Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Learning to meranga dance

Sorry for no updates in the past few days. It's been very busy! After Sunday at the beach, we went to a group dinner (where I tried Monfongo- Dominican plantian dish). On Monday, classes started with the school we are partnering with. There are 19 of them and 19 of us. The school is called INTEC and we are going to be working together in the next 3 weeks with Esperanza (establish microfinance bank already here) to set up 5 new village banks. We came with about $25,000 to make thousands of new loans within the news branches. We are then going to focus our work on measuring the impact and how the loan (that they had gotten previously) has helped change their lives to how they stand financially now. As well as financially, we can look at their nutrition, if their children go to school, their house, etc...

On Tuesday, we had classroom session in the morning, then went for a tour around Santo Domingo and some of the urban poverty they have around the city. After a catered dinner at the hotel, we all went out with some of the the Dominican students to dance! It was a lot of fun, but us Americans need a lot of work! Maybe by the end of the trip we will be able to get through a few minutes without stepping on toes or being laughed at!

Today we broke off into smaller groups and our group went around to a local communitiy and tried to interview/observe how pollution has effected their community. We talked with a small business that sells car parts and a 20 year old girl who lives in the community. The LAREGST problem is the language barrier. I didn't experience that in South Africa, but that is biggest hurdle so far. In these communities, not many people know English. The INTEC students know both and I know some basic knowledge, but that has by far been the hardest part. After the long day in the field, we had a catered dinner back at the hotel which included lot of rice and beans =) I'm exhausted so I'm going to get to bed early today. Classroom and dancing tomorrow!


The group before a night of dancing!


Polluted stream in one of the comunities of Santo Domingo

Working with the INTEC students and business owner



4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Sweetheart, thanks for the update. Hope your having fun, we're thinking about your adventures down there, be safe.

Love,
Dad

niz said...
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Cialis Online said...

all looks like that your enjoy a great time, the only thing that look bad is the extreme pollution in that picture, really look badly polluted.