Friday, May 15, 2015

Reflections on an Unforgettable Journey

I want to live an intentional life.  On purpose. With purpose.

My husband and I had so many reasons why we wanted to uproot our lives and bring our two boys to live in the Dominican Republic. As our time here comes to a close, I have been reflecting on our purpose here and how amazing it was to see all of our goals accomplished.

First, the mission of Fulbright is cultural exchange and community immersion through personal and professional relationships.  As a Fulbright student, I am proud to say that we represented our country abroad and we learned more about the Dominican Republic. We had the chance to meet and share our lives with so many people: through work, the kids’ school/daycare, soccer practice, our neighborhood. It was truly amazing.

My husband was fortunate enough to find work. He was able to have an important professional experience that will shape his future career.

Our goals for the kids (4 years old and almost 2) were that they learn Spanish, make friends, and that they learn about and appreciate a culture that is different than their own. Both boys did all of these things, and I am so proud of the way my sweet four-year-old has grown here.

For my own research, my goal was to collect data for my dissertation. I did over 50 interviews, 10 months of ethnographic observations, a community census, 3 presentations of preliminary results, and submitted a 20 page written summary of results and policy recommendations.  More importantly, a participant told me I made her feel important.

We also had personal goals for this journey.  The last time my husband and I were in the D.R., we lost his brother in a tragic accident.  We wanted a second chance to return to a place of heartache so we could find peace and joy. Not only did we find more healing, but I was also reminded that even in difficult times, we are blessed to have so many arms wrapped around us.

I can't say enough how grateful I am to those who made this experience unforgettable.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I am Nerissa, a Filipino living in Italy.
    We just started a website dedicated to the lives of all those living in a country other than the one where they were born. Thru we intend to increase connections, awareness, and understanding among people.
    We would like to ask you to contribute as an author to the website by writing even one single post with photos and/or videos about the region of the world you live in. Your post can be externally linked to your personal websites, blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter account, and/or anything else you like, in order to promote your own activity.
    If possible, we would also like you to write your story (bio - where you live and how you decided to live your life abroad) – example:
    To become an author, it is not necessary to live in a different country from where you were born, but simply to know a bit of the world by having lived, studied, or traveled abroad.
    Please, sign up to our website at and send all your files with things you would like to share (your story or your posts) by email to people(at)peopleabroad(dot)org. In case of big files, send them by WETRANSFER.
    Since this website is still under construction, we do not have yet made it available to search engines for indexation. So, to access it, just type
    We are just starting and that is why your help is essential. We would love to see you onboard!
    All the best,