Experiences from the 4-H Service Trip to the Dominican Republic – pt 2
This is part two of our story on this summer’s 4-H service trip to the Dominican Republic. The trip provided many memorable experiences for Highland High School students Cash Chambers and Mary Anne Rogers.
4-H Agent Ben Hindman was also on the trip.
“We did have one big surprise when our bus broke down in the middle of nowhere and we learned about how patient we all were and how we could all remain calm in a very uncertain situation,” says Hindman. “Fortunately, some of the volunteers with us are very familiar with engines and are mechanically inclined and they got that thing started and we were on our way. But that certainly came as a surprise and we weren’t sure how we were going to get out of that situation for a little bit.”
The group experienced local culture when visiting two homes where they shared meals and participated in traditional Dominican Republic dances.
“So the food there, I’d say, like, people from the U.S. they might think it’s fairly simple, but I thought it was really good,” says Chambers. “So, usually it was vegetables of some sort, like cooked vegetables, and beans and rice and a kind of meat, whether that was steak or pork or chicken. I just loved the food there. I feel like it was made differently that it would be here in the U.S. They had a nice blend of flavor and spice in it. They also had a lot of fruits, different fruits than we have here in the U.S. that we tried. I got to have coconut, have some of the meat from that and the water. We tried something called a limoncillo, which looks like a tiny little lime, but if you cut it open you can suck on it and it’s kind of sweet-ish. And the tamarind I tried was extremely tart and sour, but very good.”
Mary Anne Rogers:
“Well, the whole environment was really inviting,” says Rogers. “You know, there were lots of people everywhere. There were animals and there was so much food and everything. The whole, just everything was inviting about it. We were welcomed into two different homes. One was on the countryside and while we were driving down it was beautiful to see the view. There were mountains, there were cattle and, just, it kind of reminded me of home, you know, driving through our winding roads. The food was great like Cash was talking about. It was always interesting to see the different blends of spices and flavors. Specifically, one of the homes we got to visit we learned about the two national dances which were merengue and bachata. And so we got to dance with two national competitors and they had won several different titles of dance. I loved it. I loved dancing, it was so fun and even Cash danced a little bit. It was just a great time. It was definitely us blending together and everybody just really enjoyed it.”
“I’d like to recognize the support that we received from the community and express appreciation and gratitude for that support,” says Hindman. “I don’t think that any of us would have been able to participate in something like this without that support from the community. So, I certainly want to make sure that thanks and gratitude are expressed.”
To hear part one of this story about the 4-H trip to the Dominican Republic, visit our website www.alleghenymountainradio.org