Mask Making in el Centro de Cultura

Gato was our incredible mask-making coach! Here’s a picture with him.

Students focused and listening to Señor Paul Rosado, our dance instructor for today.

Our lovely students doing an incredible job dancing Bachata and Merengue.

Dancing, again, and having a great time! Señor Rosado had us dance to modern and classical Meringue music as well as Ariana’s Grande “Break Up With Your Boyfriend, I’m Bored.”

Hello Again!

This is Wessam Awadalla, a Global Glimpse Leader in C2A. Today, we had a great time exploring Dominican Culture through dance and art!

We walked over to the Culture Center and began creating incredible masks with Señor Gato, a nationally recognized mask maker in the Dominican Republic. We each had an oval of clay to mold into the faces we wanted to create. Almost every student said that they are not artists and that their creation would be “horrible because I’m not good at art.” Then, they leaned on the Mental Warm Up from this morning where they learned that masks are essential to celebrations of Independence Day and Lent in the Dominican Republic and they most often were masks of Devils and Dragons. We suddenly saw an explosion of horns, snake tongues, a multiplicity of tongues, distressed clay eyes, and creepy teeth/fangs. We were all incredulous at the talent in the room! Señor Gato is generously going to finish our masks from the designs in clay we made into hardened masks and our Glimpsers can take them home and paint.

After lunch, we went back to the Culture Center for a dancing class with Señor Paul Rosado and seven of our lovely Ambassadors. Señor Rosado showed great joy in every type of dancing, even dancing as he spoke to us about his background in dancing. However, when the music came on, we encountered a Zumba-like atmosphere where we mimicked Señor Rosado’s dance moves and had great fun! We were sweating and turning pink, but dance after dance, we were laughing and discovering new abilities! At one point, Señor Rosado grabbed the hand of one dancer and everyone put their hands on her shoulder and started a dance line that went around and around the room. There was no place for me to hide (as I was trying to disguise my lack of dancing ability by staying in the back)! I just grabbed on and went. That was the tone of our lesson–letting go of insecurities and just finding joy.

Coming home, we rested and then encountered the difficulties of English Tutoring Training. We had a seminar where we discussed the structures of English Tutoring and important strategies for teaching. While they were excited, they were also feeling really challenged and unsure. However, I’m looking forward to them encountering difficulties, overcoming, and being conscious of their personal growth. I know that they are capable! Our nightly meeting was memorable since it included a surprise/belated birthday celebration (Happy Birthday Misa!), organized by our great PCs and Student Materials Team, and an interesting conversation about the intricacies of culture: Millennial Culture, Ethnic/National Culture, Culture of Kindness vs. the Characteristic of Kindness in Cultures, Gen Z Culture, and even the culture of relationships between citizens and police officers. We discussed why culture is necessary to the 21st Century and we heard responses that we need culture because recognizing difference causes togetherness and also that it “spices things up.” In these conversations, we often discuss how these separated concepts of History, Culture, and others work together to create a reality that people of the world have to build their lives in response to.

You’ll hear from our first student Lider de la Dia tomorrow!