Throughout our time here we have had truly eye-opening experiences, and memories that will stay in our hearts for a really long time. Whether that had been the fantastic music, great food, or simply the sensational culture and sense of community that exist in Constanza. Nonetheless Global Glimpse is not a tourist retreat, so we were shown the hardships of this country as well. We’ve had days such as living like a local, working like a local and poverty day all of which served as a reminder of the inequality that exists and the reality that people have to face daily. Fortunately we were here on a mission, which was to provide not just aid but development. So many times, people try to help developing countries by giving aid, but aid is unsustainable, it is merely temporary. By development we mean that our help is not based on what we think the community needs, but what the community says they need. By this we serve not only an action project but a community action project, which is when the people of the community get to take part in the change that is bettering their lives. Hence the name CAP. We are immensely proud to have completed our four projects and to have contributed to making a difference in the lives of both the students and staff at Cecaini.
Today was our second free day and this morning at breakfast our conversations were all about being able to get out into town and explore. We started off our little adventure by heading to the supermarket where we were able to buy snacks, candy and a lot more food. Then we headed over to a place called ASFER, which is a local supermarket that happens to have souvenirs. Everyone seemed to be having a good time, and after we finished buying our convenient store souvenirs we made way towards an ice cream shop. By this time we only had about thirty minutes left before going back to the hotel for lunch. Then for lunch we had chicken breasts and puréed yucca which was really delicious as always. It was just another reminder of how much we will miss Dilenia’s food. After lunch we had free time again and this time we split off into different groups to go eat pizza, buy souvenirs, or revisit the bakery that we had been waiting to go to since last week. It felt amazing to be walking around town without our giant group of 21 but instead with smaller groups. It gave us a really big sense of independence except we were really glad to have the ambassadors and leaders when we needed to cross the street which was nearly impossible without their help. Today I (Navya) was also visited by a couple of my students from English class at the bakery and they spent the day with us helping us find souvenirs and taking us around. It was really nice of them to come and spend some time with us and I am really going to miss them. We were all back at Dilenia’s at 4:50 which we’d say was a challenge about being leader of the day on free day because we had to keep track of where everyone went and with whom and that they would all be back on time. It did get pretty stressful but we were able to manage it pretty well and we are really proud of ourselves because of that. At 6:00 we had our very last nightly meeting, it was a bittersweet moment because as pleasing as it was, we were all starting to feel like we were going to miss it. It was a great meeting and we all had lots of fun, it was the perfect ending to our meetings
After the meeting, instead of our usual dinner amongst ourselves we had dinner with C2A, the other delegation here in Constanza. We got to talk to them about their experiences and compare them to our own. It was a bit awkward at first, almost like the first day back at the airport, but we compared our adventures with each other and it was surprising to see how different our experiences were when we had the same itinerary. We were a little homesick so it was nice to converse about each others lives back home. For dinner we had burgers and fries and everyone was having a good time talking to each other. At one point after we finished eating, a dance party broke out and everyone was having a great time. The other delegation left around 9:30 and C1A had their own little dance party which was even more fun. It was a nice end to the night.
This trip has definitely had its effect on all of us and has affected us all differently. I think most of us will be taking home a better appreciation for the things we have at home. Personally for me (Navya) I learned to find happiness in the smaller things and the people around me rather than dwell on I want. For me (Gil), I will be taking home a wider perception on life, human beings, as well as our contemporary society. Though we cannot speak on behalf of everyone, we both feel that everyone is leaving the Dominican Republic as a better leader and a more courageous individual. We are truly grateful for this experience and for being able to have met such amazing people both in the country and on our delegation. These are friendships that we hope will last for long time and we hope to take back and apply all that we learned here.
Good bye Constanza. We will miss you.
See you guys back at home very soon!