All students have arrived safely.
After several days of hard work in Haitian bateys, we were able to get an extra hour of sleep to begin day five. We woke up at 8 o’clock, and ate breakfast at 8:20. We were given fried cheese, fresh fruit, eggs, and toast. After that, we gathered our backpacks and headed to the buses at 9. At 10:30, we arrived at Laguna Dudu, where we were able to zip line into the lagoon 40 feet below us and jump off of cliffs into the water from even higher up. After a couple hours in the water, we played games of soccer and volleyball; truly bringing out the competitor in all of us. Lunch was eaten in the lagoon’s restaurant and consisted of chicken, rice, beans, and salad. After lunch, we ventured through the complex and found a smaller lagoon in a cave filled with crystal clear water and an abundance of fish. Even though the water was cold and the weather wasn’t the best, everyone had an amazing time taking advantage of the country’s natural treasures. We returned to the GLA home base around 5:15, leaving us time to swim in the pool before dinner. After dinner at around 7, we were inspired by a Ted Talk and discussed the contagiousness of passion. Later, we listened to a human security lecture and talked about the way that economic, community, and environmental security work together.
Olivia Siegel & Taylor Phillips
To start an absolutely amazing day a group of us got up extra early to go experience the magnificence of the Dominican sunrise. Even though the clouds impeded our view quite a bit the beauty of it was outstanding. After the sunrise we headed back to home base to enjoy yet another great meal. The Dominican style of cooking never ceases to impress. After breakfast all of us loaded onto the bus for riveting ride back to our second day of building a bottle school for the children of La Grua. Everyone played a major role in the construction of the school for these very underprivileged children. Half way through the process a group of us left to tour the community itself and see the lifestyle of these people. The absolutely horrendous conditions of the town almost brought many of us to tears. Just seeing the quality of their water and the land left the majority of us in awe. Little can we say there was trash everywhere; and when we say everywhere we mean everywhere. Yet the children were not phased. Still smiling and frolicking through broken glass, empty bags, dirty diapers, and even the remnants of a cows skull. This tour was the most eye opening experience of our young lives. Through all of this horror these people still manage to find the joy in life. Sharing their local music with us and inviting us to dance along with them was incredibly inspiring. The power of these people was something out of this world. To wrap up the day we headed back to our temporary home to enjoy yet another delicious meal and hang with our new founded friends and enjoy the absolutely stunning beauty of the Dominican Republic.
By: Theo, and Maddie