Quote of the day: “Any so-called material thing that you want is merely a symbol: you want it not for itself, but because it will content your spirit for the moment.” Mark Twain

Diana here, greetings everyone! Today Ragad and I were leaders of the day. It was a difficult day since it was packed with many activities, but it was filled with lots of wholesome moments. It was definitely a day to remember.

This morning we woke up around 6 am (many of us very sweaty from not having electricity for the fan). Some lucky Glimpsers had sunlight to help them get ready, but some us who don’t have windows were not as lucky. After getting up, some students took bucket showers with cold water and had to make sure to save enough water for the rest of the day. We had hot chocolate and bread for breakfast to start out our Living Like a Local day. Then, we split up in groups and headed over to comunidad Guanito to meet our host families, who we spent a few hours with. The locals of Guanito were super sweet and shared what their daily lives are like with us. We helped them do chores, and they offered us mangos and coffee!

One of the amazing host families

Showing off the drawings made with a host family.

Completing some daily chores

Completing some daily chores

Completing some daily chores

At 11, we headed over to the “club”, a gathering spot where The Lily of the Valley Mother’s Association members meet and had lunch with our host families. Let me tell you, it was an amazing experience. There were young children running around everywhere. The joy was contagious. At around 1 pm we said our goodbyes to our “moms.” We still had a long day ahead.

Playing tag–Max and Arnav were favorites for the kids to tag.


Ellie playing tag


Thais and Jessica playing with the kids.


Hannah playing with the kids.

It’s Ragad now, after having lunch with the locals, we headed straight to Maguana al Medio, where we met with a few locals and coordinators for our first CAP interviews. We got to hear what the locals wanted to accomplish for their community and their vision for the future. Then from there, we went to Liceo Pedro Enrique Urena, which is the local school in the city where had our first tutoring session. It was very nerve racking for some Glimpsers to teach English, but as the students and teachers got comfortable with each other, the lessons flowed. After the English lessons, we headed back home to Onaney and had dinner. 

Interviewing local people for the Capstone project.

All dressed up for English tutoring!

First day of English tutoring!

At the Nightly Meeting, we talked about how it felt to live like a local without running water, no electricity, and how we don’t realise or appreciate our life back home. Because at the end of the day, we get to go back home to long hot showers, our phones, comfortable beds with running ACs, and millions of people don’t even get the luxury of flushing their toilets. Then the conversation got deep today as people shared their thoughts about materialism and gentrification in the American community and the opportunities that are denied for people of color and low socioeconomic status. We discussed events like the redlining and how it still negatively impacts the majority of the population. 

Last meal without electricity.

Our takeaways:

Diana- The locals of Guanito experience water shortages and planned electricity shut-offs a few times a week. It makes me realize all the things we take for granted in our daily lives. There was a beautiful moment when we were at the “club,” or central gathering area, in Guanito eating lunch. I looked around and the amount of joy in the air was incredible. Our Glimpsers were conversing with the local adults and hugging and running around with the local kids.It was truly an honor to experience a day in Guanito. It’s wonderful to be around such caring and positive kids. I have so much love for every single Glimpser in this group who is sharing this transformative trip with me. 

Ragad- It was a very eventful day, and I was amazed by how the Glimspers stepped up when they were tutoring. Everyone was energetic and positive throughout the day. It was wonderful to see them getting along with each other and sharing their feelings about the journey. I personally loved tutoring and I noticed how the Glimpsers felt very accomplished and excited for their next teaching session.  We look forward to it!

Ragad (left) and Diana (right), today’s amazing leaders of the day!