Hola session two (all 26 of you)!
As we think about the awesome 10 days you spent here in the Dominican Republic, we can’t help but be flooded with great memories!
From day one, your group was off to a great start. You all arrived safe and sound to home base, and quickly began settling in and getting to know each other. We could tell right away that lifelong friendships would be made during this experience.
The following day we kicked off your activities, starting with a bus ride up to Brison. You guys said the bus felt like a sauna – and you were right! We’re used to it by now, but we definitely understand how intense the Dominican heat can be if you haven’t experienced it before. But you guys were troopers, and we made it to Brison, and the gorgeous views were totally worth it!
We got to hike the mountain and have lunch with Dona Maxima, who has met many of our GLA students in the past. She made us delicious homemade chicken, and it was so good, some of you guys were still talking about it days later!
Your service begun in the Cano Dulce community, where you were introduced to the William and his four children. This was the family you’d be helping to build a home for. It was so cool that his children were around during your service so you could get to know them and learn more about the family you were directly helping with your efforts. We were so proud of how you all took charge and divided up the various tasks in order to get as much work done as possible in the time given. The progress you made was amazing!
For the next part of your service, we headed to Las Cuevas to help at a local nature preserve. You guys planted tons of trees, which will make a huge and long-lasting impact on local reforestation efforts.
After all of your work the first few days, you were due for some R & R. So we headed to Playa Alicia for some fun in the sun. Whether you were lounging on the sand, romping in the waves, or playing games on the beach, your day of relaxation was well-deserved!
The next day, you guys got right back into it and continued kicking butt with your service in the Severe community. Once again, you all conquered your tasks and divided them up in order to maximize your progress. Such good thinkers!
Next up was another well-deserved day of adventure, which included ziplining, swimming in Dudu Lagoon, exploring mysterious caves, and enjoying some refreshing virgin Pina Coladas on the beach.
On your final day, we recall you all chatting and reflecting about your experiences, what you learned, the obstacles you overcame, and the bonds you made with one another, as well as members of the local community. Nothing makes us happier than to know our students feel a sense of pride and accomplishment for the service they completed here in the DR.
We miss you all and hope you are having an amazing year, whether you are back at your high school, or have moved forward to college or another adventure!
-Your DR Beachside Staff, 2017