My name is Anudeep Gogineni, and I was the leader for the day, Living Like a Local. Before I go into depth of what had transpired that day, I just want to let you, the reader, know that I am a junior from Dougherty Valley High School.

Today took a bit of time to get ready because today was the first day when we had only 30 minutes to get ready instead of the usual one hour. Luckily, some of my friends helped me out to get some of those stubborn ones out of bed. Luckily, we were only 5 minutes late to breakfast at Sheila’s, which made me feel a bit relieved. We had bread and hot chocolate for breakfast, which I admit were really good.

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After breakfast, we thanked Onaney Gourmet got on the bus to ride to the community we were going to visit today. After about thirty minutes, we arrived into the neighborhood of Maguana al Medio and greeted Solana, the caretaker of the village. We were then separated into the same groups we were in on the Aid and Development day and were delegated to different families found in the community. Our group was then guided to the family’s water source, which was a river that flows down from a nearby (as in one hour from their house) mountain. All of us ended up getting our feet wet as we crossed the river many times. Though we were a bit uncomfortable with it, we knew that it was an eventuality. We had a lot of fun walking up the river, playing with the kids and throwing rocks into the river to create ripples. After that we went back to their house, where they served us some milk fresh out of the cow. After that we observed the chores the family carried out such as feeding the animals and cleaning up the floor of their house.

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Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 6.50.32 AMWhen noon struck, we headed back to where we met Solana to have our lunch of beans and rice with the neighbors. We were having conversations with them regarding how content they are with how they live and more personal conversations. After I finished my lunch, I found my friends Neeraj and Noah giving colored pencils, baseballs, and water bottles to the kids of the neighborhood. They were even playing catch with two of the three boys with baseballs. Since the third child seemed a bit bored, I Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 6.50.55 AMdecided to step in and keep him entertained. I even gave my sunglasses to him because he liked them (sorry Mom and Dad, I’ll buy another one here in the DR). After we said our goodbyes and gave Solana a Global Glimpse T-shirt, so now she’s one of us, we boarded the bus back to the hotel, where we washed our shoes from the dirt before the next Self Reflection. We got back into our groups and discussed using questions from our Travel Journals regarding how simple the life of the locals were and how happy they were with their lifestyle, also teaching us that we have no right to criticize others about how they live.

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After we completed our Self Reflections, we took a break to prepare for our second time teaching our English class. After my class was done, my students gave me feedback on how I could improve my teaching methods. They informed me that the lesson I gave them, the one I used from the teaching guide, was something they were already familiar with and requested for a lesson going over difficult pronunciations and complex vocabulary for next class, which is on Monday. They also asked for a more entertaining lesson because I was simply giving them a lecture. Though I figured as much since they were talking during class while I was writing on the chalkboard.

Later we stopped by at Sheila’s for dinner, where we had green bananas, salami, and a boiled egg. We then thanked Onaney Gourmet for the meal, and left for the hotel and prepared for our nightly meeting. We shared our opinions regarding the locals and gave Big Love(pretty much shout outs) to some of our fellow Glimpsers.

The leader for tomorrow is Eduardo, when he’ll be guiding us on our first of two free days we have during this trip. Hopefully everyone will utilize this free time to relax and prepare for the future.