As the team drove down a dusty road, sugar cane fields were the only visible thing as far as the eye could see. That view continued for miles until we made a turn onto a gravel road into the Batey La Cubana community in San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic.
Our big red bus grabbed attention quickly, and within seconds children were running to greet us. They were clapping and jumping, many barefoot or in mismatched shoes, anxiously awaiting for who was on the bus—23 Clemson University students. These students were in a class together called “Servant Leadership” and were now putting into practice what they had learned all semester by serving with Samaritan’s Feet during their spring break.
“I know that going to a different country and just being able to see different people living in different conditions will teach you so much more than anything in the classroom,” said Thomas, a Junior Finance major.
Thomas and the rest of the team hopped off the bus and suddenly, that gravel road was filled with activity—dancing, racing, baseball, games, twirling—it was a beautiful scene of immediate acceptance and friendship. Wherever you looked, you saw either a child laughing with joy, a University student beaming with delight, or an adult smiling with pride.