Today was the big day: the day to explore the wonderful city of Bonao. Although today was free day, this day was the biggest test of responsibility and maturity thus far. Our GG leaders were letting us roam free in a foreign city to do whatever we pleased. With many health concerns, 94 degree weather (our hottest day yet), safety concerns, and no easy way of communication, trust was key here. However, no need to worry, we were actually well equipped! Each group was provided with maps with marked locations containing brief descriptions, Global Glimpse Bonao ambassadors to lead the way if needed, emergency numbers, landmarks, and most importantly, we had each other! We were each others guide and safety net.
In groups of 4 or more, we set off into the city. Some of us went to play basketball with a group of kids from a nonprofit called “Alerta Joven” and later to an internet cafe; others went off with no planned itinerary, and the rest to an internet cafe, souvenir shop, and a popular restaurant by the name of “Freddy’s” near the central park. Although everyone’s journey was minimum of 30 minutes by foot, we did it because of the joy that the vibes throughout the city and the sense of freedom gave us. Each group had a variety of experiences; however, we all felt one in common, the people of Bonao made us feel at home and more than welcome. While exploring various neighborhoods, the locals were helpful, energetic, polite, and insightful. So today was more than just a free day, it was a learning experience as well.
Every day, as you may know, Global Glimpse provides us with a question of the day. Today it was: “What have you learned in the DR after your first week?” Before today, we learned many things about the culture, structure of the government, education system, history, struggles and severity of poverty throughout the city. Our delegation had almost fully emerged ourselves into multiple communities and the culture of the DR, however, today provided a completely different experience. Being in the city independently caused us to adjust to the many cultural differences. Josefina, Corey, Katie, and Miguel have all mentally prepared us and taught us many of the cultural differences, however, some things you don’t fully notice until you experience it first hand. While it was a slight cultural shock, it was a fun one and the delegation adapted to it quickly. From crossing streets differently to finding directions with a lack of street signs, and let’s not forget the language barrier for many (although many of us are slowly but surely learning), adaption and open-mindedness were well displayed throughout the groups. And because of this, along with the groups’ responsibility, maturity, and leadership, our delegation and the GG leaders are looking forward to continuing this experiencing on our next free day or during available free time.
We love and miss you so much! You are always in our minds and hearts and we will reach out to you whenever we have the chance. Love the comments, and until next time…
-Nia and Ni’Kiya
AKA: The “Assertion Desertion”, Gina and Pam, and your fav cheer sisters!