Hi! I’m Jackson, and I was El Lider Del Día! I apologize about posting a day late; our nightly meeting ran a bit longer than expected due to huge amounts of love and emotions we had to share with each other.
After breakfast, we took a field trip to Vida Para Niños which is both an orphanage and a school. We colored with coloring books that Glimpsers donated and also played with the kids. Some groups also read books to the kids, and all of us taught the students ten words in English. At the end of the trip, we handed snacks out to the kids and thanked them for letting us spend our time with them. The visit was very inspiring for all of us and many of us were very emotional when we had to leave. The students really touched our hearts, and after we got back to our hostel a group of us got together and talked about our feelings, sharing deep personal thoughts and messages with each other.
After lunch, three speakers came to share their journey in education with us. Arelis Rosario Suriel is a volunteer teacher with the program Quisqueya Aprende Contigo, which helps adults learn how to read and write for free. When she was younger, Arelis’ husband did not want her to go to school, however Arelis insisted on attending, and finished a high school level education. Arelis and two of her students Marylin and Rogelio spoke about their opinions on the Dominican Republic’s education system. Arelis’ perspective on unity, education, and religion really opened our eyes and ears, and I believe as a whole our respect and passion for education grew.
From five to seven PM we taught English classes to both beginning and intermediate students. The classrooms at Padre Fantino had chalkboards instead of white boards, but they were still very spacious. We spent an hour beforehand preparing lesson plans and posters for our classes. Although I think many of us can agree that our plans were scratched since classes were nothing like we expected. As a result, we learned and experimented with improvisation and classes continued with more ease over time.
Being El Lider Del Día was very stressful in the beginning, but after a while I was able to lead more comfortably and overall grow as both a person and a leader with my experiences that day.