All students in our group have made it safely to the lodge! They are getting settled in to life in the Dominican Republic, and looking forward to our nature walk tomorrow up Brison mountain!
Today we hiked Mt. Brison in the flaming hot sun. It was humid and muddy, but we set the record of reaching the peak at an hour and a half, faster than any other group. On the way up, we walked through different communities, saw a rooster fighting arena, and purchased multi-color wristbands. Once we got to the top, we shared lunch with a local family and enjoyed a beautiful view. Overall, it was a sweaty day, but we became closer as a group.
Lindsey and Josh
Today we started off with pancakes for breakfast, I think many people were surprised to find that they gave us honey instead of syrup, but it was really good. After breakfast, we took two buses to the service site… we really enjoyed being the first bus to leave. Building the bottle wall for the basketball court in the hot sun was hard work but ultimately rewarding. Half of the group got engaged in a game of basketball with some of the local kids, it was great to see how people from two different cultures with two different languages could still interact with each other and have a friendly game of trash can basketball. It was also interesting to see how creative the local kids were, using a trash can as a basketball hoop since we were working on the basketball court. In the afternoon we enjoyed rice, beans and chicken… big surprise. It was so much fun when our kite-boarding plans fell through because of the wind, or lack there of. We chose to get tossed around by the waves instead. Day 4: a more successful day than the day 3 of success.
Trevor and Laura
Today we started the day off with the not so healthy coco puffs cereal. Alongside it we enjoyed fresh eggs and fruit. After breakfast, we went straight to service in Cano Dulce. We had so much fun getting our hands dirty in the cement while mixing it and putting it on the wall. It was so cool to see the Dominicans willingly get involved to help us help their community. Our other service we did today was painting the floor of the cabana. However, we may have to save that one for another day because of the pouring rain. This rain led us to the bee keeper where we learned about his bee hives and got to taste fresh honey. We all enjoyed playing basketball with some of the local children. After we got home from the tiring day of hard work, we all jumped into the warm ocean except for Carly, Finlay, Cade, Bridget, and Laura who got gnarly cornrows from the wonderful locals. Today was also special because we celebrated Jovanni’s birthday! We all signed a wonderful card for him and sang happy birthday at the bon fire. Overall, it was another fantastic day in the Dominican!
Abbie, Bridget and Duke
Today we went to Dudu lagoon after a hardy breakfast. There, we were immediately greeted by a zip line which ended in a 35 foot jump. Everyone had a great time, even though a go-pro was lost and there were a few minor injuries. Other than this, we all had fun. We also went to another gorgeous lagoon and a cave that used to be a nightclub. We had lunch, which included the best chicken we had all trip. After we left the lagoon, we continued the adventure by going to a beautiful white sand beach where we purchased jewelry and enjoyed our pineapple drinks. Everyone was worn out after this adventurous day and we all hit the hay after dinner and a lecture. Everyone had so much fun taking a day off for cliff-jumping and beautiful beaches!
Bridget and Eliot
Today was a great day full of sports! We started the day with a pancake breakfast topped with honey, we are started to get used to that flavor instead of the traditional syrup. Then we made our way down to the beach to get started surfing. Our surf instructor, Colin, taught us how the ways of the surf board. Meanwhile, others had fun playing in the ocean, whether that was body surfing waves in, or just chilling in the shallow end. After lunch, we were supposed to go down to the beach again to have our second lesson in kitesurfing. Unfortunately, the winds were not sufficient for optimal kitesurfing. Instead, we had a free day at the beach where some tried to improve their surfing skills while others enjoyed a nice soccer game on the beach. In the evening, all the GLA students gathered around to watch a documentary about the struggles of making it to the MLB for people of the Dominican Republic. It was very interesting to see how they persevered through their hard times and provided much money for their families.
Caden and Christina
July 16, 2017
On this ridiculously humid summer morning in the Dominican Republic, we fueled our bodies with white eggs and cheese. We loaded into the bus to begin our full day of service. Where we continued to build the wall, and paint an obstacle course. We mixed more cement and continued to create bonds with the locals. While we were hard at work, a bell rang. It turned out it was the ice cream man!! We cooled off with our helado and headed back to work. At around 12 we broke for lunch. Which consisted of rice, beans, and chicken…again. When we finished out work, we came back to the lodge and went down to the beach to have more kite surfing lessons. We also had a competitive game of soccer. Today was Laura’s 18th birthday. We celebrated with a hot and sweaty dance party and snacks. Can’t wait for the many more memories that are going to be made!
