Today was culture day, and man did we experience culture!

We spent our day exploring town and experiencing some staples in Dominican culture like a dance class on Merengue and Bachata, a wood carving class from the Santos de Palo project, and visited with the costume and puppet makers for Dominican Carnival. It was a long day FULL of action!

The topic of culture holds great importance in this day and age. As globalization (a topic we dive into more later in the program) becomes more present around the globe, we as travelers and global learners must be aware of the importance of its impact and the need for cultural preservation. Our after-lunch discussion brought up some heavy yet necessary topics of “What really is American culture?” and “Who gets to call themselves Americans?”. Which led us into an even deeper discussion after dinner of why we need to help protect special cultures like Dominican or even Taino (indigenous to the Dominican Republic) culture. How can we as travelers and students help to promote and share the unique cultures of the world? And what aspects of the culture of the United States are we proud to promote and protect?

As our conversations get deeper so do our relationships. It was brought up tonight that we were all really starting to feel like family. The discussions are becoming a bit more meaningful and the group a bit more comfortable with being vulnerable… an exciting aspect of Global Glimpse culture!

We are preparing for tomorrow as individual Glimpsers finally become “Leaders of the Day” and begin sharing their stories on our blog… so stay tuned for some personal experiences! Tomorrow also brings with it our Working Like a Local Day, and a 6:00am wake up call (so I better get some sleep), but I share with you here some fun photos of our day of culture hopping!

And finally, we end everyday with what we call a unity clap. We all circle up, clap as we come closer together, and then shout a word that represents the day we just experienced. Tonight our word was tumbao or what is known here as rhythm. It can symbolize the rhythm of the music, the rhythm of our dance, or the beginning of what will be our rhythm of learning and growing as a group and as individuals. Our tumbao is gaining momentum… I can only imagine what day 16 will bring!

Signing off, your Global Glimpse Leader, Airon.