SANTO DOMINGO, D.R. - Throughout the Charleston Southern men's basketball team's trip to the Dominican Republic, sophomore forward Paul Gombwer will provide updates of CSU's experiences abroad.
In his first blog entry, Gombwer discusses the trip from Charleston and the Bucs' first encounter with the Dominican people. He also looks forward to tomorrow's activities, which include a visit to a Dominican church service, and the first of three games against professional clubs.
View a photo gallery with some of the highlights from day one of six by clicking here.
The team left Charleston about 1:30am on Friday, Aug. 4th for Charlotte, NC. We flew out of Charlotte for Atlanta where we boarded a flight to Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Upon our arrival, the team was welcomed by members of Score International, our mission trip sponsor and an international sports ministry organization. Score took our team to their headquarters where we had some nice sandwiches. We were starving after the long flight. Then we left for the Embassy Suites, which is where we are staying during our time here, and on the way we were enlightened by what we saw along our route.
First of all, we had an unusual experience of children coming up to our bus at the first stop light with cashew nuts and potted plants for sale, while another kid proceeded to wash our windshield while we were stopped, hoping for a donation.
When we arrived at the hotel, we checked into our rooms and took a nap for a couple of hours. When we woke up, we had dinner at the hotel dining room, which is where we will eat all of our meals. For dinner there was a variety of Caribbean foods (rice, tomatoes and cucumbers, pasta, pork, beef, grilled mahi mahi, and wonderful desserts). I had rice with some salad, pasta, and some beef. My favorite was the rice!
Following dinner, Coach Radebaugh spoke to us about the trip, pointing out to us that the trip is not all about us, but about how much impact God can use everybody on the team on the mission trip. He quoted a verse from Matthew 25:40 which reminded us that whatever we do to the least of these, we have done it unto Christ. As for me, I feel that that set the tone for the mission.
Tomorrow, we will be attending a local church to experience how God is being worshipped in a different culture and then we will play our first game at 4:00pm.
Thank you for praying for us. Tomorrow, I will update you after the day's activities.
Paul Gombwer, for the rest of the team