Thursday, December 27, 2007

Tales From Puerto Plata.-Dominican Republic

"What you are is God's gift to you. What you become is your gift to God."

Today on a seemingly, I would say routine, except that nothing is routine here in the Dominican Republic, even going to the 'colmado' or the 'malecon' can become an adventure, I met one of the most incredible persons I have ever met and for several hours she mesmerized me with her story.- Marta whom I had the honor to meet while singing Karaoke is a bubbly person that seems pretty mundane or normal until you talk to her and then you realize there is nothing normal or mundane about her.

Marta told me how one day her and her husband had decided to give away her house, cars and worldly possessions to their children and devote their lives to helping those less fortunate that them, **orphaned children in the Dominican Republic.

As I listened to how her family " just could not understand" why she would give away a life of creature comforts to help 'colored orphaned ' children in the Dominican Republic I could not help but experience that 'been there' feeling, as there are many people that do not understand why I have devoted so much time to advocating about Elder's Rights without getting paid for it.

Martha told me how they found a hulking shell of a building and it took them weeks to track down the owner who was a 96 year old Jewish elder , that had been imported by Rafael Trujillo , a former white dictator of the Dominican Republic who in an attempt to purify the race imported single Jewish men and hence the Jewish settlers married Dominican women and became among the most succesful businessmen in Puerto Plata.

After making arrangements for the donated building, she had to figure out what to do with dozens of pre puberty kids with lots of energy, so she gave them jars and told them to go collect insects.

After coming across a beetle that was the size of a small mammal, she took a photo of it and sent it to a entomologist she knew in ***Harvard. Within hours the photo circulated around the world, as it turned out the insect was thought to be extinct.

To make a long story short, three (3) experts immediately flew over to Puerto Plata to research and document the findings during which they classified **several other species, that had here unto never been clasified before.

That same year a Entomologist convention was held in Santo Domingo and here was Marta and her orphaned children as guest of honor amongst scientist from all over the world staying at one of the country's finest hotels in the capital.

Marta's blog is described as : A journal of activities relating to volunteer service in the Dominican Republic mostly related to orphaned, abandoned, and disadvantaged children and the people who work with them.

Related Posts:

Good Samaritan OrphanageBoys at orphanage in the Dominican Republic make surprising discovery of a beetle that was thought to be extinct (go to Archive, Newsletter 20).

*Reference Caribbean mailto:Insects@Harvard Entomology

**Dominican Outreach

***Recently Discovered Invasive Butterfly in the Dominican RepublicFirst New World documentation of an Old World citrus pest, the Lime Swallowtail Papilio demoleus (Lepidoptera:Papilionidae), in the Dominican Republic (Hispaniola).

They've already discovered more than 200 new species, and they expect to find thousands more before finishing up their Dominican work in about 2011.

Thank You Marta for sharing with us and making us realize that is not about how much you take out, But it's all about how much we put back in!

On behalf of my readers thank you for showing us that there is more joy in giving than in receiving. Thank you for walking your talk; let your example serve as an inspiration to others. Ray Fernandez Editor.- ElderAbuseHelp.Org


Unknown said...

First I find it extremely offensive that you had to categorize the orphan children as “colored orphans”. Why can it just be orphans? Second Trujillo was not a white dictator he was a Mulato he had a grandparent from each side of the family who was Haitian… he actually changed his birth certificate and papers to deny being black.
You should try to learn from your friend Marta…. Do something because it comes from your heart. Not just to show that you do charity!!!

Ray said...

I din't write the article, so I can't take the credit for it, and since I din't write it , I should not change the writers post.But I appreaciate your feedback.
How is Marta I love to hear fom her is she back in the US?