Today was Living Like a Local Day. We woke up at 6:30 in the morning feeling tired from lack of sleep after an exciting free day yesterday where we bought our last souvenirs. The water was turned off to get a true experience so we all took a bucket shower, and when done went down to breakfast. During breakfast we were split into different groups, so the same people don’t sit around each other all the time. Moreover, for breakfast we ate bread and chocolate milk. (live like a local: Rationing the food).
After breakfast Javier the driver took us to Los Arroyos, there we was separated into 6 different groups. Each group was sent with a different family although we might have felt shy and awkward around the family they spoke with us kept us company, and danced with us like most every Spanish family around the world. In each family everybody had a duty to do whether it was cleaning dishes, making lunch, sweeping and mopping, pretty much living like a local. It was pretty exciting.
After being with the families for a while we came together again and danced, played games like dominoes, and had lunch, which was yellow rice with beans and vegetables After eating with all families talking, drawing, dancing, and seeing the children playing we saw how families with almost nothing can have everything just by being together.
After eating we showed the community our project we came up with, which was to create a basketball court. They were very excited. Once we were done Javier took us back home and we had free time where we can take another bucket shower, dinner, our self reflection where we talk about our day today and how we feel, lastly dinner then to take a bucket shower and go to sleep.
Weather: Somewhat Rainy, but also some sun
Best Meal: Yellow Rice with beans, with some wonderful DELICIOUS! Vegetables
Best Moment: Having someone you barely know become the closest thing to a family member. To enter someone’s home fully welcomed and loved. Living like a local may have been a handful for some, as well as the best experience one can have with fellow Dominicans.
Biggest Takeaway: To see people who live off of two dollars a day, who have to ration the amount of water they use and the food they eat, smile all the time. It’s a great experience to see such wonderful people that barely have opportunities and help from the government, manage to put a smile on their face. We as a group felt like we were home because we had people who not only brought us into their home but to converse, dance, and interact with everyone made Los Arroyos home. This not only shows us as people who have more opportunities in life, to be more appreciative of what our families has struggled and worked to give us, but to also be open minded to the small things around you. Living like a local showed us how to love what’s given, sometimes the smallest thing can mean so much, so take what’s given and appreciate. We appreciate the time we have with our family because although in the U.S. we have a lot of things, family is everything.