Surprisingly sleeping in these bunks aren’t that bad. Everyone woke up around 7:30am and got breakfast at8:20am. The food was pretty good which was prepared by these two Dominican women. We went to our first job site in Las Canas which is five minutes away from our home base. While there we helped finish building a bottle school that previous GLA members built. I started off the project by collecting buckets of water from a well down the hill. We used their water to mix the strained dirt and cement mix together to make cement. We used the cement to smooth out the back wall of the school/multi purpose building and to make a sidewalk along the side of the building. Eventually a bunch of the local kids came and I played games with them and drew. That was my favorite part of the day actually because interacting with the locals is such an amazing experience and all the stories were very interesting. I didn’t even know I knew so much Spanish before. Around noon we had lunch on the job site which was so delicious. At first I felt so bad eating around the kids but they actually ate with us too. The food went by so fast and you could see the children were starving. We left around 2 and we had an hour of free time so everyone just went in the pool and then freshened up for the kickball game. We walked five minutes down the road to a huge open field which was absolutely gorgeous with so many palm trees and it was right by the ocean. We Americans won in kickball against the Dominican kids. We came back home changed into bathing suits and went to the beach and met the 21 day program kids. We came back and had dinner at 6pm. The fruit and juices here are amazing! At 7pm we had leadership. Which is like talking about the community and what we learned that day. Its been so fun!
By Madison Jones
Waiting for us at the top of the mountain was the best meal we have had the whole trip. The meal tasted even better after our arduous adventure. After everyone had gotten their fill alongside adorable puppies and satanic birds, we took advantage of the beautiful views and amazing photo opportunities.
Our descent of the mountain was a breeze compared to the strenuous hike up. Although it was relatively easy, it was not without its difficulties. Almost everyone stumbled on the loose rock that coated the precipitous trail, but there were no injuries.
It was a shame that we didn’t get to actually work on the reforestation project, as the area is in the middle of a drought, and any of the work we did would have been counterproductive. We did, however, gain a valuable understanding of the day to day hardships of the locals.
Overall, the day’s activities were a valuable learning experience that allowed us to empathize with the locals.
– Brooke Sanders and Mary Brown