06/14/2015Global Leadership Adventures
Hi, my name is Lily. Last summer, I went to the Dominican Republic with Global Leadership Adventures. It was such an amazing opportunity, I learned a lot and had fun, and it changed my life. The unique thing about Global Leadership Adventures is that it combines meaningful service work with fun excursions, all while educating the students about poverty and the environment. Going to the Dominican for ten days was definitely outside of my comfort zone, as I had never flown independently before, and had never been to sleepaway camp. Taking the leap and doing something so thrilling helped me to get more out of it. Looking back and seeing that I accomplished something so amazing continues to inspire me daily. Being in the Dominican taught me about a new way of life. I would not have gotten to know the Dominican people and their culture so well if not for Global Leadership Adventures. I also learned about the impact of climate change on third world countries as I helped to build a bottle house. This was the main form of service during my trip. A bottle house is basically a structure made from locally sourced plastic bottles that were once trash. We used them to make a six-room building to be used as a school, medical clinic, or whatever the village needs. We also planted cacao seeds as part of a reforestation project, which will help communities gain a source of food and income. When we weren’t doing hands-on service in impoverished villages, we spent a lot of time at the beach. The Caribbean waters were so perfect for swimming. We also went to Dudu Lagoon, into which we could zip line and cliff jump. The first full day in the Dominican was spent hiking Mt. Brison. It was a really difficult climb, especially since I am not an athlete, but it was important that we did that first. Everything after that seemed easy in comparison. It felt incredible to have accomplished something I never thought I could do by hiking a mountain. Some days, we just hung out at base camp. There was a pool, and we could always walk to the beach right across the road. We spent a lot of time playing cards, which was a great bonding experience. Without Wi-Fi, we had to entertain ourselves during downtime, but it was crucial to get to know the other kids on the program.I do not hesitate in saying that my trip to the Dominican with Global Leadership Adventures changed my life. It was a truly humbling experience. After seeing such poverty, it made me appreciate what I have even more. It also inspired me to continue to actively participate in the community and to constantly work toward making a difference. I think about my time in the Dominican literally every day since I returned home last August. I strongly recommend going on a service trip with Global Leadership Adventures. It may not be what you’re used to, but once you take the jump out of your comfort zone, you definitely won’t regret it.