Tuesday, August 31, 2010

An update

I stepped onto the island in September, 2006, expecting to be here for 5 weeks. 4 years later, I am beginning to pack my bags for the trip back to Oregon. This is such a time of mixed emotions as I say good bye to so many things that have become "normal" and think forward to the amazing things that are ahead. Our baby boy is due around November 6th, so the doctors want me there by mid-September for safety with flying and follow-up. As I watch this belly grow, I know it is a good decision to get home while it is still safe to travel! I plan to head back at this time to prepare for what is the most exciting journey ever!
We are still waiting for word on Ariel's visa, but prayerfully hope he will make his interview and be approved in time to make it to Oregon for the birth. We made the decision to have the baby in the States either way, trusting that it is the safest and wisest decision for both the baby and me. Our plans for the moment are to be inthe U.S. for a few years before returning permanently to the Dominican Republic. We are excited, nervous, and anxious as we anticipate all that awaits us. Please pray for the many transitions we will each be facing in the months ahead which include a change of culture, language, jobs, becoming parents...and the list goes on! We have seen God's amazing providence for our lives and know He will walk us through each step of this.

Although we are thankful to have medical insurance, it will only cover 80% of the birth and after care. Along with coverage for the baby's insurance, we will need approximately $5000-$6000 for the coming months to cover co-pays and insurance. Please pray with us that the money will come through as God always amazes us with the way He provides.

If you are interested in supporting in ths time, you can also donate through the Kids Alive website and find my name under "Around the World", then "Dominican Republic". Support can also be mailed to the address at the bottom. Thank you for trusting me enough to support me through all of this. I have learned an endless amount of lessons that will continue to mold and shape me for a lifetime.

With much love, Jessi

Support can be mailed to Kids Alive, noted for Jessi Dixon Veras at:
Kids Alive
PO Box 2117
Valparaiso, IN 46383

Monday, August 30, 2010

Playing on the playground!

We were so blessed by a huge network of people that worked together to install a playground for us! Everything arrived on a packed-tight container a few weeks ago and was installed by another awesome group last week. It was fun to see the kids pass by the school as it was being set up, to see their excitement about something so cool. This was a very special project to me because it was purely for the kids to enjoy, nothing else! It wasn't something more "functional" like a classroom or cafeteria (which I'm so grateful for, don't get me wrong!) It was just awesome to see so many people pour themselves into work for the simple pleasure and joy of these children! And what joy it is!! They LOVED play day with the group and went crazy for all the new toys. Thank you again to all those that were a part of this project!!

Milka's bday

A few weeks back we got to celebrate with Francis and Milka as she celebrated her birthday! We went out to pizza together and had a fun time talking and being together. Frayme is growing like crazy and as smily as ever!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


We are past the 6 month mark and doing well! We made a special trip to IKEA in Santo Domingo on Saturday (Jarabacoa already is closer so we took advantage of that!). We got some boxes for packing up but also wandered through the baby section to daydream about what it will be like to have our little boy with us! He is moving and kicking like crazy and I love it...pregnancy is so fun, even with the heat and swelling body parts, it's exciting to feel this baby moving inside and think about all that is ahead for us!


The wedding was lovely and I was thankful to be there and a part of it. We got to catch up with old friends who we surprisingly don't see very often! Josie came back for the wedding which was one of my favorite parts!! Congrats to Jhon and Nany on their marriage!!

Weekend in Jarabacoa

Last weekend we got to head up to the mountains and away from the heat for a few days. Our friend Nany got married on Saturday, so we took of Friday after work. We got there in time to head to our favorite restaurant on the mountain with our friends. It was an excellent time of eating cheesecake and talking and wearing sweatshirts!!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Container arrives

A container ship was sent down from the States packed fully of donations. After passing through immigration in Santo Domingo, it was finally released for delivery. It was a huge container and it got stuck in the first river crossing at 6 in the morning! Alberto was able to find a tractor willing to pull it through the river and out of the mud

It made it to the school after having to grate the next river crossing and lifting electrical wires with plastic pipes! We couldn't believe how full it was.

Thankfully we had a team all week that worked hard to unpack everything in a few hours. It was incredible to see all that was packed in this container...it filled so much of our new cafeteria. They send desks and chairs and dental equipment, medicines and bags and backpacks, and the most exciting...a playground!!! They had collected from various playgrounds that were being taken out and we can't wait to see these kids have the huge blessing and fun of a real playground, which includes a bridge!!

It is awesome to see what happens when so many people work together, on both ends of the deal! This took huge amount of time and effort to collect and pack the container, and lots of sweat and muscle to unload it on our end. It'll be so worth it all to see these guys jumping around on their new playground and enjoying all the other goodies on the container!


Summer for Kids Alive means lots of teams! We are no different here in Caraballo and are happy to have nearly come to the end of a great summer of teams. It has been incredible the work that has been done, and worth all of the planning and organizing and some sweating as well. I did a lot of translating and talking, but it also helps open my eyes time and time again to all that is around me when I see it through fresh eyes...and middle schoolers! We've had a great team to lead each part of our teams and it's been a fantastic summer, despite the swollen feet and sweat!! (all "in-action" pictures taken by B.Brown)


One of the hardest things about living here is the transient nature of friendships. Because we all sign up for certain terms, it often means that friends leave after 6 months, a year, it's a constant transition of friends. Robin and Ashley have been here for ages though, and it's been awesome to have them around so long. They both left this week, Robin after 3 years here, Ashley after 2. It's exciting to hear what is ahead for them and I am so thankful for all that we shared while here and look forward to hopefully meeting up in the States!!

Blessing the baby

A few weeks back, despite all the busy-ness with teams, my friends had a little get together to bless our little man. We played some games and ate great snacks and they gathered around and prayed lots of blessings for our baby. I feel so...blessed (a lot of that word for one posting) to have friends like these that surround me and love me and support me in ways I can't even describe.