Tuesday July 10, 2018
After being woken up for our first day of service by a rooster alarm clock, we were all very excited to get out into the community! We had breakfast and a quick orientation meeting then we headed out to the town of Caño Dulce to our first worksite. Our group continued the project of constructing a house with water bottle instillation and chicken wire covering.
Crystal, our GLA mentor, told us that we finished more than she expected so by the time we go back we hope to be very close to finishing the house all together. For lunch we went to Mateo’s, the night guard’s, home that he graciously welcomed us into and had a good time chatting with his family.
We returned to the Lodge around 3pm and had a tour of the rest of the home base before going to see the beautiful beach just down the street. Although we almost lost our shoes to the tide, we loved the scenery. Came back, chilled, showered, and laughed until dinner. After dinner, we went to a 7 Elements meeting where we discussed Cholera in Haiti and diabetes in the Dominican Republic and how it affects the community. And now, we are ready to go to sleep after a long day of cultural experience.
-by Julia and Kyra
Wednesday July 11, 2018
What an eye opening third day! We woke up at 7am and had a very delicious breakfast thanks to the nice cooks. We left to start our day at Cano Dulce by 9am and arrived in the community to assist in the reforestation project, in which we planted plantain seeds to socioeconomically benefit the local community.
After spending a few hours here, we enjoyed a nourishing lunch at Johnny’s (a local Dominican GLA worker) house and hung out with young doggiesssss and ate lots of watermelon. After this, we headed over to a beach in order to partake in a clean-up effort. We were given 20 bags to fill, all of which returned to the lodge completely loaded.
We enjoyed a refreshing “pit stop” in a fresh water river only a few yards away from the ocean after our hard work was completed. When we were finished loading up the garbage and ourselves, we headed back to the lodge and enjoyed an exquisite taco dinner featuring pineapple, of course. Later on, we attended a lecture featuring two men with Haitian heritage and learned about the ongoing pretentious conflict between the Dominicans and the Haitians.
We got to talk a lot about global issues that have been affecting people for centuries, even though we are not always conscious of them. One important thing that we learned was that although we have problems in the USA, other people from all over the world experience the same sort of problems. We’re from different places, but in the end, we are all the same.
Thursday July 12, 2018
Today was our first adventure day. First, we visited Las Cuevas de Cabarete, where this guy named Phil talked about the ecosytem and how it relates to the community. The water there was about 98% pure as it goes through the cave systems. The guard (whose name was Victor) gave us a tour of the beautiful park and we were able to see peoples homes and how they lived in the mountains. Crystal our leader asked us to keep in mind the 7 Elements of Human Security.
We think Victor seemed more at ease when he found out that the majority of our group could speak or at least understand Spanish. He told us about his family and some monkeys that had apparently escaped from their owner, who actually had to buy the monkeys back. So yes, we saw 2 monkeys! Victor also showed us the various fruit trees, such as papaya and pineapple. He picked a passion fruit for us, and we were able to try it. It was good.
The seeds were floating in the flesh, and it kind of tasted like cacao. Then we went to Cabarete, a tourist beach to relax and swim. As soon as we got to the beach the vendors wanted us to buy so many things. Some of us spend money for gifts for people at home. So our whole group had to bargain but we felt bad because we have seen first-hand what they have to go though and it was a little stressful to say no to them. Then we had pizza for lunch. It was so good.
A funny thing: As we were going to bed, there was a centipede in one of the cabins. As a group we had to try and get it out of the cabin, but it was so funny because everyone was so scared. Finally, Rebecca put on gloves and threw it out of the cabin. This caused us to laugh so much. We are having a great time.
-written by Rebecca and Maddy
Today, was by far one of the hardest days we faced working. To start our day, while some of the ladies were enjoying their slumber, a few of us got up early and went on a 3-mile run by the ocean shore; it was a beautiful sight and it was something that everyone should experience.
After breakfast we went to Caño Dulce to finish building the bottle house we helped build on Tuesday. We also hand-made and mixed the cement that we used to plaster on the walls of the house. At around noon, we ate lunch at Mateo’s (night guards) house and bonded with a few kids from the community and Gina (friendly neighborhood dog). After lunch we continued the plastering for another 3 hours and were worn out by the end of the workday.
We came back to the lodge and Crystal showed us a TedTalk. She then gave us the task of finding a “problem” in the community and finding a solution to that “problem” in which we also must apply the 7 elements of Human Security to. We then went to the beach to do a team bonding activity (which we excelled at) and hung out at the beach until dinner-time with the WEGO girls.
After dinner, we had our daily Charla (our group discussions), in which Sarah (a 7 Elements mentor) lead a presentation about Social Justice. Her presentation was filled with topics that made us all question human behavior, also including; race, sexual orientation, and social class. It was a very emotional presentation which filled our heads with many questions on how to furthermore improve the world.
It is now bedtime as we are speaking, and we are hoping to get to a good sleep for our second adventure day tomorrow! Charla quote of the day: “There is more work to be done” -Sarah
-Jhoana & Vanessa
Sunday July 15, 2018
Today was day 7 and we kicked it off early with breakfast at 7am and left for the worksite at 8am. Our worksite today was in La Grua and we worked to mix cement for a local who had no cement floor. To the local masons surprise we finished an our earlier than expected to cement the floor. We then had the opportunity to walk through the betay which was where Haitians employed by the government to work in the sugarcane plantations lived, until the plantations were discontinued in favour of high fructose corn syrup. We also got to hang out with the children who lived in the betay and they were super cute and friendly. Soon after, we left the community to go back to the Lodge and on the way back we stopped at an air conditioned super market to get some snackies. We got back to the Lodge, had dinner, chilled in the pool, and ended our eventful day with a leadership based discussion.
-Amber and Kyra