For most of us, vacationing at the beach is a pretty normal thing. At least in my family, we try to get together once a year and head to a beach in North Carolina or Virginia and enjoy the sun and sand. But for others, the experience of going to the beach is something unprecedented and foreign.
One year, we decided to take all 60 of the boys in the orphanage to an island only reachable by boat, at the end of the week. Most of them could hardly contain their excitement throughout the week. When we pulled in with a couple of buses early Saturday morning, the boys were packed outside and ready to go.
And so the adventure began.
If, the pictures don’t describe it all, it was wild. None of the boys had ever been on a boat and few had ever been to the beach before so they were experience firsthand the wonders of gritty sand beneath your toes and that stinging sensation when salt water gets up your nose. Seasickness was also a new experience for many.
It was amazing to see all the children interact with one another and discover new things about the beach and the ocean. They did a lot of the same things we do at the beach. They tried to make sand castles (unsuccessfully), they buried each other in the sand, they brought tubes and toys into the water and just lounged around for the afternoon.
Seeing the orphans experience something I think of as a pretty normal experience, was eye opening. They were so full of joy and fascination and excitement. I would give up an entire week again any day just to see the way a beach lit up those tiny little brown faces on a warm day in the Dominican Republic.