So besides a trip to celebrate the 4th of July, the rest of the time I was giving Construye or English classes. I guess it would only be polite to mention how I celebrated the 4th of July when not in the US. This was not my first time out of the states for the 4th, but I don’t remember what we did in Spain on the highschool trip. Volunteers met up in Las Galeras, Samana. I went up the day before to attend a planning session on the direction of Somos Mujeres and stayed with Anna. The next day we finished the trek to Las Galeras. Staying at La Isleta, we had quick access to a beach, a kitchen, and a grill. There of course were other pluses, and I would recommend if visiting the area to stay there. What made my arrangements the best would be the grill and barbequed chicken and hotdogs we had. Sadly there were no pepperoni rolls, but otherwise a perfect arrangement.
But back to the real reasons I’m down here, the projects. In July, I graduated 15 students total from my Construye classes (about half that showed an interest at the beginning, so not bad statistics for a CTS class). Not all are eligible to compete by writing a business plan, and not all that are eligible are inclined to write one. However, I believe the class is important on its own, which is why I allowed all interested to join. I really enjoyed teaching, but by July with 3 classes (which were 5 different days, because 2 were twice a week) and 2 classes of English, made it so I was ready to wrap some of the classes up.
The first class I started, which was mostly high school girls, even organized a small celebration. I was a bit surprised that they chose salami and cheese on crackers as the food, since salami is regularly offered to me during dinner and therefore it did not seem such a treat to me, but I knew it was their celebration so let them decide. There was even the music from one of the cell phones.
My other class in Cambita consisted of males mostly in their twenties. A few already had businesses, but were looking to improve them. There is a prize in the competition for a business plan to expand an existing business. It was interesting the different dynamic presented by that group. They would rib each other over things said and enjoyed correcting my spanish. However, it was never malicious.
My final class was up in Mucha Agua. I offered it in addition to a Basic English Class. There was a large group the first class, but the class did not take. I in the end only felt one youth had attended enough of the classes and retained enough to consider that she had completed the class. It was frustrating having students who would show up after missing several classes.
Here are most of my proud graduates. 2 declined because they did not feel pretty enough.