It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Mostly, it was carpenter time.  What’s better than being la lider del dia? Being lider del dial with your best friend. Jazmine and I woke today at 7:00am, which is earlier than the time we wake up for school. The most surprising part, we were on time. I’d like to say it was because I woke the entire hostel up with my songs, with Jazmine on the beats. For breakfast we had queso y tomate sandwiches at the five star restaurant, Onaney Gourmet. After that, both Glimpsers and ambassadors had to squeeze into the bus and head to Suarez, a rural community about an hour outside of San Juan, for our Community Action Project (CAP). We collaborated with the community there about CAP beforehand to see what Suarez needs. We came to the conclusion that we would remodel their locale to become a multi-purpose building for events, meetings, church masses, and whatever the community sees fit.

Shovels were our best friends because we had to mix the cement manually. There was only about six shovels but we didn’t let that determine who was stuck with the task. We looked out for each other by switching out people were shoveling for a while so they could take a break. We also made sure people were staying hydrated. Although certain people weren’t putting as much work as others or they were too tired to continue, the people that kept going showed why we came to la republica dominicana. We came to help, no strings attached. If people like the residents of Suarez are able to live their lives through back aching and hard work every day, the least we can do is endure about 5 hours of that type of labor today to improve their lives tomorrow.

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Above photo: Being assigned and taught how to mix cement

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Above photos: Mixing cement

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Above photo: Jazmine putting in work.

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Above photo: Isa putting in work, filling the holes with cement.

The bus back to San Juan was filled with singing and dancing in our seats. When we got back to the hotel, we were able to have almost two hours of free time. It was mostly spent showering the cement off, resting our bodies, or washing our clothes by hand on the outside patio. If I knew how often I’d get dirty before coming here, I would’ve packed a bigger suitcase.

Tip for next time: Pack twice as much than the recommended packing list.

Dinner at Onaney Gourmet was quiet, in the sense that not everyone was yelling, because we were all tired from CAP. The walk home was quick. But the nightly meeting was not. A lot of people had a lot to say about CAP, whether it be the company we had or the amount of work others didn’t put in. In the end, we ended the meeting with many big love for those who were putting in work. Before bed time, we shared scary stories. Which isn’t a good idea because its currently pouring rain with thunder and lightning.

Jazmine speaking now:

Today was such a mixture of emotions for everyone just working on CAP and most of us doing more work than others like Isabel explained above. Being lider del dia was stressful, but it was poppin because I got to be bossy with my best friend. I’m not going to write an essay about the whole day because everything has already been said.


As a bonus, here is a link to some of our lunchtime activities today: