Hello! We are back after a few days of no internet access. Please read our guest blog post from Brooke below!
On Friday, we traveled over three hours in our guagua to the Dajabon Market, which is one of the biggest markets on the border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. We learned that the market is opened twice a week, from five am to five pm, and it is a chance for people from Haiti to cross over into the DR and both sell and buy goods. The market is one of the biggest resources, and it is their chance to get the money and goods they need in order to provide for their family for the week. We went to the market at the very end (of the legal part anyways), and I personally found it very overwhelming. There were people everywhere, along with goods scattered along the floor, trash, motorcycles, wheelbarrows, and more. People were selling everything you could possibly think of, from clothes to food to bags to bathroom items. It was very emotional for me to see the desperation that these people had to sell their goods, especially when I saw kids my age or younger doing it. I realized that my life is so different compared to theirs, and I am so privileged with everything I have. I found the market to be really eye-opening, and am glad I got to experience it. That night we stayed near a factory on the border of the two countries. We all got to take pictures with one foot on each side!
It was extremely fun to hang out as one big group for dinner and then the night, as we don't usually get to do that when we are with our host families. The next day, Saturday, we went to the beach!
We first took the boat to a small river like area, and got to scrub ourselves with the sand that made all of our skin really soft! We then went to an island for lunch and swimming at the beach. IMG_9119.JPG We were all so glad that we finally got to go to the beach, and even though all of us got sunburned (all of our shoulders are now constantly burning), it was totally worth it!! That night, we went to a restaurant near the water and ate, danced, hung out, had a fire and ate s'mores. It was a wonderful time!!
Today, Sunday, we had a nice breakfast as a group and then took a small tour of Monte Cristi before returning to Santiago. We got to see a salt mine, the clock tower, and we ate lunch at the house where the June 14th Movement meetings were held to plan actions against Trujillo. These three days were extremely fun, eye opening, and enjoyable. It was a nice break to just get to relax and hang out with each other. Back to service tomorrow!