The last few days have been pretty busy here in Santo Domingo! On Thursday we had a normal day at the community center full of dancing and playing, but we also got to teach the kids the English alphabet for the first time! We will be planning more English lessons in the future that will mainly focus on the alphabet, numbers, short phrases, etc. After work we went to a meeting with one of our program coordinators and the other ELAP students to discuss how our time has been at each of our individual placements. We compared the American and Dominican cultures and talked about how different a typical work day is in each place. Here it is common for people to work a few hours in the morning, go home to eat lunch/nap, and then come back to work whenever they're ready for the rest of the afternoon. Needless to say, it is a bit of a change from the normal American 15-minute lunch at your desk! Later that evening, a few of us met up with our onsite sponsor to get some ice cream and chat for a while, which was really nice to spend time with her outside of a work setting. After that, I was fully intending to go to bed, but we ended up going out with the rest of the students instead! We actually met a few other American students, which was especially appropriate on the eve of Fourth of July :)
Friday morning we went to work at the community center as usual, danced some more, watched a video about safety, and then said a little farewell to one of the students in the program who only stayed for a month and will be going home soon. It was very touching to hear the children say goodbye and thank him, and it made me wonder how long I would hold up without crying when it was time for us to leave. Later that afternoon, we headed out to Boca Chica for one night to see the beach and go somewhere new. Boca Chica is pretty much the closest beach to Santo Domingo where you can swim. We ended up getting lost in the concho and on the guagua, so we got there a little bit later than anticipated and had to check out of the hostel by 11 the next morning. We obviously didn't get to spend a lot of time there, but we did get to go to the beach early Saturday morning, which was very calm and beautiful!
Today was another outstanding day in the ESL classes! I went with four other students in the program who wanted to help out, and everyone at the community center seemed very grateful to have help from even more native English speakers this time! Today we split up into pairs and went into different classes where the students had the opportunity to ask us questions this time (their "revenge" since we asked them the questions before!). I had the best time just sitting there and talking with all of them - as I mentioned before, they are a little bit older (teens/young adults) and more advanced, so we could discuss just about anything. Honestly, I left there in the best mood and can't wait to go back. If I could do that for the rest of my life, I'd probably be a very happy person :)
This week is going to be similar to all of the others, but a new girl is going to start working with us in the place of the student who is leaving. Hopefully she'll love it as much as we do!
Life is great here! Gracias por leer :)