I am so glad to have been in Oregon for this time, to have (and continue) healing and getting stronger, and to have gotten the care that was so needed. So we continue to take it a day at a time and hopefully those days will lead me to full recovery!!