-Unna’s Highlight of the Day-

Today was the first day of the CAP, Community Action Project, where all twenty of us gathered together with several community volunteers and worked on a community center. All twenty of us had previously split into groups – Artistic, Manual Labor, and Classroom (designing the classroom). I am part of the Artistic group, however everyone helps out where work is needed. Going into this project, I was really excited about painting the walls of the classroom and I got to do a lot of that today. I was also very excited to talk with some of the community members and get more of a glimpse of the San Juan community. The community members did not speak much English, and I do not speak much Spanish, but despite the language barrier, I was able to have many conversations with the community members. It fills me with so much joy to see everyone coming together so well, with just one day of work. The San Juan community is so close and together. They are also incredibly accepting to all of us. They treat us like family and truly allow us all to feel part of their close knit community. This sense of community is very inspiring because I feel like it is something that my town back at home lacks. Here, people like Sandy, Bree, Julian and Jochee, take so much time out of their day to help us, people they just met a couple of hours ago or a couple of days ago. I have learned a lot from just one day at the CAP and I am very excited to take these lessons back to my community at home.

-Margaret’s Highlight of the Day-

After coming back “home” from a chaotic day of work, I hear a sound that’s louder than the streets of the Dominican Republic, and that sound was thunder. It’s funny because my first thought was not about getting wet. We actually wondered how our tutoring students will safely make it to class. Shortly after that thought came to my head, the sounds of a miniature rain storm fills my thoughts instead. We all threw on our ponchos and umbrellas and set out on the 2 minute journey to the school that felt like an hour because of the horrible weather conditions. Upon arrival I started to lose faith about my students until I walked upstairs to my class, I was greeted by 3 excited yet drenched students eagerly waiting for class to start. Although all 6 of my students could not make it, I knew in my heart that it was the best choice. Class resumed as usual although it was hosted in the hallway due to the lack of light and each student left feeling satisfied with their choice to come and learn. Although it may not seem like much to those who are reading, the joy of helping others will forever win over my heart.