Stories from the Dominican Republic

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For the exchange with the children’s chorus from Capotillo, I was responsible for a nine-year-old girl named Amandi.  The first time I met her, I tried to communicate the with my beginner’s Spanish (with a French accent, of course).  I tried telling her to breathe with her diaphragm and once she understood my miming, she started to sing correctly.  I also spoke to her mother who told me that she loves to sing and wanted her children to sing in the “Uno a Uno” chorus.

Singing with the Capotillo kids was extremely moving since we sang in both Spanish and English.  At that moment I had never been so proud to sing and to be part of YPC.  After the concert, they started to sing us a song saying “YPC” while clapping rhythms, which was very sweet.

Finally on our day off, we got to play, swim and interact with the kids.  We brought them presents and gave the gifts to them, not expecting gifts in return.  When I gave Amandi her gift, her mother ran up to her and slipped something in her hands.  Amandi then gave me a pair of earrings with the letter “R” for Rose.  I was so moved, every time I would see Amandi, she would give me a big hug and introduce me  to all her friends.  Her mother then came up to me when we were saying our good-byes and told me that Amandi always talked about me, always saying, “my friend Rose.”  She then thanked me for what I have done for her child.  I cannot believe that what seemed to be such little actions would make such a large impact on Amandi’s life.  Never will I forget her smile and her giggle when she told me, “Tu cantas muy bien.”

This tour to the Dominican Republic was such a learning experience.  Being able to interact with others through music is something I would never learn in school.  YPC has taught me invaluable life lessons through such amazing trips.  I am so happy to be part of an organization that helps “Uno a Uno” – One by One –  through music.  Thank you YPC.

– Rose, Concert Chorus

I had a lot of fun performing and interacting with the Capotillo kids this week.  I learned about our differences and in doing so found that although we are from different parts of the world, we have a lot in common.  The apparent poverty that many of the kids live in put a lot into perspective.  It made me feel bad that I could never have had so many advantages in my life if I had been born in a different country.  I have gained a new appreciation for the blessings I have in my life.

– Blaize, Young Men’s Chorus

One of the best things about this trip was meeting the kids from Capotillo.  Even though I speak a tiny bit of Spanish and the kids spoke even less English, we still managed to communicate and have a good time.  When they came to the resort, it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.  They were all so happy playing in the water.  I realized how like us they are.  They were just as excited as we were to be spending a day at a resort.  Meeting and singing with these kids was a truly unique experience.

– Vera, Concert Chorus

When I first cam to DR, I was expecting to come out and just perform like always, but it became so much more than that.  The day I met the Capotillo children changed everything for me.  They were so eager to sing, so eager to learn and looking at them on stage singing “Cantamos Uno a Uno” with so much hope in their eyes asking everyone to listen made me sing with that much more spirit.  I wanted to help make their request heard.  This experience really changed me for the better and opened my eyes.  I had a wonderful time.

– Ada, Concert Chorus

I cannot believe how fast this trip went by…Hello, Nick here with another blog, this time, from the Dominican Republic!  I’m glad to say this is by far on of the most fun trips I’ve taken with YPC EVER!  Being here has been nothing but amazing.  El Teatro Nacional is on of the most beautiful concert halls I have every seen and the concert “Oye Mi Voz” could not have been any better!  I had chills during the Brazilian piece, “Tres Cantos Nativos” and almost cried during “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel.  Besides being around fantastic friends, the kids from the Capotillo Children ‘s Chorus were so sweet and sincere.  Meeting them changed a part of my life as I see how children from such hard living conditions can be so happy and make the best out of everything.  This has been a once in a lifetime experience and I’m glad to have been part of such and amazing trip.

– Nick, Young Men’s Chorus

When we first landed at Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic I was so excited and ready for the concert. It was HOT, but that didn’t stop us from anything.   DR was amazing and the resort we stayed at was just phenomenal.

Capotillo children’s chorus that was going to join us to sing songs together.  They were adorable and very eager to sing which changed me.  I really wanted to give the best of me to help them learn how to sing and dance.  My favorite memory with the was singing “Cantamos Uno a Uno.”  It was so sweet singing with them.  That was a great day because we performed a wonderful concert at the big hall and I was proud of YPC and the Capotillo children.  I felt like we inspired many people.

 The next day was just to have fun at the beach with the children from Capotillo.  I felt great when we gave gifts like harmonicas to them.  We also played with them and kept singing songs like “Oye” and “Sesere Eeye.”  It was so sweet.  We finally had to say goodbye to “our kids.”  I felt like they were part of my family.  For dinner we had a great time dressing up.  We had King Tut, and I was a Chinese box.  Then we headed out to the beach where we showed our merengue skills and dances.

I loved the trip.  I got to use the Spanish I learned.  The beach was beautiful with turquoise water and light waves.  I had a blast and I felt like we inspired the DR to keep music going on.  I will always remember this experience and can’t wait to come back!

– Christine, Concert Chorus