I am Urbe Secades, the Site Manager for San Juan de la Maguana and today I was role modeling the Leader of the Day.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. I cannot think about a better quote to start off this life-changing journey with Global Glimpse. It takes courage to make that first step, this journey requires commitment, and compassion is the key ingredient throughout this whole experience. This is the first full day of the students in the country and I am already proud of how each one of these young leaders are already adapting to the culture and embracing the experience. Their brains are really active despite the heat, their eyes are vividly observing everything that surrounds them and their spirit is full of positive energy.

Last night, they all arrived safe and sound at the airport where they started chatting and getting to know each other. We slept at a hotel in the capital, Santo Domingo, so that everyone could rest and this morning we woke up freshly at 6.45am. We had a four-hour bus ride through the southern highway where the students enjoyed some of the gorgeous views of the mountains and started to get a glimpse of the DR through the windows. We all arrived at the hotel and after the first welcome seminar, we walked to our amazing food provider, Onaney Restaurant where they welcomed us with a freshly-squeezed fruit juice and some warm words to make us feel like at home. For lunch we had the classic Dominican food: rice with chicken and a tomatoe salad! Delicious.

Once back we had a culture and safety seminar so that the students could understand a bit better how daily life runs in the DR. They learnt about “cultural shocks” and how to interact with a different culture in the most productive and learning way possible. After that the students learnt about history through a dynamic seminar led by our amazing GGLs, Abby and Gabby.  This is so as to have some background knowledge for tomorrow’s theme: history and culture day.

We ended up the day with an amazing welcome party where we all (literally) danced some Bachata and merengue. We all chatted and got to know each other a bit better. It was a very special time where the glimpsers got to meet some of our ambassadors, young local leaders that will accompany them throughout this experience. They all clicked right away! In general we had a very successful first full day, with plenty of new things learnt, smiles and positive emotions. Looking forward to tomorrow!

P.S. We will post some pictures tomorrow morning!