Here is part 2 of me furiously writing to get caught up on my blog posts. Better hurry too, I have a half hour before lunch and then my zip lining trip. I know, I am having a hard time of it.
Day 2-On Wednesday (Yesterday) I partook in my busiest day. Lets start with the morning. My day started at 7 am. I had to get up, eat breakfast, and head to the buss to do a program that we like to call CAMS. CAMS stands for CREATIVE ARTS, MUSIC, and SPORTS camp. Children are out of school at this time so I went to a half day schools camp to help them practice their English. For this impact activity it is more about English review than straight out teaching. Students need to practice what they learned or they will forget it over the summer break. Its an immersive type of activity. You do use the same binders and lesson plans from the Community English activity. This helps keep consistency for the lessons. We went over vocab that they had previously learned. The lesson my group did was called My Community where they learned the names of buildings, directions, and the names of animals that are often seen in their neighborhoods. After practicing our vocab we drew pictures of their communities to help solidify the meaning of their content. Then we did some dancing, had a snack, and moved on to the sports portion of the activity. What was great about this portion was getting to see how the children play and how they create their own toys if they don’t have them. We used a balloon wrapped in newspaper and tape to make a basketball. It does bounce and is a very solid ball so nothing is lost in doing this. We then headed to the courts to play some hoops. The adults played with the kids (despite the heat whew). The kids were at their most laid back during this activity which means that we really got to know them at this time. Some of their girls taught me a hand clapping games and a cheerleading dance. Dance is a major part of the cultural make up here in the Dominican Republic so if you don’t like to groove get over that fast!
Now, the girls that I worked most with were very shy. I point this out because when working with any group of children you must understand that the kids are not obligated to act in a way that makes you comfortable. Some of the volunteers got agitated that my two girls would not speak with them. But it only took a minute to realize they were not being rude but shy. Once I let them communicate with me via dance and games we had a lot of fun. They were not eager to take pictures so we did not. So pay attention to the kids you work with. Let them be themselves and comfortable. You are there for them not just you.
Now for the afternoon trip. If you decide to do two activities in a day with Fathom prepare to be busy! I had just enough time to eat, shower, change and rush off to my second outing. Worth it! My second outing was a scuba diving trip about an hour out of the city. This was a fun activity I chose for myself. Be for warned that while you will have a mask and a life jacket you will be out in open water. If this makes you uncomfortable either push through it or don’t go. You will be wasting your money. I loved the company that Fathom partnered with to do this trip. I believe they are called Wild Outings. The guys who own the company are great. They were funny, helpful, and even gave us a little dance party on the boat. We had music blasting and had a good time learning how to shake it Dominican style. Their facility was very clean, had an outdoor water source to clean off sand, showers, and lockers. You won’t see too many exotic things while snorkeling. Lots of fish and coral. We also saw an octopus. Just don’t expect to see a sea turtle or anything. Mostly the water is great. It was fun just being out in the water for a swim. The great thing about this cruise is how many activities they have between the impact and recreational activities.
Ok, that is it for now. I am running late. I will update tomorrow on how the zip lining goes. First time!