Hola from Santo Domingo!
Despite waking up to some rain showers this morning, the day cleared up quickly and we were off to the Santo Domingo Zoo bright and early. We joined the Don Bosco 7-10 year olds on their field trip to the Zoo, located just minutes away from the service site. We were all pleasantly surprised to board a train on arrival for a little safari tour of the animals. During the safari, Lindsey was singled out from the group when the gorilla tossed her a stone over the fence! After the tour, we went to the park and enjoyed some time playing on the playground.
Today’s leader of the day, Sophie Prochilo says, “today we went to the zoo with the kids and I couldn’t believe how something so simple as seeing animals could make a person so happy. It was super interesting going to the zoo and seeing how different it was. The animals were separated from the viewing area by only a short fence and a ditch. At the zoo we saw rhinos, a jaguar, lions, tigers and even an iguana. In the zoo there was also an amazing playground for the kids to play. During this time we were able to learn new games such as one they call Mickey Mouse. I had such an amazing time bonding with the kids outside of a school setting."
This afternoon, Spanish class also included a very fun twist. After learning food vocabulary and names of common Dominican dishes, the students were handed plantains, yucca and salami to start preparing their late afternoon snacks. They made tostones (plantains that are fried, smashed, then fried again), arepitas de yuca (grated then fried yucca) and fried salami.
Nicole shows off her plate of salami, tostones and arepita de yuca.
Noemi in the kitchen with a bowl of plantains.
Kendra frying plantains for the tostones.
Sarah smashes a fried plantain. Now it will be sent back to the kitchen to be fried again.
The girls hold up a bowl of yucca as they prepare arepitas.
Everyone gathers around their Spanish teacher to learn how to make arepitas de yuca.
Today brings week one of service and Spanish classes to an end. Genevieve Marquez, Sophie’s co-leader today, says “we made it through our first week! So much has happened in the past 6 days and the unique experiences we’ve encountered have helped create such a close bond in such a short amount of time. Everyone contributes to the group in their own way which allows one person’s strengths to make up for another person’s weaknesses. I can’t wait to see our bond grow more and more as time passes. ¡Somos familia!"
Tomorrow we are off to Isla Saona for some beach time!