Sunday May 19, 2019
Westerly School arrived in the Dominican Republic today after surviving their red eye and connecting flights. The group was excited as we drove by the beach and through different towns. Everyone got settled in at the lodge, so they checked out the beach and played some football or played in the sand. And after an amazing dinner, we spoke briefly about the 7 elements of human security after which everyone went straight to bed. We are looking forward to hard work tomorrow!
Monday May 20, 2019
We awoke and ate a breakfast of eggs, toast, cereal, and oatmeal. It was delicioso! We got all packed up and walked to the work site in Las Canas. Upon walking in we met Louis, one of the boys who will live in the house we are helping to build. After learning how to mix cement we were given a tour of Louis’s current home and the general area. Then the group split and started working hard at their assigned jobs.
Some students mixed cement, others packed dirt for the floor, and the rest sanded the walls of the house in preparation for paint. Some local little girls met our group and started playing with the Westerly girls. After we ate lunch, we finished up the work for the day and then headed back to the lodge where we enjoyed the pool. We had a scrumptious cena, a deep discussion about what we experienced today, played some games, and then went to sleep. Miss you Mom.
Tuesday May 21, 2019
What a day here in the Dominican Republic! Today was filled with hard work, education, and a lot of fun!
The day started as normal; breakfast, walk to the work site, etc. But today was extra good because we spoke so much Spanish. So, while we finished the floor and got the septic tank covered with cement that we mixed, we also focused on interacting with the locals. We finished the work after another filling lunch and then walked back to the lodge where we chilled until dinner.
After dinner we played charades, and then learned about the “Divided Island.” Learning more about the history of Hispaniola was fascinating and yet heartbreaking. Walner, one of our program directors, told us his personal story of having to fight for his right to be a citizen of the DR due to a drastic change in Dominican law. It was a weighty story to hear.
So, after hard work, some fun, and some life lessons, we are off to bed before heading out on our first ‘fun’ day tomorrow.
Wednesday May 22, 2019
Wow, another great day in the DR. Today was our first official fun day. You all know how the days starts now; a great breakfast!. But today instead of walking, we jumped on the bus and headed toward to Dudu Lagoon. On the way, we used a little Spanish (and multiplication/division) to exchange some money and then we arrived at Dudu. It was a beautiful little resort with caves, pools and crystal clear water. We ate lunch there and played a vicious game of volleyball. After wearing ourselves out on the court, we jumped back in the bus and drove off to Playa Preciosa!
And preciosa it was indeed! Light blue waters, sweet drinks, and cool trinkets to buy! We spent a couple hours there and really had a great time. But alas, we drove home, singing along the way. At home we had dinner, and then an interesting lesson about leadership.
All in all it was a great day and we’re looking forward to our last day tomorrow! It should be sweet!
Thursday May 23, 2019
Today was our last full day here in the DR, and what a day it was. Let’s jump right into it.
A good breakfast started the day, per usual. We then rolled on down the road to Sosua, about an hour drive. In Sosua, the group split up; half to scuba diving, the other to snorkeling. As I, your blog author, was snorkeling and not scuba diving, I’ll write to you about that experience.
We boarded a dingy from the beach which took us out to our main yacht. The yacht cruised through the placid mid morning waters to a reef about 5 minutes from where we launched. We were relatively close to shore as we jumped in the crystal clear and warm water. And it was a beautiful place to dive. We found all sorts of fish; blue, yellow, striped, bold or even pastel shaded scales. We really enjoyed snorkeling, and enjoyed running into the scuba group at the same reef.
After snorkeling and diving, we returned to shore where we enjoyed lunch and plenty of time getting sun and sand. We then returned to the lodge to shower and change, after which we left to Cabarete for dinner. What a spectacular location for dinner. We sat at our tables in the sand while ordering our meals completely in Spanish. The sun set and we really
soaked it in. We ended the week on a good… no, content note. We had a great time here in the DR and are sad to leave.
So, see you soon, USA.