All students have arrived safely, photos to follow!
On our first day during service, we didn’t really know what to expect. Thus, when we arrived at Cano Dulce, and met a treacherous wire bridge, not even 2 feet across, many of us were reluctant to cross. Even though the wire bridge seemed impractical to use on a daily basis, as the river seemed a mere trickle, the intermittent floods that raise the water level more than 10 feet make it more than a novelty. These floods have become a menace in the local communities after deforestation has largely decimated the natural flood protection system. After delicately walking our way across 3 at a time we found ourselves at the Johnny’s house, the local beekeeper, who manages African bees, a more wild variety than those typically found from Western bees.
Upon our return from our trek to the bees, we started our main service project, the construction of a sidewalk around the local building. This process encompassed many laborious parts, ranging from leveling the ground for the sidewalk, to laying down the concrete, to the most laborious portion, mixing the concrete. Using shovels and piles of sand nearby, we alternated manually churning the mix with shovels to adding water taken from the local river until the mix attained the desired consistency. Although the expertise of the locals assisted us greatly at first, we were able to somewhat successfully function autonomously by the end of the day.
After our long day laboring in hot, humid weather, we returned to our home camp, where we immediately headed for the local beach. After lazing around for the rest of the afternoon, we settled down for an overview of the concept of Human Security.
The group traveled to Caraballo today and continued building the bottle school where the previous group left off. We mixed more cement to cover the walls which were filled with plastic trash contained by chicken wire. It was enjoyable to see this common waste being put to good use as insulation for a building for public use. We also toured the nearby area and saw the contrast between communities when we were not caught up with conversation with the locals. In the evening our lesson specified environmental issues and solutions as relating to Human Security.
Today, we woke up to the sound of the wild geese and the pouring rain. We started the day with the delicious breakfast of our fabulous chefs and good company. After we ate, we drove thirty minutes out to the Lazy Dog Café and although it was raining, we still enjoyed three hours of shopping, beach time, pizza, and Wi-Fi. After completing the nine pizzas, we continued the fun with a fifteen minute drive to a different beach. Here we hopped in the rocking boat. We set sail to find adventure!!! We tumbled our way out to the deep wide ocean. Although most of us forget our motion sickness medicine, we still took a leap of faith to jump into the ocean to begin our snorkeling experience. The coral reefs were beautiful and the fish were abundant. After this excursion, we toured the local shops and many people immersed themselves in the local culture. This included many of us buying paintings and getting our hair braided (even the boys). Finally, we finished the cold and rainy day by eating the best dinner so far. This included all of our favorite dishes like fried eggplant, rice, beans, meat, and fresh fruit.
~Created by The Core Four aka K.A.M.N
We woke up around 7 am to the sunshine. We ate another delicious breakfast and made our way to the bus for another day of work in Caraballo. We begin building the bottle school again for the first half of the day, while taking short breaks to mingle with the local kids. After lunch, we toured the village market, purchasing small trinkets for our friends and family back home.
With a long morning of work and play behind us, we set off to the same beach in Cabarete that we visited on Tuesday. We were given a few hours to ourselves to shop, sunbathe, swim, and play volleyball. The hours of leisure were much appreciated after our days of hard work.
After dinner, we participated in the marshmallow challenge. If you haven’t heard of it: google it. It involves a small group of people attempting to build the tallest tower possible out of uncooked spaghetti, tape, and one marshmallow. At the end of the challenge, the towers had to be able to stand on their own with a marshmallow on the top. It proved to be a very difficult task, but some of our groups managed to succeed.
After a productive past few days, we are excited to make our way to Laguna Dudu tomorrow for a day of zip lining, soccer, and cliff jumping.
This morning, a group of campers started the day by taking an adventure to the beach to catch the beautiful sunrise. After breakfast, we headed to the bus to take a trip to Laguna Dudu.
Laguna Duda consisted of many thrilling experiences including a zip line, two cliffs about the same height, and an exhilarating water cave. After absorbing the breathtaking heights, many campers began their excursion into the clear blue water. The 35 foot zip line caused seconds of thrill in all of the campers as they shot straight into the water. After the experience of the zip line, it came time to take the risk of jumping from the first cliff. Many of us found that the cliff was more nerve racking than we thought, but we still decided to embark on the adventure. We took a break from all the exciting activities to eat lunch. When lunch was finished, many of us became tired and decided that it was time to relax and soak up some sun. We finished the day at Dudu by taking a few more leaps down into the fresh water. Once we arrived back at home base, we completed the day by relaxing by the pool and beach.