Time Capsule Letter – October 2016
Cavo’s house is built, local children are playing on the playground in the Los Brazos school, and the children of Batey La Union are living healthy lifestyles. These things only happened because of you and the work that you did during your time here in the Dominican Republic.
It’s totally amazing for me to think back to those dreadfully hot days in July and August when we were starting these projects. Not only were you all catalysts for change in the communities, but you also left a lasting impact here. Every time I walk past the blue colmado before the street, the Donya tells me that ‘she has fresh empanadas for the group of ladies.” The director at the Los Brazos school, keeps asking me to bring you all back because you “were faster than anybody else could be.”
I challenge you to take these experiences to heart. Know that you, indeed, made a change in the world and that this can continue. Use what you have learned about responsible, sustainable aid to fuel your passion and fight injustice and lapses in human security. Without a doubt my most entertaining group, use this power of performance to your advantage. Remember, no more bandaids! And, above all continue to be exceptional global citizens. Understand the vitality and ubiquity of health as a global issue and how interconnected the solutions are.
It would be out of character for me not to insert some sort of sappy 90s TV reference, so, in the words of Miss Frizzle from the magic school bus, “Take chances, make mistakes and get messy!”
Wishing you all the best,
The GLA & 7E Team
Summer Blog Posts
July 20, 2016
We arrived at Puerto Plata Airport and after a fairly seamless transition through customs and immigration, we met our GLA mentors. After a humbling 40 minute drive to Las Canas, we arrived at the homebase. We met many of our fellow travelers at the base and then after a late lunch headed out to see the beach. The evening closed with a great dinner and conversing with the rest of the volunteers. In the end, adjusting to the humidity and new climate (including the numerous species of wildlife) is worth it to know that we are embarking here on a great journey, even if only for two weeks, to promote global health and aid the neighboring communities.
July 22, 2016
Today we all conquered Brison!! We started the day with a yummy breakfast at 7 and made our way to Brison around 9. Along the way up the mountain, we stopped to visit a local school and a house. We learned how the culture impacts global health issues in the area. When we made it to the top, a local woman cooked a delicious lunch of pork, rice and corn. We made our way back down and appreciated the air conditioned bus at the bottom. Despite the intense heat and steep incline, we learned a lot and appreciated views the Domincan has to offer. When we got back to the lodge, we went to the beach and had a lecture on global health today and tomorrow and another one on leadership. Overall, we had a tough but rewarding day and are excited for the coming days!
Kaitlin & Lasya
This morning we had a quick breakfast and head off to the school where we started to build playgrounds for the kids. We struggled as we learned how to properly use a saw and pickaxe, but we taught by the local kids. After a few hours we were very tired and sweaty. Soon it was time for lunch, where we practiced our Spanish with the kids and played games. We played jump rope with the younger kids and enjoyed a competitive game of basketball with the older kids. After the long day we came to the lodge and quickly changed to go to the beach. Soon it was time for dinner, we were all very excited to get tacos. After an informative lecture and video, we all prepared for bed.
Lumay Gomez and Maggie Gilbertson
We started the day with a later (7:30 AM) breakfast before heading to the Islabon community to finish our playground. All groups worked very hard nailing, painting, and cementing to create colorful and sustainable play structures for the kids there. After successfully completing all 3 play structures, we were happy to see that the local children loved them, and we all played together after eating lunch at our work site.
All of Group B was happily surprised with a trip to a local ice cream store on the way back to home base- the ice cream tasted especially good after a morning of hard work. The group then traveled to the beach before we were abruptly rained on and had to return back to our rooms and the pool. After a delicious pasta and chicken dinner, we had an interesting and interactive lecture on water allocation and filtration. The group then split up into research groups to begin our capstone projects on various global health issues. Overall, it was a very productive day and we’re all looking forward to visiting the Haitian batey and waterfalls tomorrow!
-Sophia and Aileen
We started the day in La Grua, a Haitian community. We got a close look at the poverty that the families experience daily. Children were running all round, drinking and bathing in the local stream littered by garbage and filled with bacteria. We got a tour of multiple houses and got to see the water filters we learned about yesterday during lectures being used in real life. We bonded with the children and then said our goodbyes.
We then went off to the local community center built by past GLA students to eat lunch. We ate our delicious tacos and were on our way to 27 Charcos.
We started our journey by climbing up the waterfalls. Sliding down waterfalls into pristine blue water was a beautiful experience (except for when the chubby local man dropped me. Yup that’s me mom – Clara.) We were all a bit nervous jumping off the high heights of the last waterfall but everyone did jump and were glad they did. We found an ice cream shop and then started on our way home.
-Kat and Clara
July 27, 2016
The early risers started the day with a sunrise walk along the beach.Then we met up for breakfast and departed for the health fair in a Haitian community. The health fair included teaching the younger generation about how to properly brush their teeth and wash their hands. We also recorded the height and weight of the kids while Dr.Kerole took the blood pressures of the adults. The kids were extremely excited about getting their own toothbrush and toothpaste, so much so that it was kind of chaotic. All in all, it was a successful day. Returning from a delicious lunch, we had free time to soak up the sun at the beach. Following fee time, Candi gave us a taste of Dominican dancing. Some, of course, danced better than others. Later, we had a giant game of Mafia in the gazebo before the mentors surprised us by jumping in the pool-FULLY CLOTHED! After dinner we enjoyed a documentary concerning obesity in developing countries and how it will impact the future. Looking forward to a long, long, night of sleep!
Olivia and Julia