Went. Saw. and Did!
By: Charlie Guy, National Director - ICC, Canada

M.E.E.T. (Mission Education Encounter Team) excursions have not been possible into Haiti over the past year and a half, due to social and political upheaval, but they are alive and well for trips into the Dominican Republic. International Child Care (Canada) Inc. (ICC) has been privileged, under the direction of ICC Board member Judy Warrington,to host two trips since March, one as recently as August 2005. ICC Canada, in partnership with Power Trips Inc., has seen more than 50 participants involved in an experience of a lifetime!

I was a recent participant of one of these trips and it was AMAZING! At the conclusion of the trip, when fellow participants were asked to choose the words that would best describe the days and feelings they had and images they saw.

"Magical; Heart-wrenching; Wonderful; Un-imaginable; Powerless and powerful; Inspiring; Overwhelmed by the generousity, hospitality and kindness of the local people; Empowered, because I learned that small things can make a huge difference; A roller-coaster of feelings; Humble; Friendship; Camaraderie; A Rush - amazing to watch a group of individuals become a team with a common goal, highs, lows, tired, adrenaline rushes!"

"The children of Cariballo, longing to be held, to sit on our laps, to hold our hands; The teachers of Conani actually cheering over some of our teaching ideas; The mother who was in tears as she described the progress her son was making because of the ICC workerís visit to their home; Tiny hands reaching for mine, long lashes, tiny feet; and colours - green bananas, lush vegetation, white laundry, coal-covered ceilings, dirt floors, grey walls, grey streets, Canadian flags, a blue church in a field of hope."

M.E.E.T. participants truly had an opportunity to Go, See and Do! Not only did they have a sense of accomplishment through participation in community projects as they worked side by side with experienced compassionate leaders but they learned about the Dominican culture and third-world development and service. Most importantly though, while learning about others, they learned much about themselves as they helped to empower children, families and communities! This was the sentiment of a student who wrote: "The whole experience changed me as a person!"

Participants had opportunity to reflect and share their feelings. Another team member wrote: "Jana, Bob, Elio, Marcus, Sandra, and as well as others serving in the Dominican have inspired me to keep on, keeping on! Their love, devotion and grace are examples to us all."

We invite you to join us to Go, See and Do! Trips are being planned now for 2006: February, March, August and October. For more information, contact our office at 905-821-6318 x295; 1-888-722-4453 x295; e-mail to canada@intlchildcare.org or contact Judy Warrington of PowerTrips Inc. by calling 905-338-2304 or e-mailing judy@powertripsinc.org