Today was a fun, cheerful, but also a very eye opening day. We traveled to 3 bateyes, or small communities in the southern Dominican Republic. In each bateye we met up with a few people: Mr. Salvador, Stephanie, and Pastor Williams.
First was Mr. Salvador, he explained to us that many of the sugarcane mills miss treat their Haitian workers and his group also spoke about how the Dominican government treats Haitians as second class citizens. This is when we met Stephanie, a Dominican born woman that is of Haitian decent, who explained to us that because she is of Haitian decent she cannot obtain her legal paper work and is unable to go to college.
After we met with Mr. Salvador we continued on to the next bateye were we went to the local school and played with the kids. Outside we played basketball with them and inside two classrooms we had arts and crafts with finger painting—there were dozens of kids who came in asking to paint and color.
At last we met Pastor Williams who told us his belief of hoping to see a big change in the relationship between the Dominicans and the Haitians. This was the most inspirational to me because right before leaving he thanked us for our time because even though they have a many college students near them, they do not come to say hello or want to help whereas we, students coming from the U.S. stay to chat with the people.
There were many things that left me curious and surprised. One was how appreciative the kids were for simple drawings like a heart or a butterfly, while for the most part will take smart phones for granted. Another interesting part was during English class. All the students would listen and write down most of what we said. Being the leader of the day was a nice experience because it showed me how good of a leader I am and ready for the job. I also learned that I truly enjoy teaching because it is a fulfilling activity.