The IDI team misses all of you and the adventures we had over your 21 day trip in the Dominican Republic. From our early breakfasts and sleepy bus rides, to our deep conversations under our little kitchen cabana. It’s crazy to think how fast that trip went by and how close we all became over those 3 short weeks.
Although our trip was only 3 weeks, we did so much and accomplished so many things… like exploring the North Coast and a bunch of the capital. I think my favorite part was watching all of you grow and challenge yourselves in so many ways. Whether it was using teamwork to power through some tough cement mixing or just making sure that all of us were on the bus each morning, we saw all of you take initiative and work together. From the countless meals of La Bandera to our random bursts of dancing, I saw our group transform from a group of goofy strangers to a team of bright and fearless leaders.
I get a little sad when I think about how awesome our group was and how much I would love to run another program with you all. There are some things that still sit so fresh in my mind. I have a memory for each and every one of you that reminds me of the uniqueness of our group. One of my favorite memories was our team circle in which we commemorated each other and talked about our favorite parts of the program.
Our summer winded down and many of our 7e staff have returned home. There are still some of us hanging out in the DR with Ernie, Bert and Oscar, of course. The lodge has settled down and we will soon begin gearing up for another awesome summer. We’ve continued to visit our community partners and check up on our past projects. I hope you know how cool it was that you all were the pilots for NGO and organization visits. You all have set a wonderful foundation for next year’s program. I hope you take what you have learned about development, ethics and international aid and apply those concepts and discussions to your own areas of passion and interest whether it be in those topics or in others.
I hope you all continue to pursue your passions and challenge yourselves beyond your comfort zone. Know that sometimes you’ll take a step and go back two, but that there is always room to step forward again. Always remember to take an extra 15 seconds to make an impact in somebody’s life and never overlook the little moments that sometimes mean the most. I hope to see all of you again in the future. Never hesitate to contact your friends at 7e; it means so much to hear from you.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes that I think speaks so truly to all of you and really reminds me of you all when I hear it.”Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that frightens us.” -Marianne Williamson
You guys are the voices and change of tomorrow, so go out and make tomorrow rad.