Today’s lesson revolved around global businesses. Although I prepared for today, our group had to constantly readjust our schedule because of the events that happened. Today’s wakeup call was 7 AM and I became very nervous when the group did not come out of their rooms. I guess that’s just me though; I am very punctual and need very little maintenance. Because I am soft-spoken, I made a big effort to project my voice and become a leader. After everyone finished getting ready, we head downstairs to the Gua Gua (bus) where we ate our packed breakfast (two mashed potatoes and salami). We were on our way to Barahona, to see the sugar cane plantations. There, we had the opportunity to hear the perspective of the sugar industry through Raphael, our tour guide who worked in the industry. An engineer named Karen explained how the sugar cane is grown. We also visited a local community not too far away from the plantations, called Bombita. It was a poor community with many children who would run to the lake to play and splash in the water.
There, Raphael explained about the growing economy and how women were raising fish. Afterwards, we went to another city, where we saw the factory where they create brown sugar and molasses. Later on, we went out separate ways to Plataforma Vida to hear the local’s opposing perspective of the industry. On our way there, the Gua Gua overheated and stopped on the side of the road. Fortunately, we were able to get back on the road. We had a lunch of red rice and beans, tomato and cucumber salad, and chicken. After, we had a guest speaker speak about his perspective of the industry. Originally, we planned to split everyone into two groups, so that we can hear the stories of sugar cane workers. Unfortunately, there was a protest outside and we left to Batey 5, a small community with a former sugar cane worker. Our tour guides for this community were Ramon and Francisco. It was amazing to see how little the children have, but how happy and appreciative they were. There, we were introduced to a small school that used to teach baking. It was shocking to know that six people would live in such tiny homes (14 feet by 14 feet!). Afterwards, we went on the Gua Gua and drove back to San Juan De La Maguana. We had free time for about an hour and then walked to Onaney’s for our amazing dinner. I will never ever be tired of French fries and chicken strips. After our meal, we left the restaurant saying “ Dis frutes tu fiesta Onaney!” It was pretty cute. Afterwards, we walked back to our hotel to finish our nightly routine and self-reflection. It made me really happy to know how much the group believed in me, and I definitely will remember those words wherever I go.
ALSO I LOVE YOU DADDY I’M DOING OKAY ONG GIA. CHO TUOI TUONG BA LAM. CON LA CON RUA <3333333 SEE YOU SOON 🙂