Today is our first free day of the trip, we are free to explore the city and the town of Constanza. With the purpose of education, we spent our day enjoying our free time as the locals by exploring the town and playing sports with the local kids. The first thing that we recognized is that the Dominican Republic has really busy streets while the United State’ suburb streets are relatively empty. As teenagers of the U.S. we realized that we spend most of our time indoors with our technologies and social medias, while the Dominican Republic’s teenagers spend their time outdoors with friends rather than staying at home with technology because it is hard for them to afford any technology that we have. We were surprised that even without technology, the people are still very happy and we think that this is something that American teenagers are lacking; we spend too much time in our technologies and social medias rather than appreciate the real life social experience like in the Dominican Republic. We were really proud about how we were able to find enjoyments and happiness that the local people experience every day on the street with out technologies. We were also really proud of how we are able to be responsible to ourselves, as well as each other, and cooperate with each other.
Today, although we did not have a guest speaker, we saw something in in the community that inspired us as a grouwhile we were reflecting that night. One of these people was a teenage worker at the supermarket who instead of having free time, had to work through the day. This showed the group that in the Dominican Republic teenagers spend most of their time working and trying to provide for their families. This correlates with our day on Wednesday where we saw the homes people live in and why people need to work eight hour shifts seven days a week This left a major impact on the group that taught us all a very valuable lesson. We learned to be gracious for the time we have to spend doing fun activities because we saw that people spend a lot of their time working hard and barely making enough to get by.
Being Lider Del Dia was a very fun, exciting, and stressful experience. Some things definitely tested the amount of patience we had, which in a way was good. It showed us that being a strong leader requires patience, compassion, courage, strength, and flexibility. One of the most stressful moments we had was making an itinerary for the free day and then having to rewrite it in twenty minutes before leaving for the city. Being a leader also had a few inspiring moments that made us proud of the work we were able to do. One specific moment was when everyone was smiling and enjoying themselves. It paid off a lot for us in the end and we both would like for any future leader of the day to have as much fun with it as we did.
Being a leader made both of us realize a lot about ourselves. For Thai it was that organization and responsibility. An example of these two characteristics are when Thai developed the entire new itinerary within twenty minutes notice and kept people safe and close by calling roll call with every intersection crossed or store entered. For Alex it was confidence and charisma. An example of these characteristics are whenever we would come back for a meal or have an announcement. Alex has a great sense of humor and very skillful in communicating and taking everyone attentions. Both of us realized that we had great situational awareness and foresight. This helped us by being able to plan ahead and anticipate things in advance in order to prepare us and the group for whatever was to come.