Time Capsule Letter – October 2016
It’s Ben! I hope you’re all doing well, and haven’t forgotten me or the team yet! My summer in the DR is wrapped up as you know and now I have a chance to reflect on the great memories we built together.
You guys were such a great group to finish the summer, there were occasional complaints (I still love the hike), I’ve learned more than I ever thought I would about how to pose for photos (thanks Nicky), and underwear mysteriously appearing in the swimming pool.
I’m not sure I’ve had that much beach time with any group before and I’m missing it badly already
We got everything wrapped up after you left, windows and doors in the houses, water flowing to the houses in La Grua, trees growing all over the place.
I hope to see you all again soon. Make your life matter. Make me remember you when I read about you changing the world for the better. I hope I’ve helped to bring you a little closer to becoming an expert global citizen.
Your Director and friend,
The best locals Vs. Domincans volleyball match EVER!
Summer Blog Posts
Today we arrived in the Dominican Republic, upon arrival we experienced a . glimpse of the culture and life of the Dominican natives. While driving through the country we saw many intriguing neighborhoods and natural wonders. Once we arrived at the lodge and met the wonderful staff, we experienced our first taste of the beautiful beaches. After our swim, we had a traditional Dominican style dish, which included chicken, rice, and beans with tropical fruits. We ended our first night with orientation and discussing how we would soon improve the lives of locals. As we close out the night, we are ecstatic to start our first day of work in the community with our beach-side service adventure team!
August 11, 2016
Hey ladies and gentlemen, today on our adventure we went to a local house built by previous volunteers, and began to finish the job. During this job we endured a blazing hot sun beaming down upon us through the beautiful palm, and coconut trees. We also worked through sun showers, and pesky bugs and with that being said we managed to finish the job with smiles on our faces. During the time while we were working we bonded with the local children and animals. The family’s who home is being constructed, cooked fresh food that includes chicken, rice and beans salad, plantains, and fruits, which was all caught and/or grown locally. Today was a life changing experience and will continue to grow throughout the duration of our trip! Talk to you later!
Today we woke up at 8 and enjoyed a heartfelt breakfast before leaving for Las Cuevas. After a 20 minute bus ride we arrived at a protected park to start our reforestation project. We worked diligently alongside the park rangers to plant trees to help form a tourist walkway through the park. By doing this we learned about environmental security and contributed to improving the local tourism market. Once we finished we walked to a refreshing freshwater cave located inside the park and took turns jumping in. Soon after we ate lunch on site and then stopped for ice cream before heading toward a local community. There we took a short tour where we got to see previous GLA projects as well as a bee farm. We then headed back to home base and enjoyed some free time on the beach before dinner. After dinner we did a workshop on leadership with Cam and then went to the beach to watch the stars before bed.
Today was the toughest day of service. First, we worked together to finish a cement floor for a family of 6. This family previously lived in a one bedroom shack. The family prepared an amazing lunch of delicious local food. Playing with the kids during breaks made the hard work seem easy. Seeing the finished floor was rewarding. Then we walked to our next service site. We finished painting the house we worked on earlier in the week. We finished the day with fun time beach time! After Taco Saturday dinner, we had an interesting conversation regarding leadership with Cameron. We’re so excited for what’s in store for tomorrow!
-Meg, Taylor, Raymond
Today was our trip to Dudu Lagoon which started off with a pancake breakfast and local honey. At the lagoon there was cliff jumping, zip ling, and exploring cave systems. A highlight of the day was when our group got together and had a friendly game of volleyball with the locals. Then we went to Playa Preciosa, a beach where we conversed with local vendors, and tried local foods. It was a beautiful private beach and was truly paradise that you wouldn’t get to experience anywhere else. After dinner back at the home base we had a lecture from Georgio about security with regards to the environment. Learning about human security and biodiversity are real world applicable lessons that we will take with us long after this trip. Today was a great adventure day, and we were all happy to take a break after the hard work day we had yesterday.
Today we were off to an early start and expedition to “La Grua.” When we arrived to the community, we went to the Dominican side of the community,and split up into two work groups. After splitting up into groups, we got straight to work, lifting rocks and digging holes to make a clean water source for the community there. Around noon, we ate lunch on site, which was prepared y a local dona.
After lunch, we finished up the work and took a tour of the Batey. We learned about the struggles and hardships regarding human security that the locals have to face. Then we returned to the lodge and had some free time, where we hung out by the pool and relaxed after the long day. At around six, we had dinner, then we watched a documentary on the Haitians and the Dominicans.
Laura, Ashley and Yennik
Yesterday we hiked up a three mile path, on the way up we stopped at different locations to learn about the culture and the way of life on the mountains. Today we went to the bottle house for the last time, we finished the flooring and the outside wall. The last step to the house is putting in doors and windows.
We also had a 11 year old local boy come to the lodge to teach us how to make bracelets out of recycled plastic bags. We also had are last human security lecture today. Towards the end of the night we went to the beach and one of the GLA mentors played the guitar and sang for us.