Time Capsule Letter
Time goes so fast! We cannot quite believe it has been so long since our amazing week in the Dominican Republic ended. We wanted to say hello, and remind you of your lasting impact here in our communities.
We have fond memories of waking up to the smells of pancakes and the loud squawks of the neighbouring goats and guinea fowls. Of heading on our way to work sites and hospital visits to the sounds of merengue and bachata, passing past the palm trees in the glorious sunshine. And the adventure days, the beautiful waters, delicious fresh pina coladas and white sandy beaches.
We know that you guys are probably back with school, but we wanted you to know that we will forever remember the laughs and good times that we shared. I hope that you know your time spent in the Dominican Republic did truly make a positive impact in Cano Dulce, Nueva York Chiquito and Las Canas.
You will forever be a part of the work done at Cano Dulce, you guys started the hard work in building a bathroom for Gabriel and his family. Having access to a bathroom is so integral to overall health, access to sanitation and dignity. The local children will always remember you as the first GLA group to distribute vitamins in their community. And you all go down in history as one of the most successful medical brigades in Nueva York Chiquito! Well done guys! Thank YOU for all your effort and hard work.
We hope that you take the skills and knowledge from this trip into all aspects of your life, and that you remain to be globally engaged, hardworking and motivated to make a difference to the wellbeing of people all over the world.
Not to mention the hard work you guys did, we also had so much fun! You guys made the group as special as it was by being so close knit and inclusive.
You were a superstars throughout the entire program, your comments and questions during reflection time were impressive. Keep expressing yourself and those bright thought you have.
As a team, you worked so well together in the community and demonstrated what cooperation means.
GHT – you were amazing!
Please stay connected!
Hilary, Mark and Loubens
Sunday March 17, 2018
Today we were woken up by roosters and goats! After a fantastic wakeup call we had fried cheese, eggs, toast, and hot chocolate. Once fueled for the day, we went to Cano Dulce Bathroom. At the bathroom we dug a 8 foot hole for a septic tank, painted the outside of the house and inside blue, and last but certainly not least, we built bottle based walls.
Seeing how much progress that we made in the 6 hours we were there was amazing! We were able to make a HUGE dent on the hole, finish all the bottle walls, and we even practically finished cementing the walls of the bathroom! It truly was amazing seeing how we impacted Gabriel’s life. We talked about how bathrooms were important for hygiene, privacy, and sanitation.
For lunch we were able to interact with the locals and were able to go to a house for lunch! There we continued our rice and beans tradition and were able to try honey combs from their bee farm. After service we came back to home base and were able to relax and we had our swim test. After passing the swim tests we were able to walk a minute right to the beach!!!
From doing yoga, to walking the beach, we were able to make the most of our first beach trip. Once we returned we had dinner which consisted of pasta, fried fish, fruit, plantains, and a very yummy juice. After dinner we had a reflection time where we learned about the 7 elements and their impact on not only the Dominican Republic Society, but also in the United States. After this we were ready for bed. It was a very rewarding day and we can’t wait for the rest of the trip. Tomorrow we have medical training and vitamin distribution!
Adios for now,
Monday March 18, 2019
Today was an eventful and eye-opening day for the GLA team. We started the day with medical training to prepare us for our medical brigades. We learned how to take vitals(BP, heart rate, temperature etc), how to organize vitamins, and deal with patients.
After our medical training we took a tour at the local hospital and got a presentation from a local doctor. We had a chance to ask questions and expand our view of the health care in the Dominican. Later, we set up a medical popup clinic in Cano Dolce for the local children and pregnant women. It took teamwork, organization and handwork but was a lot of fun!
After a fun afternoon of hanging out at the beach and by the pool we started an engaging debate. We discussed the ethical controversy of tourism, and building new attractions in the DR. Overall today was a productive and thought provoking day.
See you soon!
Pippin and Marin
Tuesday March 19, 2019
Today we had a fun and relaxing day after two days of hard work. We went snorkeling in the waters of Sosua, where we saw many different kinds of fish in the clear blue waters. For lunch we had a Dominican Republic Delicacy — pizza! Then we went shopping at the local stores and bought types of jewelry, t shirts, and other souvenirs.
We finished the day with a relaxing tan on the beach, and headed back to home base. We then ate dinner, and watched a competitive soda chugging contest (45 bottles of soda) by four brave competitors from another GLA group. Overall a great day, which we finished off with watching a documentary about climate change.
