Hi everyone! This post comes from the leaders of the day, Dafina and Aubrey.

Today was our “Optional Activity Day”, meaning our program coordinators created a schedule for us, that was initially in our agendas. However, due to many events leading up to today, our group had a serious discussion regarding breaking both the rules and boundaries. We started off our morning with a rush to get everyone upstairs for a 7:30 AM meeting. Extremely productive, this meeting served for the purpose of addressing said rule breaking, namely being in each others rooms. In some capacity, every Glimpser partook in this action and it hit a point where it needed to be addressed. After a long conversation, the group reached the consensus that by reflecting on the past, we are able to correct our actions and take the steps to grow and move forward. We, as a group, did not want this moment to define us or our trip, and every person has taken accountability for doing their part to contribute to this problem.

With these lessons in mind, we headed on a beautiful nature hike led by our knowledgeable PC Daniel, who was gracious enough to share a part of himself with us today. Before heading off to the trail, we chose to set a reflective and calming tone, encouraging people to engage with their inner thoughts as we enjoyed the scenic view. Our final destination, a clearing made by the Cazadores ( the Dominican Republic’s military ) complete with logs for us to rest on. Upon arrival, we began the planned activities, which began with our fellow Glimpser Vineet leading a meditative breathing exercise in order to take time to center ourselves. Afterwards, we dispersed into our own areas in order to reflect upon not only our experiences in Constanza and our gratitude for the city, but also our relationships and bonds with our peers. The two of us are sort of known for our newfound passion for journalling, and needed to incorporate it into the day! It was the perfect way to work through our feelings about the past couple of days as our time in the Dominican Republic comes to an end.

After the hike, we headed back to the hotel to eat our lunch, a wonderfully made paella! This was an incredibly special dish that we were all grateful for… and we weren’t shy going up for seconds!! We hopped into the bus for our second activity of the day… visiting Cecaini Education Center, a school that helps children that need help getting away from working at a young age. We both had an amazing time hanging out with all of the kids: drawing, playing volleyball/basketball, and of course… playing the most intense games of tag! I (Dafina) was particularly bad at tag, being outsmarted by Daiana and Dariani, the two girls I spent my time with, and afterwards, the three of us played cards, drew pictures, and played multiple rounds of hide and seek!

Coming back to the hotel at around 4:00, our group was informed that free time would take place solely in our rooms- getting packed for our approaching departure from Constanza, and reflective time with our roommates. This was incredibly needed after a long and intense day of prioritizing both growth and reflection. I (Aubrey), took time to both reflect with my roommate, Yasmin, while also taking advantage of the time to take a quick and much-needed nap!

Tonight was a little different, as our nightly meeting took place before dinner instead of after, as we are currently looking forward to watching a documentary titled “The Price of Sugar,” to prepare ourselves for tomorrow’s plans of visiting sugar cane fields and providing us with more information about the process in which sugar is made in the Dominican Republic and exported around the world. Having it before dinner also allowed for everyone to be more present and productive within the meeting, which served as an essential part of our evening in reflecting deeper.

While we are sad to leave Constanza, we look forward to our time in Juan Dolio, and can’t wait for what the last couple of days will bring to us. We are so grateful for the experiences we’ve had here, as they have allowed us to grow and change our perspectives. Thank you for reading about our day, and we look forward to seeing you all very soon!


To my mom and Adrian, I love you guys so much and can’t wait to be with you! Te dua, te dua – Dafina <3

To mom, dad, and Aves (I would say Aidan, but he’s not home)… Love you all, and I’m looking forward to telling you about EVERYTHING!!! :))) -Aubs 🙂