By Krista Moody
Today we started the day by heading to the Mariposa Center. We gathered for a bit and then went on a driving tour of a few schools in Cabarete and a walking tour of Callejón with Tricia. We were able to visit the private school in the neighborhood of Callejón. It was a wonderful opportunity to see the infrastructure of the school (students are on vacation) and meet the directora, Miguelita. We learned about some of the challenges Miguelita faces in her school as well as the challenges that the D.R. faces with respect to improving access to education and strengthening the education system. The power of education was a theme that resonated with me today. Tricia and Miguelita shared their views about how receiving an education not only empowers the girls now but that future generations will also benefit. I did not feel very optimistic about the future of the public education system in the Dominican Republic; however, I was very excited about the future prospects of the Mariposa girls.
After our visit we walked through Callejón and had the opportunity to enter a few houses. We were able to talk to several Dominicans whose daughters are or were Mariposa girls. Several houses that Mariposa built were pointed out. We also viewed several combined homes on one side road for which all 75 inhabitants shared one bathroom. The crowdedness, garbage, and lack of hygiene stood out for many of us as we shared our reflections later in the day. Later, we returned to Mariposa Center, had a chance to ask Amanda clarifying questions about her hopes and needs for creating an observation template. It was an interesting conversation between the Nobis participants and Amanda and Tricia.
During free time, several of us went shopping in Cabarete. Towels, jewelry, and a cute beach cover-up were purchased. In the evening, as a Nobis group we discussed observations from our day and journaled about judging something or someone during our stay in Cabarete. We worked in pairs and each had two minutes to share with our partner without interruption. It was a cool activity. We ended the night with time for all of us to work in our groups on our presentations to Mariposa tomorrow.