Wow, what a bittersweet day! Our last day of teaching was filled with joy, laughter, and even some tears as we said goodbye to some amazing students with whom we had bonded throughout the week. Having woken up around 7:00 a.m., the group went through our usual morning routine. We devoured delicious scrambled eggs, toast, papaya, and hot chocolate. Following this feast, we ventured up the hill, through town, to the public school. The energy of the students was contagious, and our exhaustion from the day before quickly disappeared. An exciting recess was followed by two enjoyable classes. Unfortunately, we had to say goodbyes to some great friends.
After our typical juice run at Cafe de Mecho, we made our way back to the Outreach360 building for a typical Dominican lunch of rice, beans, chicken, and fruit. Following lunch, we headed to the salt flats just down the street where Manuel gave us a fantastic tour of the ponds to see how sea salt is made. Seawater is concentrated in shallow, man-made ponds before the seawater evaporates, which leaves behind large salt crystals that are then commercially sold for table salt.
Some of our group then picked up awesome souvenirs before heading back for siesta. A welcomed break from the action gave way to some lesson planning where we prepared for our final day in the Learning Center. The afternoon session of teaching went swimmingly, and we truly discovered the impact that we had made on the students in just four short days. Another delicious Dominican meal at dinner consisted of mashed plantains, marinated onions, friend eggs, fresh pineapple, and rice pudding. The group then headed up onto the Outreach roof for an amazing sunset and a thought-provoking reflection with Michael, our group leader.
We then made an ice cream stop at Bon, where the whole group was treated to some helado delicioso.
Afterwards, we had the pleasure of spectating a local softball game before making our final return to the Outreach360 building. Everyone agreed that this was the best day of the trip. Between the energetic classes, awe-inspiring salt flats, and the group ice cream run, this really was a day to remember. We look forward to enjoying one more full day in Monte Cristi tomorrow! –Aidan Dowd ’20 and Kyle Mele ’20