Hello! This is Samuel and Brandon, the Líderes Del Día for the final day before departure. We woke up at 8:00 am and had breakfast an hour after, which consisted of grilled cheese and ham sandwiches with papayas and mango juice on the side. Afterwards, we had a program seminar in which we reflected on the past two weeks we’ve spent in Bonao. We opened up the meeting with a summary of our most significant moments, which we shared with our small reflection groups. Afterwards, we reflected on the question of the day, sharing what we wanted to stop, start, and continue doing back home. Big love was next; we expressed the gratitude and the compassion we developed for one another throughout this trip. We then went on to give our final thoughts on the trip, which became emotional as we all realized how this journey was coming to an end. To close out the seminar, we evaluated both our ambassadors and the program as a whole, giving our feedback to what was an incredible experience.

Moving on to lunch, we had white rice, chicken, salad, and beans, which gave us the energy to move on to explore time. We went out as groups and explored the vast city for the last time, buying groceries and souvenirs. Halfway through explore time, we had our first encounter with a massive thunderstorm, leaving us soaking wet as we returned to the accommodation. We had to change out of our casual clothes and into formal attire as we prepared for dinner. We saw Javier, our bus driver, again as he took us to Freddy’s Empanadas to have a pizza party. Afterwards, we had a small dance party at the restaurant until we had to leave. Following this, we went back to the accommodation, where we said our final farewells to all of our lovely ambassadors, exchanging contacts as a way to stay in touch.

Despite the shortness of the trip, we learned how much we’ve bonded together and changed since the beginning of this trip, as well as how difficult it’ll be to go our separate ways. It was surprising to see how we went from being complete strangers to being friends who we can talk to without end. Both of us are incredibly proud to say that this trip has truly been a transformative experience for all of us, and we hope to use what we’ve learned here back home.

Being the Líderes del Día was an eye-opening experience; it was really enjoyable to feel the reciprocation of love and compassion from everyone as we led them for the final day in Bonao before departure. As the final student Líderes del Día, we were able to pick up advice from the previous leaders to perfect our craft. Today we learned that despite generally being quiet, we were still able to walk the tightrope that is leadership. It just goes to show that with courage, commitment, and compassion, we can accomplish anything we set our minds to. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more; you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams