Hello from Jarabacoa: today we were up before 6:15 am and had to wake everyone else at the same time so that we could be ready for breakfast at 7:15.  Since today’s focus was living like a local, we had no electricity or running water. Therefore, we used candles for light and buckets of water to shower and flush our toilets.  After breakfast, we went to Paso Bajito, a community in the mountains about 45 min away from Jarabacoa. When we arrived, we went to the community center where 8 local families welcomed us into their homes and showed us their lifestyle. In their homes, we helped with chores, cooking, and even got some dance lessons.  After spending the morning with our families we returned to the community center for lunch where we had Moro, stew chicken, salad, and lemonade. With lunch over, we presented our families with awards in recognition for them welcoming us into their homes and treating us like their own. Then we got some more bonding time with our families before we headed back to Jarabacoa.  When we got back to the hostel, some of us played Uno/Dominoes, while others decided to get some rest after a long day. Dinner was Pico Pollo, and when we finished we met in our reflection groups to talk about our experiences throughout the day. The day ended with our nightly meeting, where we passed the torch to the next day’s Lider Del Dia, Denise.

Nicole: living like a local was one of my favorite days because I got to be with the Abreau family, who treated me like their daughter and sister.  This was so amazing to me because it reminded me of my family back in NYC. My new mother and sister from the DR reminded me of my roots and told me that I will always have a family in the DR.  The biggest challenge for me was saying goodbye to my family in Paso Bajito. Big love to my sister Wileyni for being the big sister that I always wanted to have. I am also very proud of her for learning English on her own by reading books.  During this experience, my big sister taught me that there is always something we could do even when we don’t have easy access to education.

Sara: When I first got to meet my family, Alex (another Global Glimpser) and I were introduced to our sister for the day.  We did chores around the house, they fed us, and we even danced to salsa and merengue. The two things that most impacted me were how welcoming my family was, and how they appreciated what they had in spite of lacking many things that I am used to.  My sister was telling me how they don’t have much electricity in the house, but they can see a lot of stars where they live, which they use as a nighttime source of light. It really makes me realize how ungrateful we can be of the things we have back in NYC.  My Dominican family had fewer material things than mine back in NYC, but they still made the best of it and are happy. Living like a local was by far one of my favorite days on this trip and a memory I will hold on to forever.