Today was yet another busy day of activities that followed another new theme: FUN! The entirety of the schedule today consisted not only of having fun, but of course thinking critically about the significance of recreational activities within various subgroups of the community. Wow. What a mouthful. Our question of the day was, “Does everyone have the same access to recreational spaces? Why is this important?” Throughout the day, we gained insight on this question through our two major excursions to Villa Liberación, a communal space where local youths go to play baseball, and Club Falcondo, a private country club.
After another lovely breakfast (courtesy of the wonderful Licelot and her team), we took the guagua (Dominican slang for bus) to Villa Liberación, where we spent the morning learning and playing baseball with local youths. They say that baseball is America’s favorite pastime, but today we learned just how important it is to the young people of Bonao. Despite the hot sun and in some cases inexperience with the sport, we felt so welcomed by the team and had a fantastic time playing, chatting, and bonding with all of the people involved; the space was so inviting that we couldn’t help but have a good time. One of the most striking moments of the day was when we circled up at the end the game to say our goodbyes and thanks the team. Almost everyone in the huddle, locals and Glimpsers alike, had something to say to express their individual gratitude. Overall, it was a great way to start off the day and a cool way for some our English students to teach us instead.
After a quick lunch, we departed by bus again to Club Falcondo. It was a short drive, but the change in the neighborhood was drastic; in just a few blocks all the houses became larger, the lawns well kept, the roads smoothly paved: an eerie reflection of a 70’s American neighborhood. This was an area originally designed and built for the gringos who had worked in the Falcondo mine, an important topic of discussion yesterday. The country club itself was quite luxurious, with a swimming pool, basketball court, and more. The pool was the most popular among us, providing refreshment from the hot sun and morning activities. We had a great time playing games in the water, with the ambassadors joining us. It was a nice intermission from daily activities, and allowed all of us to grow closer as a group.
As the first pair of dual student leaders today, we had to juggle schedule changes and navigate shared responsibilities. While some parts of the day were challenging, it was an excellent learning experience. And most importantly, we had fun!