Eggs, bread, fruit, Paint stains, brushes and more early goodbyes. My name is Ocean and I was leader of the day two days in a row. My partner Robert was leader during the first week but recently injured his knee, therefore I shall be telling you all about our day while he rests. Today we were given the chance to be leader of the day again because many students who were supposed to be leader of the day went home early. We started our day around 7 and headed to Rio Blanco to deliver our plan around 9. We bagan the day with an energizer to lift our spirits, then got right to work on the recreation center. We began adding details to the mural including a river, as the campesinos talked about how important the rivers were to them. Many of us painted the remaining bare walls and others helped with construction until lunch. The construction team took out the bamboo frame in the doorway to make room for a new wall and double-sided shelf that will go in its place so to close the connection between the bamboo workshop, which is dangerous for the kids, and the recreation center. After our delicious lunch there was a huge shift in everyones mood when we found out 3 students will be sent home due to some behavior issues. We struggled to keep the positive energy flowing. We managed to get a lot of painting done, the wall was put up and the see-saw was started. However, tomorrow will be extremely hard because we must change our entire plan due to the fact that some of our Spanish-speaking artists are leaving.
We have been learning a lot on this trip about respect and gaining others’ trust. Overall the leadership team felt that the actions of some members of the group disrespected the community and abused their trust. We will be building back that trust by doing more community service on our last day in the DR and working to leave a positive feeling with the community members who have supported us on this trip. It’s been a challenging trip for many of us and I hope everybody will learn from this and can finish with a positive feeling.