As the last Glimpser Leader del Dia (LDD), I have a lot to live up to. Needless to say, there was pressure to not only have a meaningful talent during the nightly meeting but also remember all the responsibilities of the LDD and not mess up, especially on things that other LDDs had before. I ended up forgetting the Question of the Day and not being as present a leader as I had wished. But in the end, none of that mattered because everyone was just happy to be together for the last full day. Yes, the last full day. I can’t believe that time has flown so fast. It feels like just yesterday we were arriving here for the first time. It feels like just yesterday I was meeting all these strangers who are now like family. It feels like just yesterday I started to learn about the Dominican Republic and now I know so much.
Today, we woke up at 7:00, ate a hearty breakfast of oatmeal and fruit, and hopped on the bus for our last day working on the Community Action Project, or CAP for short. It turned out that our CAP was already completed, thanks to the community of Bejuco Aplastado putting in some extra work while we weren’t there. Instead, the community needed help clearing tree branches from the side of the main dirt road. They have gotten a project approved to have this road paved, but it needs to be clear of debris first. So, most of us hopped off the bus with our waters in hand and got to work throwing leaves and branches over the barbed wire fence that marked the edge of the road. Just like with the CAP project yesterday, the ladies in our group fought against sexism by proving we’re just as capable. What can I say: girl power. The rest of the group helped out in the kitchen by preparing our sancocho, a stew made with meat and vegetables, and rice to be served with it.
Once the clock struck 12:00, the whole group assembled at the house of Rosa Mery to eat the scrumptious sancocho. We then walked down the road to the center of the town — the baseball field. This is where our CAP project took place. A cafeteria overlooks the field and we helped expand it so that more people can watch baseball and softball games. The community will benefit from this greater amount of space through the snacks that they can sell in the cafeteria. According to community members, their field attracts players and teams from all around the area.
After sweating in the sun for a few hours, we got back on the bus and headed back to the Fundacion del Nuevo Futuro, our accommodation. Once back, we packed and finished letters to donors and other people who helped us throughout our trip. Some people enjoyed their last bit of Explore Time by spending the last of their money on snacks, while others chilled at the Fundacion. Everyone then got ready for our last dinner of the trip, a special dinner out at Chimi Mundo. We filled up on fried food: fish, chicken, and potatoes. Since it was getting late, we headed back to the Fundacion.
This would be the last time we would see the ambassadors and they had a surprise for us. They all stood in a group as we sat down in the Dining Hall. The ambassadors gave every single Glimpser a bracelet with the colors of the Dominican flag. Tears were shed. I only shed a few and some shed many, but we could all feel the deep and profound sadness in the room. A thick cloud of longing for more time hung in the air as the ambassadors filed out of the Dining Hall. Henry, one of the ambassador captains, said in this goodbye moment to not forget that “you have the ability to change the world.”
That is what I want to take away from this trip. When I return home, I want to start that change because it is never too late.