DR Day 2
Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic
We divided into two groups today. Two of our seniors (Kelsey and
Kelly) stayed at the YL camp with most of our Middle School students,
Mrs. Bodnar, and my sons, Teddy and Chad. The seniors wanted to see
the bottom of the hole they started digging yesterday--three or four
feet down through rocky clay, but it turned out that a group from
Michigan took over that project. So our Trinity group continued their
work on the kitchen project and the workshop project.
|Kelsey and Kelly demolishing one thing and building another
|Mrs. Bodnar, supervising the MS crew
|Graham, Josh, and Sami, with their new friend
Sixteen of us crammed into a van and headed for Doulos Discovery
School. Last year's group visited here, and they came back really
enthused about the school, its kinship with Trinity, and the
possibilities of partnership. Luke Erwin jump-started all that when he
returned to Doulos for his fall semester of senior year.
|A garden built at Doulos as part of the expeditionary learning; one of the Outward Bound slogans is etched in the wood: "Responsibility for Learning"
|Some of the Doulos students on the playground
I was with the Doulos group, wanting to learn all I could about the
school. The Director, Krista, met us and introduced us to the school.
We all took a tour and then got to work on two projects: painting
Newly built classrooms and planting trees and shrubs along the bank of
the new building. It wasn't hard to tell which students did the
|Krisa explains the school's history and mission to our group
Church in Minnesota, a church that was integral in the starting of
Doulos back in 2002. Krista had organized a special session for this
group, an orientation and introduction to the history and mission of
Doulos, all in the context of education and social issues in the DR.
It was an excellently designed lesson, and I learned a lot about what
this school is trying to accomplish.
Thought a 50-50 plan, whereby scholarship students and tuition paying
students study side by side, this school is managing to serve the
neediest in the country and stay financially solvent. The education
they are offering is strong enough to attract families who can and will
pay. Their service learning and expeditionary learning model (think
Outward Bound-- every lesson is an adventure the students and teachers
go on together) address the fundamental challenges in the Dominican
setting. The resonances with Trinity's Christian mission, our service
learning program, and our rich and unhurried (Mason) mission are deep
I had a great time brainstorming with Krista about the possibilities
of collaboration and partnership between our schools. Not
surprisingly, there are things we could do to help them: sponsor
scholarship children, send teams like this one to do meaningful
projects, and help them make college connections for their graduates.
We also talked about collaborative projects, maybe connecting with
their expeditionary learning, where Trinity students and Doulos
students might collaborate on tackling a real-world DR problem. The
possibilities are exciting.
We returned to YL camp to find our students busting up concrete and
digging up palm trees. It does a heart good to see how hard they are
|Rosemond, Lena, and Jacob at Doulos
|Cammie having some fun at lunch
|Anna, Lucy, and Lena at lunch
|The wall that Lucy, Victoria, and Anna prepped and painted