Carly and Owen
Day 10 started off with a morning surf adventure that was accompanied by an amazing sunrise. After the surfing journey, we arrived back to home base where we were welcomed with some flavor bread and eggs. Following breakfast, we marched back to the beach where we were forced to paddle out in the overly beautiful waters once more. After the exhausting, treacherous swim we went play to play baseball at a local pasture. Unfortunately, Mac mislead his teammates on his ability to play the sport “baseball” and became the worst player on the field. Then we attempted to fly a kite but then there was no wind so our plans of kiteboarding today were diminished. As the sad souls of the GLA camper once more headed back to the lodge, Camper Ethan lightened the mood by performing multiple belly flops as the others watched in awe and some confusion. Attached are some pictures of camper Ethan trying to kite board.
Luke and Finlay
Day 11 also started off with some surfing early in the am. Not such an amazing sunrise due to the extreme clouds, but the surfing was just as good. After breakfast, we had a great two hour hot bus ride with hardly any room to move. We arrived at 27 Charcos and rode down only 12 because the other 15 were dried out ☹. Then we switched it up and ate at an actual restaurant that served the same things we’ve been eating for the past 11 days. Highlight of the day had to be restocking on our snacks. Huge grocery store with all the right goods. Overall still gonna give this day an A++.
Zoe and Cade
Day 11 started off with a healthy and delicious breakfast consisting of cereal, eggs, bacon and fruit. Shortly after breakfast, we loaded on to the bus to Cano Dulce. Today was our last day in the community and we made the most of it: our portion of the wall was finished and relationships between us and the locals grew even stronger. After a sad goodbye, we headed back to the home base where we ate succulent fried chicken and veggies. We then went down to the beach for an afternoon of kitesurfing and tanning. We even had a soccer game going where Walner…obviously lost. As our trip comes to an end, we are especially grateful for the relationships made with the locals and our small yet influential impact on Cano Dulce.
Carson and Olivier
Wednesday, July 19, 2017,
Started with an alarm clock at 5:26 in the morning. You may have heard about other kids waking up early to go surfing, but my reason was much different. I grabbed the massive dung beetle hiding in our cabin safe, and I set out for the cabin of boys next door… Before I ran over, I made sure the dogs, Ernie, Terny, and Berny were off duty. Once I confirmed I was not going to have to go on a early morning chase down con los perros, I sprinted over to cabin. I meticulously opened the creaky cabin door with the assistance of my cameraman, Josh. I snuck over to Dukes bed and gently placed the palm sized sucker onto his baggy cargo shorts. I bolted out of the room with the growing urge to break out laughing. This may seem like a stupid and mean prank, but what comes around goes around. Karma bit duke on the butt this time.
At 8 we had a special meal. Instead of having rice we ate beans. Man I love those beans. After breakfast, we relocated towards the beach. Colin created a team obstacle course, our team took a heavy loss. After defeat, I tried to surf in tough ocean conditions. That ended in a defeat as well. Getting smacked in the face before even attempting to stand up drains persistence and dedication. At least I tried. We hung out on the beach until lunch came around. Lunch is like Christmas. The parents usually give more presents than they receive. I always end up in the back of the lunch line for whatever reason, and I am always forced to clear and put away everyone’s plates! Later in the day, the group went kite surfing. I finally learned how to stand up!!! (barely) Beach life is hard. The sun is hot and leaves something called sunburns on gringos who forget to put on sunscreen. In agonizing pain, I ran home and spent the next thirty minutes lathering myself in Josh’s aloe. I worship aloe and so does Jonathan in his bible studies. Well today was a great day, well how could it not be? We are in a beautiful country and I am surrounded with 22 newish friends. I often realize how near the end is. We will keep in touch after this memorable trip. Well gotta scat, I think I hear dinner calling my name. I heard we will be having rice and chicken!
See you soon mom,