Today, Aid and Development Day, the group moved its focus away from the complex cultural aspects of the Dominican Republic and onto the sources of need and impacts of foreign aid in developing countries. This information will provide a framework and lens for the rest of the delegation’s time in the country.

Our guest speakers for the day were Daniel and Alice, seasoned Peace Corps volunteers both stationed in the Western Dominican Republic. Demonstrating their experience and expertise, their presentation helped us prepare for our upcoming Community Action Project, or CAP, and understand to a greater extent the work done by the Peace Corps and other similar organizations. Students received further information regarding global poverty in preparation for tomorrow, a day during which we will “Live Like a Local,” attempting to model the daily life of a rural Dominican citizen.

This fourth day of our trip saw the students interact with the community in a delightfully unexpected way; many Glimpsers joined a pickup baseball game in Parque Sanchez against the backdrop of the gorgeous Cathedral San Juan Bautista which was just letting out of Mass. Playing a game with these young Dominican children gave us a brief glimpse into the daily lives and experience of people in this country, and allowed us to see a deeper side of the lives of the Dominican population than we would have otherwise been able to by simply observing. This moment was particularly special because, after completing an afternoon trip to the supermarket, some students were inclined to head straight home for a rest, but this impromptu addition to our itinerary proved to be a gem in everyone’s day. Many students were even inspired in the moment to empty their recently filled grocery bags in order to share with the children, and some even extended their generosity to purchasing ice cream from a local vendor.

As we watch the sun set for the fourth time on our stay in San Juan de la Maguana, we know this is a day we won’t soon forget.