Today was quite an adventure!
My sister and I came a day early. We took a walk to the local laguna while we waited. At lunchtime two more students showed up and we headed out into the community for lunch. Afterwards we went back to home base where we chilled by the pool.
At about 5pm the rest of the group showed up. Until dinner it was a meet and greet around the pool. Dinner was really good, we had some delicious chicken, rice, beans, watermelon, pineapple, potato, and an interesting tamarind juice. Afterwards we had orientation and made some group goals.
Overall today was awesome and the Dominican is so BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!
Today, the GLA Spring Breakers put in progress towards a bottle house. This is a house built using bottles as insulation in the walls. We were told by Ben that this is an effective insulation for up to ten to twelve degrees.
The team was surprised to see that some of the future inhabitants, a little girl as well as three young boys, hopped into the scene and hammered alongside the students.
Also, a very refreshing lunch was served. It featured pork, rice, and fresh fruit. The meal was crafted by Doña Rosa, as well as a few other residents.
Through this experience, the students got a first-hand look on the culture and life in the Dominican Republic. They live off of a lot of fresh grown food, as well as chickens grown on the property itself. The father of the family moving in, Mandarin, is even a crab catcher as a living.
Lastly, the team learned about the 7 elements of Human Security. This was taught by Ben, Josephine, and other directors. Food, Personal, Economic, Political, Health, Environmental, and Community were the seven elements.
A very fulfilling start to this journey was had today!
-Abid Anwar + Burke Cochran
Today stared off with a good breakfast then we headed back to the bottle house work site. We worked much better and faster compared to yesterday because we were more experienced. We partly finished one room and bottled half of the house.
After our work some of us went to the, and some stayed at home base and swam in the pool and listened to music. Afterwards we learned how to make bracelets out of plastic bags and played cards.
Our dinner of chicken and fries were very delicious. Our lecture of the day dealt with effective development. We learned about sustainability and adapting to needs of different communities. We ended the night with our mentor meeting.
We are very excited to experience something new at Dudu Lake tomorrow.
-Aylin Duvan, Ania Real, Morgan Hamernik and Kyle Harris
Today we woke up at 7;30 to eat breakfast where we ate cereal, fruit, and pineapple smoothies.
We got in two separate vans to make our way to Dudu. The drive took about an hour and a half. When we finally made it there we saw the zip line into a lagoon. We all had to wear life jackets while going down the zip line. There was also a natural pool inside of a cave that we were able to swim in. In addition to this, we played volleyball, got snacks, and chilled in the hammocks.
We ate a lunch buffet made for us by the people of Dudu. After lunch, we hung out around the lagoon until it was time to leave.
We stopped by a nice beach on the way home from Dudu called Preciosa. This beach was very beautiful and we even had the opportunity to buy some souvenirs. We took the bus back and had taco night for dinner!
We had a leadership seminar after dinner,where we talked mainly about what makes a good leader. In mentor groups we discussed humility, especially while traveling.
-Kara, Mackenzie, Maia and Caylie
Today was a day full of adventure!
We took a nice two hour drive to a Mt. Brison. From there we ventured through the mountains and took a three mile walk. Along the way we stopped at the local houses. When we visited those houses we learned about the people’s lifestyles and how they traveled up and down mountain every day to get around.
When we reached the top of the mountain we learned that some of the people only traveled a couple of times a week, and we learned more about the close-knit community.
After a quick lunch break, we headed down and planted some fruits and vegetables. Overall it was an exciting (if tiring) experience!
On our last day of service, we visited the batey of Severe, a small Haitian community near the old sugar cane fields.
On the job site, we worked to improve the conditions of the local school, which included mixing and pouring new concrete sidewalks as well as preparing the walls of the school for resurfacing. We were also able to interact with the local children, many of whom were unable to attend school due to the poor conditions of the building.
After our service for the day was finished, we traveled to the batey of Caraballo to visit the local marketplace.
It is slowly setting in that we have just one full day left with each other. It seems as though we just met yesterday.
-Natalie Harmon, Susan Cook, Natalie Shirer and Emily Mei
Yesterday, we started very early to witness the beautiful Dominican sunrise. We had a delicious breakfast of bacon, eggs, and pancakes, oh my! Next we gathered all our snorkel gear and headed out to Sosua for a lovely boat ride and snorkeling adventure. While there were some sunburns, there was a lot of fun. We learned that SPF 15 is definitely not strong enough for the Dominican sun.
Then we relaxed at the beach and did some shopping for our families. We also got some fancy hairdos. Our great bus driver, Freddie, brought us home. At home, we chilled by the pool until dinner, and the ate delicious fried chicken and french fries. After that, we learned how to continue on with 7 elements and expand our opportunities to do service in the future. We had a surprise birthday party for Kara, and had a delicious cake with coconut icing. Kathryn and Ben serenaded us around a bonfire in the night.
Today, a few of us went on a great walk on the beach, and then we wrapped up all our good byes. A few of us cried. Our experience truly transformed us and allowed us to meet people from different cultures and walks of life.