Today was the first free day which means that we were allowed to go out to town with the ambassadors in the morning and afternoon and do what we please. In the morning no youth ambassadors who are locals of Bonao happened to show up so the only way for us to leave was with Jonathan, a GG Leader. He took a group of kids out to play basketball. It was steaming hot but the 8 or 9 kids that came all jumped in and played. After lunch the ambassadors decided to show up so the majority of kids went.
The cohort at this point in our trip is very integrated so we decided to go as a large group of fourteen kids and four youth ambassadors rather than dividing into groups of four (the minimum requirement). After having lived in Bonao for six days, we have learned to expect rain, and lots of it. The rain is somewhat of a blessing here as it gives a temporary escape from the humid heat. As soon as we stepped foot outside, classic Bonao started to pour. No one seemed to mind and some of us pulled out an umbrella, and the rest accepted the inevitability of being soaked. We trekked into the streets which were at this point rivers and was able to make our way to the supermarket where some of us bought snacks. We enjoyed 25 pesos empanadas at Freddy’s and made our journey back home. At this point the sun was blaring and we saw the pile of trash that was sat in the dead center of a street. We knew that this would soon be set on fire as part of a riot for those protesting for better hospital conditions.
The kids who didn’t go to the supermarket stayed back and played cards for 4 hours. Others would go out and play with the children in out local orphanage playground. Overall it was a very relaxed, wet, and fun day. This day was a precursor for what was to follow: Living Like a Local Day. We took full advantage of this day to relax, became more familiar with each other and enjoyed the luxury of electricity and running water before the lights and water were cut off.
- Xanthe and Grace