Today was a tough start for the Glimpsers. We began our day at the early time of 5:30. A similar time to that of what the locals wake up at to head to work. That is exactly what we did in fact, we headed over to our speakers Don Pedro’s farm to experience working like a local. When entering the green house we needed to step on a big sponge with chlorine and walk onto powder that would cleanse all contamination off of our shoes. Blue and yellow colored clothes were also banned because they would attract bugs that would ruin the cucumber crop within the green house. We were welcomed by many happy and enthusiastic workers who immediately made us feel at home. They then put us into groups to begins working. As we picked and cleaned the stem of the cucumber plants we got a raw look into exactly how much work goes into the produce at our local supermarket. We got to experience first hand how hard it is to be in agriculture. Although the mini thorns of the plants made us all itchy, we all still loved being there. The locals laughed at some of us for not wearing a jacket to protect us from the thorns, and we joked as we talked to them. All of our groups had a competition to see who could gather the most amount of cucumbers the fastest. We all tried our best to win and although only one of us could win we all had fun.
Then we headed to one of the top produce packaging factory in the Dominican Republic. We were supposed to package ourselves but we couldn’t due to recent agricultural crisis and trade lockdown with the USA due to certain bugs. The owner of the packaging plant, Natural Fields, still allowed us to enter and gave us a tour. He let us know information about his company and packaging process. We didn’t get to see everything in full production due to the lock down. The tomato and bell pepper lines were shut down. This didn’t get us down and we stayed positive for our Banao delegation visitors.
As they came into our hotel we greeted them lively. We socialized with then during our lunch. It was interesting comparing condition and differences in our trips. After they left we got ready to teach our English classes. We taught and connected with locals. Everyone loves and looks forward to these classes. After finishing these successful classes we finished the night with a delicious dinner and nightly meeting. Today was definitely an eye opening experience and we are all happy to have had it.