Today was the first free day!!! First we got to sleep in until 8am and it felt really good. Then we headed out to an upbeat breakfast. When we returned we did laundry and everyone called home. The phone calls were emotional for some of us, but we were happy to hear our families. It will power us on for a few days. After our relaxing morning, we ate a delicious lunch of moro (rice), arepa (fried corn bread), cabbage salad (ensalada de repollo) and pollo (chicken with cream sauce).
We returned to the hostel to sign up for groups of free time. Everyone was excited to spend time with the Ambassadors and explore San Juan de la Maguana. The group had a hard time deciding whether they were going to go to the supermarket, the call center, the ice cream shop or the basketball court. Some students were able to squeeze in a few of these places. My highlight of the free time was bonding with everyone on the way to the shops.
We returned at 4pm and immediately jumped into prepping for our English tutoring class #2. Nobody had to tell us what to do, we had lots of ideas for our lesson plans. We got carried away with our planning and ended up arriving to English class a little late. Hopefully that won’t happen again! However, the classes were amazing. Our students wanted to learn and were happy to see us. It felt great to teach students who barely know English and hopefully this skill will make their lives better. I was impressed by how fast the students picked up pronunciation of new words. By the end of class, all our students had mastered the months, weekdays and much more!
We had dinner and returned for the nightly meeting and I felt like the day had flown by. Unfortunately, it was announced that two members of our group are leaving for health reasons. Knowing that, everyone felt upset. After, we felt happy knowing that they would rest and get better. There is a reason for everything, and I hope that they and the group grow stronger from this. It’s amazing how much we have bonded and care for each other in such a short period of time. A lot of compassion was shown and we all supported one another for the rest of the night. Everyone got even closer and stronger than they were before. We are hoping that in the days that come, we will be better, stronger and happier than before!
To new beginnings.
Your ELDD signing off!