All students arrived safely and have begun their program! Stay tuned for photos and blog updates!
Day 1 in the Dominican Republic, we visited Cano Dulce, a small town 20 minutes from home base. We split up and worked on 2 separate projects; constructing a stair case to the community for easy access to healthcare for elderly patients, and beginning floor construction for the house of a local bee farmer. The locals were really friendly and we got to hang out with the kids, who taught us some of their games and braided our hair. Working with concrete in the hot sun was quite challenging, but seeing the product of our work made it worthwhile. We also got to try natural honey from Jonny the bee farmer, which is much sweeter than regular honey. It’ll be difficult to go back, not only to regular honey, but to bananas and other food, which is hands down the best food we’ve ever had. All in all, the day was surprisingly challenging, but fun at the same time. We look forward to visiting other villages through the rest of the week.
Day two – today we visited a Batey named Caraballo, a village mixed with Haitians and Dominicans. We spent the majority of our time working on a building to be used as a clinic, community meetings, and continuing education for the children. While this was our project for the day, we were lucky enough to immerse ourselves in the community of Caraballo. The whole community, just like the rest of our experiences so far, was incredibly welcoming. Walking around the village, many of the people would come up to us, so a half hour in we had children on our shoulders, conversing with the older students, and trying the popsicles our new friends Tania, Romana, and Katrine, had us taste. We are in awe of how open and full of joy this community is, while simultaneously learning about their desperate needs for food, water, and economic stability. We were constantly surrounded by every age of this community, both in work and play, the people of Caraballo inspired us all.
Today was the first day we relaxed, and we saw a more beautiful side of the Dominican Republic, Dudu Lagoona. The previous days, we visited a more realistic side of the Dominica. Today showed a more beautiful side, as well as relaxing. We spent time cliff jumping and zip lining, learning to conquer their fear of heights, as well as playing volleyball with the locals. Also cave exploring. We saw other tourists as well in the area. We did leadership activities to build teamwork and such. We also did more lessons on Human Security, specifically Food Security, and how that impacts the world today.
If you would like to view an online album of photos on Facebook, here is the link! https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.831938416879071.1073741828.810453002360946