June 22, 2017
Everyone is here and happy at the beach! Tomorrow is our first full of service and we can’t wait!
The first day of service was an unfamiliar, yet interesting experience. Although work was difficult, seeing the smiles on the local children’s faces made it worth while. We made great progress on the refinishing of the community’s basketball court, met new Dominican friends, and saw the process of making local honey. We had to wake up at 8:00AM which was hard to adjust to in a unfamiliar time zone, then tried new food like fried cheese for breakfast, learned how to mix concrete, sweat bullets in the hot sun and humidity, learned how to communicate with a language barrier, swam in the refreshing ocean, and learned about the importance of human security. We learned the importance of teamwork, to be open minded, and the feeling of accomplishment after a day of hard work.
Today was another awesome day! We continued working in the community on the basketball court, and made a lot of progress toward the final product of a brand new, refurbished, and safe outlet for community youth. If it wasn’t for the last minute lack of concrete we would have completed the initial base layer, but it gave us extra time to connect with the locals even with the language barrier. After a long day of service we had a fun afternoon at the beach swimming and sun bathing. Following our beach time we had mentor groups to further discuss the impact of working in a developing community. Tonight we voyaged down to the beach for night star gazing with amazing views of the sky. All in all we had another great day in the Dominican Republic!
Today, we carried numerous bags of cement, sand, and water to the basketball court the second we got to the community. We created the cement and finished paving the basketball court. We came back to base camp for a lunch of pork, fruit, and rice and beans. After lunch we split up into groups to learn how to surf and kite surf. The surf group learned how to mount a surf board in one of the pools, well the kite surf group practiced safety procedures and learned how to maneuver the kite/parachute. Then the groups switched. After this we enjoyed some time relaxing by the pool followed by an American dinner of chicken tenders and french fries. Then we discussed key qualities of a leader and what qualities we possess.
Today, we finished the basketball court for the Caño Dulce community and painted the lines. We also painted an obstacle course for the little children of the community. During this experience we really bonded with the kids. We played stick ball (their form of baseball) with them. We were all sad to say goodbye. After that, we continued our training for kite-surfing and surfing. Some of us were even able to stand up on the surf board! This took about 5 hours. Tonight, we learned two cultural dances called marengue and bachata with two local teachers. We had a ton of fun and are looking forward to tomorrow.
June 27, 2017
Today we went to Dudu lagoon, about an hour drive away. Almost everyone chose to participate in a thirty foot high zip line, dropping into the water. It was so fun! We also played volleyball and soccer at the lagoon, and explored an old cave bar. We then drove to a beautiful beach, Playa Presciosa, with smaller waves, and less of a current than the beach near the lodge. We drank pineapple smoothies on this beach, and they were very yummy. We had a blast today!
We had a lot of fun today! We climbed treacherous Mt. Brison! and ate a delicious homemade meal at the top from a wonderful lady named Doña Maxima. Along the trail, we saw farms, residencies, and many interesting animals. We also learned about the dangers of cooking in tight, confined spaces. We also saw the difficult ways of living in these types of communities. These included walks that were miles long just to get to school in the scorching heat. Today was the last day of our service days. We planted vegetable plants along with other types of crops for the locals to grow and eat once ready to harvest. Tomorrow we begin our first complete sports day which involves becoming more experienced at surfing and kitesurfing.
Sam and Alexa
Today we had an amazing time surfing and learning how to kitesurfing. We started surfing around 9am and ended around 12 for lunch. The second half of the day we got to kitesurfing. The instructors are great and fun to be around. They make it easy for the us to learn the basics of kitesurfing. Most of us kids got really burnt today because we got to spend all day at the beach! Tomorrow we will be doing the exact same thing. We are ready to have another amazing day at the beach!
Jacob and Alissa
Hello parents and guardians,
Today we had a fantastic time surfing in the morning and kitesurfing for a little bit in the afternoon due to the thunderstorms that rolled in around three. The surf this morning was great and nearly everyone was able to catch a wave, but before we begun to surf we of course had to have a fun relay! The mix of both counselors and students participating in the race provided an entertaining and very close finish to a fun morning. We look forward to exploring the waterfalls tomorrow after having such a fun day today!
Today was very exciting! We had a little bit of an earlier morning, waking up at 7:00 am. We promptly ate and got on the bus for a two-hour bus ride to 27 charcos! This means 27 waterfalls. Once we got there, we got our life jackets and helmets, walked on a short hike, and then jumped and slid down waterfalls! It was incredible! On the way home, we saw a long line of college or high school (it was undetermined) graduates who all looked absolutely beautiful. We all clapped and cheered for them and most of them smiled. We then made it to the grocery store, bought some candy and food, and went back to the lodge. After some funny guardian angels (it was opened up so anyone could write any to anyone) Michaela had an amazing lecture about poverty. Hope your day was as fantastic as ours! Unfortunately we could not take any pictures due to the adventurous nature of our day!
July 2, 2017
This morning we woke up 8am with breakfast at 8:30am. This morning we got to play on the finished basketball court against the locals. I’m pretty sure the locals won most of the games that were played but it was all smiles all morning. In the afternoon, we went kitesurfing. The wind was good and strong, a couple people even got up on the boards for the first time! Overall we had a really great day!