Today was our first full day in the Dominican Republic!! We all went to our site assignments for orientation with our groups and site leaders. We got picked up in giant trucks lined with seats in the back; something you’d never see in the states. Myself and 3 other students are in the special education school, called Genesis. When we arrived our site leaders had us experience just a taste of what it would be like to have a variety of different disabilities, from autism, to dyslexia, through a few exercises with each other. This day was incredibly eye opening. We can be told the definition of some disabilities a million times but to adapt to normal everyday things like using a zipper, writing your name, or listening to someone tell a story, in a whole new way was incredibly difficult. We only lived like this for an hour, but by the end we had so much respect for the kids who have been struggling with these same things for a lifetime. After Joshua I plan on going to school to become a special needs teacher and I think today has given me a much broader understanding of disabilities. The exercises we did today are definitely something I want students in the school I will work at to try, so they too can understand what some of their peers have to live with. Tomorrow we are all going back to our sites for our first official day of service. Everyone is having so much fun, and we’ve all fallen in love with this culture already!
Written by Allie