Hola familia y amigos!
This is Kimmy and Rahul and we had the honor of being leaders of the day on “Work Like a Local Day”! Today’s focuses were educating our delegation on the food production industry and gaining an understanding for the education system in the Dominican Republic. We started the day off by visiting Fecadesj, a sustainable, organic coffee and crop plantation. Our delegation was split into groups and put to work on different stages of the coffee production process. Later, we gave English lessons to students ranging in age from 10 to 50 at the local high school.
Fecadesj stands for Federation of Coffee Growers and Farmers for Development in San Juan de la Maguana. The organization is run by Meraris Sanchez Contreras, who holds the organization to the belief that community support and sustainability are important factors for any food production business. We got to learn how organic farming works by seeing how natural fertilizers are used to ingrain the soil with nutrients, allowing for optimal plant growth. All the Glimpsers got their hands dirty picking out weeds, planting seedlings, and keeping the worms inside the soil. It was hard work, but all of us really enjoyed it!
At the English lessons, we were sorted into classes ranging from beginner to advanced, and paired with a local youth ambassador to do the class today. It was very eye-opening being at the high school because all of the students were very engaged and respectful. Our main focus for this class was getting to know the students and setting the classroom rules and expectations. We found it somewhat difficult to teach, but overall, the experience was meaningful.
Additionally, we initiated an interactive long-tem strategy game. This game provides opportunity for our delegation to bond even more than we already have and share some laughs. Our group has really awesome people and we have gotten very close already!
At our nightly meeting, we reflected on all the activities we did during the day. We talked about how seeing all the work behind producing coffee and other crops made us more grateful for the easy access that we have to many products. Many students also enjoyed getting to know the workers and learning about their experiences. Our discussion on English tutoring made us appreciate our teachers and schools more.
We are having so much fun!
Kimmy and Rahul