Your GGLs — Shepsara — and Lenny — grabbing a coffee to start getting to know each other better and plan for the trip ahead.
We are your GGLs Shepsara and Lenny. We will be chaperoning your upcoming Global Glimpse trip to the Dominican Republic. Our job is simple — keep everyone safe and make sure you have as incredible of an experience as possible. Pretty soon, you’ll know us verywell, but we wanted to kick things off by sharing a bit of background information about ourselves.
A bit about Shepsara:
Hey everyone! I go by Shepsara and she/her pronouns. I am a social worker on the South Side of Chicago. I have been described as a “people-person.” I love poetry, storytelling, reading, and dancing. I am passionate about liberatory frameworks of radical healing – this means that I believe that what might feel like a personal problem is usually linked to patterns of systemic oppression, and therefore healing involves a direct address to those root causes. I am interested in learning about the interconnections between local and global issues, and the ways that communities and cultures respond to these issues.
I have been to the Dominican Republic about 6 times in the last 10 years – initially as a human rights advocate in Dominican-Haitian communities in Mao, Esperanza, and Santiago. I am excited to learn more about the people and their individual and collective strengths in the context of the country’s political and economic predicament. As a black person, I am interested in the Afro-Caribbean diaspora on the island, themes of anti-blackness, and the recovery of Afrocentricity in both aesthetic and spiritual principles.
Lastly, I absolutely LOVE Dominican bachata and I can’t wait to hear the guitar and bongos. If I burst out dancing at random moments, don’t judge me – join in!
A bit about Lenny:
Hi! My name is Lenny (he/him). I am a high school English Teacher in Chicago. I love exploring new restaurants across the city, binging good (and bad) TV, playing tennis, constantly listening to podcasts, and taking long walks with my Pitbull Midge. While I grew up in the northern suburbs, I spent the first decade of my teaching career in Brooklyn. Despite loving New York, my wife and I always knew we’d come back home to Chicago to be near our families.
I have never been to the Dominican Republic, which makes me even more excited about this summer. I absolutely love travel and have been fortunate enough to visit more than 30 different countries. Exploring new places and cultures absolutely shaped the person I am today, so I cannot wait to experience that with you all.
There are countless things I’m looking forward to experiencing in Jarabacoa — learning more about the local history, meeting amazing new people, disconnecting from technology, and, of course, the food!
We will be reaching out to you all individually in a few weeks to check-in and get to know you, but for now, leave a comment below: what are some things you’re excited about on our upcoming trip???