Hola families and friends,Hola families and friends,

Today was Brayan’s birthday, our GG Program Coordinator. We stayed up until midnight last night to give him a birthday poster signed by all of us…”Feliz Cumpleaños” (which means Happy Birthday) We sung Happy Birthday to him in both English and Spanish. His Birthday inspired my call and response, where I would say “Feliz”, and the group would respond “Cumpleanos” every time I needed their attention. Waking everyone up this morning was fun! To wake the girls up, I used a yoga instructor voice, saying “Right! Now left! Great, ladies!” (Not like anyone actually stretched) For the guys, I yelled, “Wake up! Don’t make me come in there!” Connor said it worked VERY well. I sung, “Good morning, to you! The birds are chirping! (Bird noises)” to Bria and Ms. Cedillos. (which was actually accurate, since there birds chirping) Last but not least, I sung “Happy Birthday” to wake Brayan up. Breakfast was gooood, we had soup, bread, and fruit. It was refreshing after the very hot night.

Giovanni is the best driver, he takes us to most of the long distance places we need to go to. Today his daughter joined us and she is beyond beautiful, just like all the Dominican people. Ever since our dance class, we all find any way to feed our music crazes, whether it’s music on a bus, an ambassador’s phone, or an iPod connected to the boombox in the quad.We even sing together. Henny and I love singing R&B from the early 2000s. For example, “My Boo” by Usher and Alicia Keys. I’m told I’m not bad at singing, MOM. One of the cooks, named Mari even bobbed her head. Anyways, the music isn’t that much different on the radio here than back home, can’t understand much of either but the beats are good. Today we rode with Giovanni to the shopping center an hour away from our house, I love the  few moments of AC that we get in his van. Luckily, today when we got in the van, the seat that Connor broke was fixed. (We hit a pothole and the seat ripped out top the wall, this is where he got his nickname, Wreck-It Ralph). When we arrived at the supermarket we all felt a little home, me and Shanaya made comparisons to Walmart. Like anywhere we go we were drawing a lot of attention. The people here are luckily welcoming and helpful. When Bria’s backpack was opened they told us and when we looked lost they pointed to the group around the corner in the store. After the store we went to the wonderful water park across from the school. I had so much fun and got my first mosquito bites. The place had a great view and lots to do. Brayan looked like a merman model.


Overall I am enjoying my time here sooo much. Leaving will be bittersweet. I will miss the rooster waking me up, the girl talk in the shared room, and the animals in my living quarters. Mostly the lovely Dominican students from the neighborhood,cooks, and everyone else that makes the day go by. Shout out to Henrietta and Alex S. for tending to my very first sunburn! Shoutout to Bria for the braids! Love you all, love you Mom, love you friends and family. (Stay tuned for more photos!)

Much love, Shanice B.