Letter to you all from International Directory Cameron Addison
Dear Beachside Service at DR,
Bert, Ernie and Oscar miss you guys! The lodge feels so empty without everyone walking around. It is heartbreaking when you have to leave after just 10 short days of getting to know each and every one of you and your stories. This was my 5th summer with GLA and it simply gets better year after year. So on a more serious note… who has mixed cement since they’ve been home? Fortunately I have not had to since the summer finished, but just thinking about it makes me miss all of you! Working in the hot sun is perhaps the perfect environment for bonding time, right?
From snakes on the roof to surviving the game of Odds, this was an exceptional summer that I will never forget. It was an honor to work with all of you as we reached new milestones with our projects and goals. The rain has finally arrived, so the local community members in Brison and other locations have planted all of our chinola (passion fruit) and cacao (chocolate) seeds in the bags that we so diligently worked on this summer. That means over 12,000 trees have been planted from your hard work! The Caraballo and La Grua bottle community centers are also nearly completed, so we will likely be exercising our development strategy by moving into other communities with a different set of unique needs after April.
It is my hope that all of you remember that lack of human security and social justice is very real and everywhere. Everything we taught in the duration of the program was to develop your leadership skills to ready you to go back home, become an engaged leader in your community and solve eminent problems. I challenge all of you to follow up on what you’ve learned here and do just that; take your lollipop moments and translate that into building a more empathic civilization.
You all deserve praise for how you handled yourself in a new learning environment away from home and creature comforts. It is not an easy experience dealing with culture shock and using muscles you’ve likely never used before. You were able to live like a Dominican for 10 days, and the impact you have made here is incredible. The locals in all of our communities cannot stop talking you guys up. You are all standouts among your peers for deciding to join this program and finishing it. Your futures look bright and I hope that your experience here helped influence the person that you will become.
ADIOS AND I BETTER SEE YOU NEXT SUMMER!!!
P.S. Who wants the internet password? No, just kidding.
P.S.S. Am I allowed to say this? Hey Session 2 (La Reina and company)… remember the discussion about spirit animals on Brison? Let’s talk about lollipop moments. One of the teachers said that my spirit animal was a River Otter. I ended up getting that as a tattoo on my shoulder.
Your Favorite Director,