We just wanted to let you all know that all students have successfully completed the program and are on their way home.
Thank you to all of our student volunteers’ families and friends for following along on their journey.
Today we visited Laguna Dudu. We went zip lining into water and cliff jumping. The drop was 30-40 ft high. Almost everyone went for the drop, though a few chose to just swim and enjoy the sun. Everyone walked away in one piece!
We followed up with a dance class at home base where we learned to dance the bachata and merengue (and a little salsa at the end) with some volunteers from the local community. Through this experience the leaders of the day were able to hone their leadership skills and strengthen their weaknesses.
Because we didn’t have a specific task to focus on today, we were able to talk and hang out with a larger variety of people. The closer the group grows, the more efficient we work as an entity. This was already in effect over the course of the first working days, as are efficiency drastically increased every time we have grown closer as a team. To create a sense of unity and to keep moral up while we grew tired, we even created a singalong playlist.
Not only do we grow as leaders, but we grow closer as a group.
Back to Polanco
Today we went to Polanco again, to finish the bottle house for Maria. We tried our hardest to finish the house. However, we eventually ran out of time and had to leave. But so far the house looks great because the people helping us were very skilled and we worked better and more efficiently as a group, and pushed ourselves harder since we gained experience from the first day. We had lunch there again and tried fresh coconut water.
After lunch we went back to work, cleaned up, and went to a town nearby called Caños Dulces, where we visited Johnny the beekeeper and his family. We walked across a shaky wire bridge and saw hives made of hollowed out logs and palms, and the new and improved boxes that GLA is helping to make. No one was stung and we were able to try fresh honey comb, and tried cacao nuts which did not taste anything like chocolate.
Afterwards we went back to the base and were given time to go to the beach, pool, or take a shower. We then had dinner and had a leadership session where we talked about gaining confidence and how small changes can increase charisma. After this, we had Human Security, where we talked in-depth about the economy and the gap between the rich and the rest of the world. We then ended the day off with some free time.
First Day of Service
Today we went to Polanco for our first day of service.
We were welcomed by the locals as we toured the community and learned about their lifestyle. After our tour, we began working on a house for a single mom named Maria. The group mixed cement and finished up the latrine. After a few hours of hard work, the team ate a delicious lunch prepared by Maria. We continued to bond with one another, and eventually we went back to work on our group service project.
→Everyone with the addition of our dog Oscar 🙂
Finally, after many hours in the sun, we mixed our last batch of cement and added it to the floor of the house. When we arrived back at Home Base, we attended a cooking lesson in which we learned to cook fried plantains. Then we had an opportunity to go play on the beach or swim in the pool!
After dinner, Giorgio, the leader of Human Security, gave us a brief overview on what Human Security is. We ended the day with mentor groups, where we talked about our expectations for the trip and fully introduced ourselves. Tomorrow we will be going back to Polanco to hopefully finish what we started. So far, we’re off to a great start, and we’re excited for what’s to come.
-Written by: Ambria, Claire, Mary & Victoria
We just wanted to let you know that all students have arrived in the Dominican Republic to begin their Spring Break program.
We look forward to sharing insights from the DR with you all whenever they become available.