Today was a really awesome day for all of us. We got to meet the potential future president of the Dominican Republic – I say “potential” because he shared with us that although, he was the youngest of 14 candidates, he came in 7th. His name was Francisco Diez and he was our guest speaker. He is a young politician and teacher in a university. He shared his story with us about how he got into politics and how his attitude changed from not wanting to talk about politics, to being a passionate politician. His dream is to become the president of the DR. From our discussions, it was apparent that he had potential, but he may have to work harder and continue to communicate with people and the community. We wished him the best on this dream of his.
After lunch, we went to the university where he teaches and we got to meet with the MIDE program of which was started by Francisco. The program was to help people from all walk of life in the community learn English so they can increase their chances of getting a job by learning how to communicate in another language. English, it seems provides a huge advantage in job prospects. The program was made up of all volunteers who were teachers and students of universities around the area. As part of one of our activities with MIDE, we got into three groups and, through discussion, had to come up with two main topics around governmental challenges that were happening in the country and come up with some potential solutions. This activity was interesting because both the Glimpers and the MIDE participants voiced potential problems, but with some topics, such as corruption, it was difficult to come to common ground. Although, there was agreement that the government was corrupt, there was a difference in understanding around what methods were best to change that corruption. One example of a solution we came up with was to separate education from the government so that education systems would no longer have to rely on government funding. In this way, more funding can go towards education rather than the politicians’ pockets as they do now. What the education systems could do then, is to continue to create programs like MIDE which help peoples educate based on volunteer and community funding and engagement.
Upon returning to the Fundacion, we prepared for our final day of English class. Lots of people came for class today and during our Nightly Meeting, I found out that many of my fellow Glimpsers were as sad as me to know that it was our last class with them. We had really connected with the students and the classes. Despite being sad, I was also happy knowing that my students would be graduating soon. Our graduation ceremony for the English tutoring classes is on Wednesday this week and each class will do a presentation for the audience. My class chose to do a song by Akon. I’m pretty excited to hear the performance.
As always, our Nightly Meeting was filled a lot of Big Love. Unlike the first week we arrived, our group is even closer now than before. It’s not that we weren’t close during that first week, but rather that now we’re like a big family.