As usual, the Global G’s woke up 7am in the morning. Everyone seemed to be very tired after living like a local yesterday. However, “we are the only ones to get the job done, Global G’s are still rolling through the Sea.” (This is our chat for us).
After our delicious breakfast, we started with our education seminar. The purpose of the seminar is to get us prepared for the two intense fieldtrips later on in the day. In the first seminar, we compared the different educational system in the DR and the U.S. We learned a lot of important facts about the U.S. For example, Proposition 13 was passed to hold the property tax at the level of 1975. However, educational system receives funding through property tax. Another important fact is the UC system opened up one school from 1965-2005, while we opened up 30 new prisons during the same time. Instead of giving money to education, our government spent much more money to regulate the prisoners. On the other hand, did you know that only 0.56% students scored the highest score on the standardized test throughout the Latin America? In third world nations, they do not focus on education as the first world nations do. We are very privileged to have guaranteed basic education in the states. This seminar is so important to each of one of us because it helps us understand the link between education and politics.
After the seminar, we had a fieldtrip to the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo (UASD). We were greeted by the English program students in the UASD. We started off with a tour around the university; the school building was charming along the gigantic trees. After the tour, we settled down in a typical classroom and started to learn more about Bonao through the students by the Game named “The yarn.” Each one of us had the opportunity to ask a question about the U.S. or the D.R. As each one of us held on a piece of yarn across the room, we felt we are connected even all the differences betweeus. We had a great time talking with the D.R. students!
After visiting the University, we went straight to the office of the governor of Santo Domingo. We were honored to meet with the governor’s assistant, Lic Solnny Almanzar, First, she introduced the history of Bonao through a short clip. Then she explained the structure of the D.R. government. The government system is also separated into three branches, which includes legislative, executive, and judicial. The president is elected through voting. However, the officials are solely selected by the president. The biggest project that the government working on is universal access to literacy. Currently, they have built 15 schools. Their goal is to finish 37 more schools in one year. Comparing the governor’s office to the capital building in Sacramento, the Bonao government is much humble than the Californian government. In the DR, they have less budget to beautify their most significant landmark.
Coming back from the fieldtrips, we had lunch and our second seminar about the politics in the DR and the US, but right after the Global G’s started the first formal day of English teaching! We had an hour to prep for the lesson and we really look forward to the arrival of the students. We were all divided into different levels of English, about four Global G’s with one ambassador per class. We introduced ourselves to the students and taught them some basic vocabulary and sentence completion. Based on what we learned yesterday, we are much more at ease and prepared than the first day!
Being El Lider De Dia (the leader of the day) gave me a completely different experience from the past five days. Starting from the morning, I needed to get up early to wake everyone up. Throughout the day, I was responsible for reminding everyone to drink water, gather all the materials for each event, and dress appropriately for important events. I was able to find my voice and take up a leadership role in the group! I feel closer to all of them because I really needed to pay attention to their feelings. One of the most important messages is the importance of everyone’s voice!