Hello Family and Friends!!! It’s Grace here, the first LDD of our trip. I was definitely extremely nervous to be the first LDD, but Kelly and Cara, as well as the PCs help guided me through the day. I started the day off by waking up all the kiddos by yelling “Goooood Morningggggg”  and “Buenos Diasssss” many many times until everyone got up at 7:30 sharp. It took awhile for them to get out of bed, but once they did, some of us started yoga on the balcony, which is our favorite spot, and others wondered around and got ready for the day. We had yet another delicious breakfast provided by our food providers, Genesis and Rafael.

We then played a very sweaty game of human knot which is a personal favorite. I split up the travelers into two groups and we raced to see who could finish first. We then had a program seminar about our Living Like A Local day (which is tomorrow) and we were introduced to our CAP (Community Action Project). We discussed the idea of the 3Ds – Discover, Develop, and Deliver. We brainstormed some ideas that could potentially be our project idea later on in the trip. We have the opportunity to help the local community, Paso Bajito, with our CAP project that we’re we excited to share more about in the second week of the trip.

Our question of the day today was, “What is sustainability and why is it important to integrate it into development projects?” Going off this question our speaker today was Nancy Galan and her husband Victor taught us about their amazing non profit company called CODEJA which began as an idea while talking with her friends in her backyard. CODEJA’s message is to help and develop the city while taking care of its natural environment. They are very passionate about making sure the young people of Jarabacoa are taught how to care for the beauty of their city. After we gave Big Love to Nancy and her crew we headed back to our hostel for our next adventure. 

At 4pm we met back up with the local youth ambassadors and they took us out for some exploring of our new home. Most groups went and got ice cream or smoothies and visited the local supermarket where we all got loads of snacks. This was definitely a highlight of most of our days because we really got to feel like a local and see the beauty and reality of this town. After 2 hours of exploring we met back up at our home and hung out on the balcony and made friendship bracelets, which is our favorite past time at the moment. We then had our self reflection where each traveler brought out their special item to show their group. This is a very special time because we can connect on a more personal level with each other because we aren’t in such a big setting. 

We then had another yummy meal, I forgot to mention lunch earlier, but don’t worry we most definitely had lunch. After dinner we had our nightly meeting. Tonight was a little different because at 8, us Glimpsers began living like a local. We are going without electricity and running water for 24 hours. We all brought out our flashlights and finished our meeting. Each Glimpser will be bucket bathing, flushing our toilets with a bucket and using no fans, which will be a struggle. I then passed the torch down to Megan and Azlea who gave an amazing performance of a rap they made that mentioned each student and a memory we all know so far about them. After the meeting we had a family game night where we all laughed until it was hard to breathe. Bed time was at 9:30 tonight. We have a very early morning tomorrow. From a Glimpser prospective, we all are getting along amazing. I’ve never gotten this close with a group of people so quickly. This truly is a new family. Buenos Noches.

Signing off,


(Please excuse the limited pictures on the blog so far – we’re having tech difficulties getting all the photos we want to show you uploaded for our posts!)