To end the evening we split off into mentor groups and discussed what we have learned in the program and what we can do . Looking forward to another great day tomorrow with our medical brigade!
-Ava and Kate
Wednesday March 20, 2019
Greetings from the D.R!
Alyson and Hannah here! Reporting for duty, as your Leaders of the Day!
This morning, we were awoken by the demands of the day. We began by eating a balanced beakfast of eggs, toast, fresh fruit and hot chocolate. Our journey began at El Bronx for our Medical Brigade day. Students served the community by assisting doctors in registration, pharmacy positions, taking vitals and entertaining children. We each made transcending connections with the 63 patients we treated.
From 8 am to 2 pm we were hard at work. Arriving back to the lodge, many students hung out poolside & beachside (and a handful of us even took lengthy naps!) After a long day at the Medical Brigade which was truly an eyeopening experience, one of the most powerful connection all of us made throughout the day was with two of our Hatian staff members. We had an open discussion about racisim between Dominicans and Hatians after watching a short film called “Divided Island,”.
We wrapped up the evening with a new aspiration to make a difference.
By Hannah and Alyson
Thursday March 21, 2019
Good day families!
A wonderful beginning to a beautiful day with pancakes and fresh fruit and an amazing banana smoothie all prepared by our amazing cooks. We left for our adventure on an overcrowded, hot and sweaty bus. Our task for the day was to finish Garbriel’s bathroom, paint his home and finishing the giant hole for the septic tank. This was supposed to take us all day long but we finished in about an hour and a half.
We placed smooth cement over the rough stuff we put over the bottles on day two, we dug in the hole for the septic tank until we were all a little damp from sweat and learned about Gabriel’s life and why GLA chose to help him, his wife and his young son. We learned that Gabriel is the main provider for his wife, son, mother and two brothers. He works as a construction worker and was able to help us smooth the cement onto the structure.
After finishing, we ate at Johnny’s, our main connection in the comunity. We ate a delectable form of rice, fish, fruit, plantain, and eggplant. Then we got to go on an adventure to Johnnys bee farm. We went on a beautiful walk and crossed a bridge that johnny spent one year building. The trees were very green and the bugs were very much alive.
Buzzing surrounded us, a calming and gentle hum filled the air. Jhonny pulled out a machete and cut small pieces of wood for the smoker, the tool used to calm the bees. We sat in the opening of a small anti-bee hut as he calmed the bees and brought down honey combs. Bees buzzed lazely around him, yet he seemed completly unphased.
As we questioned him through Lubens, we learned he rarley wears a protective suit, and instead has just gotten super use to the feeling of being stung. Then, WE GOT TO EAT THE HONEY COMB! Even the leftover honey was put put on clean leaves for students to eat.
We left the bees unharmed and trecked back to Johnny’s home. We gathered up all of our gear from Gabriel’s home and hopped on the same bus that we took to Cano Dolce. We arribed at the lodge and had free time for the rest of the evening.
For dinner our amazing cooks made us some tacos. They had the best chicken you could ever eat with some rice, beans, lettuce, chips, cheese and a fruit juice for our drink.
We left dinner to go to the beach to watch the sunset. We played in the waves, took pictures and played games. We learned about being a Global Citizen and watched a TED talk about the ways we can get involved in global issues. We shared our motivation for coming on this trip and thought of ways we can get more involved.
Today has been an amazing end to the service that we performed in a community and experienes that we will keep with us for forever.
Madison, Sarah and Aida
Last day! We started our day by waking up early to see the vivid morning sun and sky, then having a tasty breakfast consisting of bread rolls, fruit, granola, and a delicious banana smoothie. After breakfast, we got in the bus and headed to Dudu Lagoon!
Once we got there, we were amazed by the beautiful blue water. We all hopped in and felt refreshed, and after a while of exploring, we had a classic Dominican lunch: rice beans, salad, and meat. Once lunch was finished, we got back on the bus and headed to Playa Preciosa and enjoyed virgin pina coladas and a great view!
We came back to the ecolodge and had dinner which was: pasta, broccoli, fruit, and chicken. To end the last night right, we got coconuts to drink out of and had a fiery bon-fire. These were by far some of the best memories we have had. We hope to continue our roles as global citizens when we return to the United States!
By Sophia and Ginger