I had a great time as Leader of the Day (LDD) on Sunday, June 30th! Cultural Day was full of bonding, connecting and learning about some of the music, religion, and practices of San Juan de la Maguana.

The day started with me blasting hip hop music on the megaphone to start the Glimpsers off in a good mood. We had breakfast and engaged in ice breakers, that Jacques suggested, to strengthen the team bond. On the drive to Aguita de Olivorio Mateo, we decided that our team name would be Nano and friends. Nano is our amazingly cool bus driver!

Culture was everywhere! We stopped by a town that practiced Santeria, took dance classes and did teacher preparation and lesson planning for English tutoring. The highlights of the day were in understanding storytelling from many perspectives. We stopped by the center of the Island, which is a significant point in history for the indigenous chief “Cacique” and a location that I think should be preserved and commemorate the history.

At the location where locals practiced Santeria, we were greeted with information about a common ritual and topped it off with the amazing beat of the drums! The music was invigorating I could not keep my feet still and we all danced despite the heat. We finished the dance with the drink called Chinola de Avena and even Sasha agreed it was good! We know that when Sasha likes something it’s certainly worth a try.

After dinner, I had a blast at dance class. I was proud to see Marck show off his Spanish by translating to the team for the day!!! Our instructor taught us Merengue, Bachata, and a dance common to San Juan called Mangulina. It was hot! However, it was the highlight of my day. It was fun!  

After dancing students prepared to become teachers for the Spanish lessons at the local high school.

Big love was such a sweet way to end the 3rd day, it honestly felt like the team had been together for a week!  We engaged in a conversation about Dominican culture and we worked on building our own team. I know many of us were feeling very homesick but fortunately. I hope to build a strong team bond and a GG family away from family