Field Note #93: Community in Higuerito
We are in the Dominican Republic this week with a group of 16 college students from Northeastern University, NC State and Penn State. The uniqueness of each individual has been so refreshing. Apparently Northeastern U is one of the top universities in America for diversity, which is pretty cool! Not only is this the largest group I’ve lead, but also I'm training the most amazing new addition to our team, Lizzy, who I can honestly say was made for this. Her tender nature and ability to connect on a deep level with volunteers in such a short time is inspiring. I may be teaching her the volunteer program, but I'm learning invaluable lessons from her in return. I'm thankful that Wine To Water has grown and been able to bring her and I both on board into brand new positions within the last 7 months.
Every time I return to Higuerito, I think of all the memories of community interactions with previous groups I've been with. This group has started a new tradition where every evening when the work is done, they head to the local basketball court and challenge the locals of all ages to the game of knockout. Some of the group ends up court side in a group workout while others have been playing frisbee. Knockout is a fun game of friendly competition, and I remember the first night when I looked over and saw this line that had formed. I felt a true sense of the word community. The volunteer group and the locals now look forward to this outing every day.
- Kaylie, Volunteer Coordinator