Hey friends and family!
Today’s blog was written by Kristen, Katie, and Sydney who filled the roles as the leaders of the day.
Today’s day was living like a local! This included hanging with the locals in Rio Grande, taking bucket showers and living without electricity and running water!
Starting last night we were faced with the challenges for the day. After the nightly meeting all Glimpsers and leaders had to fill up buckets in the event they wished to shower, flush the toilet, or wash their hands for the following day. Although each room was only allowed one bucket, everyone was excited for the new experience.
Waking up is always a struggle especially at 6:30 am but we were greatly surprised that everyone was wide eyed and ready to explore and learn how the locals live. For breakfast at 7 we ate a simple meal of bread and hot chocolate. Next, JoJo our program coordinator, helped prep us for the day with a seminar on the 3 D’s which are as follows: Discover, Design and Deliver. These 3 D’s gave us insight for our upcoming Community Action Project in Rio Grande, so that we fully understand the needs of the community, and what they would benefit from. With these fresh in mind, we went straight to the bus all the way into Rio Grande to meet our new familia. Welcomed with opened arms and big smiles, we had the chance to meet the local women, children, and husbands. As we split off into our groups we were astonished by the deeper truth to the reality these women and their families face on the daily. Each group got to experience the lives of a different local woman and helped out with the chores around the house. One group helped sell flowers, another was able to get hands on cooking, while across the street Glimpsers got to wash dishes and sweep and mop the floors. Thankfully each group had at least one fluent Spanish speaker so we were able to hold steady conversations and follow directions. In group 7 with local woman, Cecelia, the Glimpsers found out that given the opportunity, Cecelia wouldn’t change anything about her life and that she is very happy with the way she lives. Despite living off very little, the locals are happy and appreciative of everything that they do have.
In addition to helping with daily household chores, we all got to play with the children! We were initially surprised by how friendly they were, as many of them came up to us asking to play. By no time, we were giving piggy back rides on our shoulders, and backs. Some even picked flowers for us and stuck them in our hair, while others tried to give us the local hairstyle!
As the afternoon grew on, our interactions only grew stronger, as we continued to experience and understand their daily lives. We learned that many kids are stripped of the high school experience because of the lack of transportation. As a result, higher education among the community is rare. In addition we found that as result of the poor plumbing, the conditions of the unpaved roads continue to worsen. With this in mind, this really made us think about how we take many things for granted, when people elsewhere have practically nothing at all. Overall, despite all the harsh living conditions of the locals, they still had a smile on their face and laughs were shared with all.
Following the idea of living like a local, we all met up at the community center and ate lunch cooked by the local women! We had rice, beans, stewed chicken, and cucumber salad. As town locals slowly poured in we conversed with them while waiting to eat our meal made by the mamacitas. After that, we continued to play different games with the kids such as volleyball, basketball, jump rope, and tag!
Unfortunately Mother Nature had other plans for us as we got caught in a hectic rain storm, followed by some thunder and lightning. This forced us to hop back on the bus in hopes to make it out before the roads were turned to land slides. Luckily, we made it back to Hotel Mi Casa safely where we stayed for the first two hours of our free time. Which turned into card tournaments of Egyptian war, uno, and speed with a warm bowl of cup of noodle bought the day before from the grocery store. After the rain had stopped we were finally able to go for a short time and explore the city some more. We ended up in two groups, one going to get some ice cream and the others going into the bakery for a nice sweet treat!
Finally came dinner. Once again, a simple meal of mashed potatoes and eggplants. Although eaten in the dark with flashlights and candles as our only source of light, we happily enjoyed it!
Overall, after seeing/living the daily lives of local residents of the Dominican Republic, us glimpsers agree that it was the most humbling activity that we have experienced. Through this experience, we were able to recognize all the things that we take for granted, and we all greatly appreciate the opportunities that we are given.
Sydney (hey parents plus sam thx for the comments see y’all soon <3)
Kristen (Hi Mom, Dad & Karman. Hope you guys aren’t missing me too much. I prob won’t be able to call but love you)
Katie (hola mama and papa hope your having a great time! Miss and love u guys so much!! See you soon lovies!!)
Although miles away everyone is wishing all the dads out there the happiest of father’s days!! We love you and appreciate you for all you do!! Thanks for killing the game. 🙂



Raul, Deya, and Katelyn wash dishes

Flo, Zhonna, Ulysses, and Sydney sweep and mop

Josue and Julian playing with the kids

Julian, Criseyda, Taara, and Emely with their host mom’s grandchildren

Kristen, Grace, Lele, and Taylor with their host mom

Líders Del Dia and Josue play with the children

PC Catherine with Jake, Mina, Ivette, and Kaylee selling flowers for their host family

Taara made a friend!

Itzel and Abby with our host Mom and cook Mecho

Maria and her host sister

Maya, Julian, and Josue climbed the wall by the basketball court at the school to sit with some children