Hello to all family and friends of Global Glimpsers. My name is Nick Ribera and I will describe the Fun Day on June 19. Everyone woke up ready for day off as we had been working hard on our CAP projects and English Teaching in the days before. We went to breakfast at 8:00 as usual at Onaney restaurant. We were all excited as we ate because we were all anticipating a great day ahead. Straight from the restaurant, we got on the bus and headed towards Las Matas Country Club. Although one might find a bus ride boring, with our group, every bus ride is a great time for everyone. With every bus ride, we become closer friends as we talk and laugh with each other. Also, everyone loves to see the amazing scenery as we drive across the Dominican countryside. There are green trees, hills, and fields unlike what we are used to in the USA. The loud and energetic Dominican Music in the bus is also a plus.
Las Matas is a beautiful place with many activities to do. It is located in a secluded place up on a hill and everyone was in awe right from we first arrived. It was hard for the group to contain their excitement as we were given a tour of the beautfiul place. Everyone was taken back by the incredible view of the Dominican hills and countryside from Las Matas. Unlike the bare hills in California, the hills in the Dominican Republic are full of trees, vegetation, and life. We had many options of what to do and everyone was free to do whatever they wanted. There was a very nice pool, a basketball court, an open field with soft grass, pool tables, and a dancing room. The pool was by far the most popular in the hot weather. Everyone hopped in immediately. Some chose to relax at the side of the pool and talk and others chose to play. The most popular water game was “three flies up” where everyone would try and catch the ball as it is thrown in the water. After a few hours of swimming. Some people decided sun bathe, some decided to play basketball, and others decided to play at the pool tables. After awhile, it was time to eat lunch at the country club buffet. Everyone got plenty of food and was eager to get back to their activities. Many people slept or rested for a little bit before getting back into the water. But eventually, everyone chose to swim again. Everyone had a great time playing games with each other.
After, we hopped back on the bus to head to the house of the mayor of San Juan, Hanoi Sanchez. We were able to spend the rest of the day at Hanoi’s beautiful home. We got to spend time with the Dominican youth ambassadors as they came to have fun with us. Some people relaxed by the pool while most of us engaged in a Dominican Republic vs. U.S.A. water volleyball game. Thankfully, U.S.A. won four games while the Dominican Republic only won three. There was even karaoke. Everyone was laughing and having a great time with each other. Not only did we bond with our own group, but also with the Dominicans. To top it off, we were all grateful to have cheeseburgers (with chicken instead of beef) for dinner. It reminded us of home. We then thanked Hanoi and headed home to have our nightly meeting and then go to sleep to prepare for the next day.
Through this Fun Day, our group really came together and bonded even more. We learned more about each other and branched out to talk to people we normally would not talk to. Today was one of the days we will remember when we get back to the United States. I was surprised that so many people came out of their shell and opened up to each other and had fun with each other. We also had an amazing time with the Dominican people. We made friends that we will remember forever. I am very glad that I had the opportunity to be the leader of the day today and had the opportunity to share it with you all.