Today was Work Like a Local Day! We began the day with a delicious breakfast of eggs, bread and fruit. We then played an entertaining energizer called Hawt Potato. It was riveting to hear of our peers’ responses to the weird “Would You Rather” questions. Afterward, we headed to the Enramada Classroom to engage in the second stage of our Community Action Project, which was the Design Stage, in which we discussed a three step plan for improving various aspects of a surrounding community. Groups began by assessing the feasibility, community engagement, personal passion of the glimpsers and the community and whether or not there was a need for the project. Next, glimpsers were divided into different committees, each focusing on a different aspect of the development process. Each committee proceeded to create a poster of their ideas which will soon be used during a meeting with members of the community. After completing our posters, we headed down to the cafeteria, where we had a delicious lunch comprising of rice, beans, meatballs and baked vegetables. Once everyone finished eating, we boarded the bus and headed off to Fergreens, a local food packing company. At the site, we assisted workers in various tasks, such as packing crates with fruit, washing vegetables, weighing fruits and vegetables and more.
We all had a great time helping the workers with their daily tasks. It was very eye opening and humbling for us to be able to place ourselves into the workers’ shoes and experience the many challenges associated with their jobs. While we worked, we chatted with the locals who worked alongside us about their backgrounds and struggles. One person that Betty spoke to was a forty year old man who has three children and a wife that live in Haiti, 140 miles from the Dominican Republic. Additionally, he shared that because of his low salary, he cannot afford to visit his family, whom he misses dearly, more than once or twice a year. Another person that John talked to mentioned that he struggles to provide for his four year old son who dwells in Haiti. Hearing all these stories of the local workers bestowed upon us a revelation of the reality of the daily hardships that they encounter. The workers themselves also had a lot of fun spending time with us and beyond the work, just being able to connect with us. All in all, it was a rewarding experience for us to be able to not just speak to the workers like you would do so with any one person, but also get a glimpse of what they actually do in their everyday lives.
John and Betty