Working norms vary from country to counrty. Today, we, the glimpsers, were able to experience first hand the labor of those working the coffee plantations in the Dominican Republic. The day began at 6:00am in the morning, just as the sun began to rise. As we rode to FECADESJ, the coffee plantation, our peers struggled to keep their eyes open while breakfast was being served on the moving bus. As we arrived at the lush, green scenery,we grew excited for what was to come at the plantation. We separated into 5 different groups, each taking upon a significant role in the early stages of the coffee producing process including: loosening up dirt in order to stimulate plant growth, extracting weeds from plants, filling bags with fresh dirt, transporting these same bags to the field, and finally aligning the bags in neat rows in order to proceed to the next step which is planting the coffee beans. Not only did students take the time to complete the job, however, they also built strong bonds with the local workers located at the different stations. This allowed us to realize how fortunate we are to receive such good working conditions back home. The heavy work load drained all the energy in the once excited glimpsers, leaving the bus subdued on the way back to the hostel.

Although the physically challenging work was over, the mentally draining activities were next. Right after our lunch, we had around an hour to plan a presentation that would determine the fate of our Community Action Project (CAP). With little to no energy left, an impromptu CAP panel was held, including members of the Suarez community. As a result, we were able to come up with a solid plan for making our CAP dream into a reality in 5 committees: Project management, seating (for the baseball fans and players), shade (for the seating),painting the backstop and child management/ community engagement. But of course, the positive results of the panel were due to the great teamwork we had with the Suarez committee.

As the toughest parts of our day were over, us glimpsers had the rest of the day to ourselves.
Although the work load was great, the smiles were greater. Ending the day on a positive note, today’s experience led to the understanding of someone else’s reality and made us realize the hardships of life outside the walls of our home.

Coming home soon! :))

Sincerely your Líderes del Día,

Kailee and Lucy