We have had an AMAZING week! Our service project started out really strong. Many, many people from the community had the day off the first day of work so we had upwards of 30 men, women and heaps of children helping us to demolish the old foundation and get everything ready to start building the posts of the structure. We are happy to report that despite language differences there is some great intercultural communication going on, U.S. students are making fast friends with their Dominican counterparts. We have some especially hard working youth joining us every day on the worksite. It makes the long, hot days of shoveling sand and rocks to make concrete, digging holes, wiring bars and carrying blocks easier to enjoy.
Our homestays are also going really well. Much to our surprise we ALL seem to have homes where cooking is a main priority. We are gorging ourselves on rice and beans, all kinds of fruits and sugary sweet coffee. Host brothers and sisters are becoming inseperable from the Global Routes family members, it is going to be extremely hard to say goodbye next week!
We´ve had two special outings this week. We walked to the neighboring community to watch an evening softball game. It was a great slice of local culture, the crowd got especially animated when a dog would run across the field in the middle of the game! We also had a camp out at Olmedo´s house to celebrate his birthday (or a camp in, I guess I should say as we all crowded the house and slept on the living room floor!) We had a delicious barbeque and local kids came over for an evening of dancing and general siliness. We just returned from our rafting trip! It was a wet, wet thrill to brave the River Yaque. A highlight for everyone!
With an eye towards getting as much of our project done, continuing with an afternoon arts and crafts and sports camp for the community kits, we are looking forward to a productive week.
Abrazos desde La Republica!