At 10 pm here, students are getting ready to go to bed after a very long, but exciting day. We started off with a delicious lunch, in which the delegation got to try La Bandera, the traditional dish in the DR consisting of rice, beans and meat. Licelot, the hostel chef, did a really good job!
After that, we had a hostel orientation in which they met Israel, our host for this summer. He and his wife are a Puerto Rican couple who left Connecticut to serve as caretakers of orphans and marginalized children. They told us about their history and we went over the rules of this new space. We also had a culture and safety orientation in which we went over some cultural differences. What we learned will help us make the most out of this experience; exploring new things but staying safe at the same time.
After a History seminar that provided us with some background information, we went on a city tour! Since the flight got delayed and we couldn’t get enough hours of sleep, the group was quite tired at this point. However, everybody maintained a very positive attitude and was happy to get a first impression of the city. At the nightly meeting, the amount and variety of motorbikes was the most highlighted feature of the day! The students also enjoyed the presence of the Youth Ambassadors, local young people that will be joining us on different activities. Finally, we called the day to an end with a self reflection session in small groups.
We are slowly getting to know each other, and I’m sure this group of former strangers will soon become a team, in which new lifelong friendships will be formed.
Sending Bonao love all the way to the US!
ps: Pictures to follow soon!