Day Two of the Dominican Republic

We started the day travelling to Barrio 41 (barrio means neighbourhood in spanish). This is where George’s school is located. All of the money raised though selling Pencils, Bricks, and Apples will be supporting the school. After introduction, we were divided into 2 groups, one to spend the day at the school interacting with the children, and the other going to the market, a walking distance away. Both groups thoroughly enjoyed learning about the culture and the daily routines of the Dominican Republicans. Through travels and discussion, our team thoroughly enjoyed making connections with the children, and their families. After both groups returned for lunch, we travelled to a near by health clinic and delivered an eye pressure test machine. As Mary assembled and taught the process of the optic machine, we toured the facilities and met an american doctor who has been living and working in the Dominican for 2 years-completing a fellowship in pediatrics. After learning about ho health care is provided, we continued exploration to an orphanage. Our tour guide, an American graduate in Public Relations, explained how our previous perception of an orphanage differs from how this orphanage is run. Though we thought that an orphanage would consist of a run down building, this place is actually quite new and still growing, consisting of a school, health clinic, gendered specific dorms, a kitchen, a recreational center, a park including a baseball and soccer field, and a special needs facility in the making. The children come to the orphanage to get an education and live together in a family setting with chores, and services required. After they have graduated highschool, they must give back to their home by working for a year at the orphanage. Currently, only 1 male has completed highschool and the year of service. In June, 15 students will graduate! And serve a year after. Following our tour, the guide explained that Dominican is driven economically by tourism, but it is not just a place to go to the beach.She completed the session by explaining the role of a volunteer, their typical lifestyle/schedule, as well as the process of applying and learning Spanish. For more information about volunteering or just general knowledge of the orphanage, visit www.nph.org. We returned to the retreat centre which is a teachers college. Dinner was the traditional rice and beans meal including pineapple and fried fish. Following dinner, the group gathered and had a reflection time, thus discussing our current ideas and experiences. Then an attempt to sleep with the rooster and dogs outside. Should of brought ear plugs…