Today was Culture Day for our delegation and we had the opportunity to witness and participate in two extraordinary field trips. As, we participated in the events and learned about the history and importance of the culture through the arts, all of us had the question of the day in mind, “Why is it important to preserve culture? How is culture expressed in the DR?”
Prior to our first field trip of the day, we had our second seminar on culture where we talked about the definition of culture and we dove into the scope of, What aspects of American culture would a young person in the DR be exposed to? What impressions might a young person in the DR have of someone from the US as a result of being exposed to the aspects of America culture listed above?
Our first field trip was to City Hall where we were treated to a dance recital and learned about traditional Dominican Republic dances. After the nice dance recital, we were given the opportunity to learn and participate in the dancing ourselves. It was a great opportunity for each one of us to participate and for some of us to step out of our comfort zone. That being said, it amazed me as to with what ease the students just jumped right into the event and learned the steps the dancers were teaching them. I also felt that it was great for the adults—James, Marcela, Gloria and myself—to participate to let the students know that we’re on the same playing field!
After the dance recital, we headed to lunch at our usual “hangout” (Restaurante Onanei) and we were yet again not disappointed as we were plated with the succulent eggplant and rice, along a potato salad and beef with onion and glazed with a yellow sauce…bon appétit.
After lunch we had our program seminar about our tutoring English classes where the students answered questions and witnessed scenarios as to what they may encounter in their classrooms as they teach English. Thereafter, the Global Glimpse leaders introduced some strategies as well as reminders that we find helpful in our own classes that may make their experience a bit less stressful. They were given about 90 minutes to start lesson planning their first English lesson and it was just amazing as to how “gung ho” the students were devising their lesson plans and were asking the GG Leaders for help and clarification.
We then left for the Palace of the Fine Arts where we were able to play authentic Dominican Republic instruments and it was just awesome as to how musically inclined our students are as they were able to play el palo (type of drum/bongo), la tambora (tribal drum) and the guira (washboard type instrument) and were able to play some music with some Domincian Beats and flare. What was also a nice treat was that Ezekial and his counter parts were able to play a few pieces of merengue, bachata, and bolero music so we were able to hear the difference in the rhythm and the beats.
After the great performance and experience at the Palace of Fine Arts we went to dinner where we ate Pizza! We were a bit rushed as we heard thunder and saw lightning really close to where we were eating and decided that we wanted to bet back to the hostel before we got drenched…as we walked through the streets of San Juan de la Maguana and heard the thunder and saw the lightning it was as we were characters of a movie as we had one goal in mind—getting to the hostel without getting wet!
That lead us to the nightly meeting and “the passing of the torch” or should I say “passing of the crown”
Overall it was truly a memorable day that I am sure that none of our Glimpsers will ever forget!