A few days ago, our second day in the Dominican Republic, we visited Spirit Mountain with the work team from Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy in Ohio.
Jarabacoa is a mountain town where city folks come to get away.  It's surrounded by more mountains and Spirit Mountain is atop one of them.  As an ecological reserve and coffee plantation, the scenery is fantastic and the views incredible. 
Job 12:7-9
"But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
    or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
  or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
    or let the fish in the sea inform you.
 Which of all these does not know
    that the hand of the Lord has done this?
Getting there was an adventure itself!  First we crammed in a truck and drove out of town, crossing rivers and driving on roads worthy of any 4x4.  Yes, people gladly sit in the back of trucks.  It beats walking.
Max with new friends Darrell, Corrinne, and Lawrence
The rest of the group was in a taxi van, so they had to hoof it up the rest of the mountain.  Whew!  I got a seat in the truck.  Best husband ever made sure I sat in the front seat.  Didn't want me to barf all over new friends.  This gave "over the river and through the woods" a whole new meaning.  This is the river we crossed.  In a truck.  It's not very deep.  Really.
So we gathered at Camp Discovery, where kids from Doulos and summer campers experience views that are incredible, and birds galore!  Anyone a bird watcher?  There are 20+ bird species found only in the DR and many are found here on Spirit Mountain!
From camp, we hiked to the "Rock" for some repelling.  Here's a shot of the "Rock" from camp. Sorry, I'm not adept at any form of Photoshop, or I'd put a little arrow or something to point out the spot.  It's up there toward the top, almost dead center in the shot.  It's the big grey rock.  See if you can pick it out.  It was a decent hike, especially for one who doesn't hike often.  But the trail was good and the incline wasn't very great.
And there's Camp from the Rock.  Same story as before.  See those little white roofs over on the right?  We hiked from there!
At the Rock the kids all repelled.  I did avoid this certain unpleasantness.  There was pressure, but I prevailed in my need for self-preservation.  Surely they didn't want to carry me down the mountain?  Injured on my second day in the country?  I don't think so.  Smashing into a mountain was not going to make it a good day.
Emily loves it.  Max did it.  Last.  There he goes...over the cliff.
Some people like it...Darrell and Sandra...
Some not so much...
That's Lawrence from Germany.  He and 2 other Germans are volunteering at Spirit Mountain.  He was NOT so excited to be on the literal side of the mountain!  He's a great guy - we had dinner with him the next night.  Traditional German spaetzel (sp?) - it was delicioso!  Max's favorite meal in the DR so far.  German food!
And another shot of the amazing view!
Look for another post about the second half of our day (I know, right?!?!) which was equally as gorgeous and educational.

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