Hello! It’s us, Jessenia and Aboli! Today was Deconstructing Poverty Day and lets just say that today was a pretty emotional day. We started the morning off with a wake up call at 7 A.M. which lead to breakfast at 8 A.M. By 9, we had started our journey to Vertedero Los Naranjos, a local garbage dump where many people look through the trash to find things to sell and make a living. We met some of the workers there and had the chance to interact with them even though it smelled really bad there and there were many flies. We played a game called Common Ground and saw the similarities and differences between us and the workers. We got to meet people and kids that depend on digging through the trash just to make money and hold their homes. We were surprised by a performance by an aspiring singer that he wrote about an ex-girlfriend. Afterward the performance, we sadly had to leave because it started raining.  Once we got back to our accomodations, we had time to shower before getting into our reflection groups and thinking about the things that we had seen the last couple of days. Today really took a toll on everybody because we got to see one of the most difficult jobs that people do just to make a living everyday. During the group reflection, many people opened up about how seeing these impoverished communities opened their eyes about the world and how it made them really reflect on what they complain about at home. Let’s just say there was a lot of crying. We were able to hear stories of one another and how seeing these disadvantaged homes personally affected us and how we will use this to figure out what we want to do with our lives and how to make a change. After all the tears and having a very large group hug, we headed to lunch for some traditional Dominican soup a.k.a “Sancocho” made by our wonderful Conamuca staff.

After lunch, everyone was pretty emotionally drained so we had some free time to nap and just hang out. We, then, presented our CAP proposals to Alex and Victor from Cuevas del Pomier. We agreed on helping them build a traditional Taino hut, designing a brochure for tourists to understand the culture and the stories behind the paintings in the cave in order to preserve its history, and helping shoot a mini virtual tour of the cave that we would be able to put online so that it could become more popular. After our CAP panel, we changed, had dinner, and ended the day with the nightly meeting.

I (Jessenia) am most proud of opening up to the rest of the group about something serious in my life during our reflection group time. I truely felt that it was a safe place for everyone to reflect about we experienced at Vertedero Los Naranjos and what we saw. I am really glad that everyone opened up more today, even though it was a bit more emotional, everyone got to conncect more through that. What I am really proud of the group today is that we were able to open up as a group to one another and that we interacted with some of the workers at Vertedero Los Naranjos. In all it was a very beautiful experience that we had with everyone today.

I (Aboli) am extremely proud of everyone today because we learned so much about everyone’s background and how passionate they are about making a change in the future. My level of respect for everyone grew tremendously and I can honestly say that my fellow glimpsers inspire me to become a better person every day. Today, I learnt  how important it is to appreciate what privileges we have back and home even more and made me so thankful for my parents for allowing me to live such a blessed life.  Overall, today was eye opening and emotionally draining, in a good way. After a heavy couple of days, everyone is looking forward to our free day tomorrow where we get to roam San Cristobal and even call home! We honestly cannot wait and can’t wait to talk to you all tomorrow!!!! Thanks for reading and allowing us to venture on this amazing journey.

PS Paola says Hi Maribel PPS August says she’ll call you at 8:15 California time.