In what has been called an “anti-tourist trip,” a contingent of Cumberland County high schoolers and adult advisors are traveling on a Vineland Rotary Club sponsored trip to the Armando Rosenberg orphanage in the Dominican Republic with plans to work hard and help out. Sabrina Lucena blogs from Santo Domingo.
Hello my name is Sabrina Lucena and I am currently in Santo Domingo with people from the interact club at Vineland High School and Absegami. The second we stepped out of the airplane the heat smacked us right in the face. It was a huge adjustment from the snowy weather back home. The bus we took from the airport to the hotel had friendly Spanish people aboard, allowing us to practice some of our Spanish. On our way to the hotel, I looked to my left and saw such a sparkling blue ocean, while on the other side reflected poverty of the country.
It was a huge shock to witness firsthand the amount of filth throughout the streets. Unfortunately, we were not able to visit the orphanage today because there was not a bus available to take us but, having extra time throughout the day allowed us to better get to know each other and spend quality time with each other.
During the day, we all went into the pool to enjoy the hot sunny weather that we missed very much. We enjoyed playing and spending time with each other. For lunch, we had a shrimp scampi-like meal with a fruity Spanish drink. Having had shrimp scampi before it was neat to see how Dominicans put their own twist on the meal. For dinner, we enjoyed a Dominican specialty that included rice and chicken.
It was a very delicious meal with a side of mango juice freshly made at the hotel. We ended the day on the swings while playing card games. By this time the weather was about 75 degrees with slight wind, perfect for a long night out with people we now consider friends. So far it has been an amazing experience and it is only the beginning!