Monday, April 3, 2017

La Republica Dominicana: MOVE's Service Trip to the Dominican Republic

Over Spring Break I had the opportunity to lead MOVE's Service Trip to the Dominican Republic or La República Dominicana. Every Spring Break MOVE sends a group of students and faculty down to the Dominican Republic to work with an organization called ADESJO in one of the many villages that they work with in the province of San Jose de Ocoa.
The whole St. Mike's crew with the members of ADESJO
This year we went to the small mountainous village of Los Corozos to help build a house for a family in the community. Luckily for me, this was the same village that I went to last year with MOVE so I was able to to see all of the wonderful people from last year. Los Corozos is a small farming village about 2 hours outside of the city of San Jose de Ocoa. These people mainly make a living off of farming and raising livestock but unfortunately times are tough down there thanks to a drought that the Dominican people have faced over the past few years.
One of the many farms in Los Corozos
The group that we brought down this year is the largest group, 13 students including myself, that we have ever brought down to the DR. The only other guys on the trip happened to be some of my teammates from the St. Mike's soccer team. Unlike the domestic service trips through MOVE, our group met every week from November until the week we left for the DR. During these meetings we would cover everything from basic Spanish phrases to what life is like in the Dominican.

Originally we were all supposed to fly out of Burlington together on Saturday March 11th but due to weather we had to split the group up into two groups, one flying out of Albany on Saturday and the next flying from Albany on Sunday the 12th. Our faculty leader Allison Cleary would take the first group on Saturday and I would take the second group on Sunday. This meant that I had to bring everyone through Customs and all that by myself.

Finally we met with ADESJO in the Santo Domingo airport before heading up to San Jose de Ocoa. The next day, my group work up, ate breakfast and jumped in the back of an ADESJO van and headed up to Los Corozos. Once we met up with the rest of our group we got settled in and then went off to the work site to get started on the house. Our first job was to dig out the foundation with pick axes and shovels. Unfortunately for me I am still suffering from my back injury so I was unable to do a lot of the hard work. There were days that I would go from house to house and help shell guandules beans with the families.
This is the village leader in Los Corozos Rafael 

Hanging out with the kids while waiting for a delivery of supplies

The "bromigos"hanging out on the worksite

Some of the group enjoying the view that our house for the week had to offer

When we weren't working we were playing with the kids of the village and then at night we would go and dance with everyone. The kids loved to play volleyball and a few times they set up a big net for us to play with. They also loved to play baseball and make bracelets so there was no shortage of things to do.

It was awesome to have the opportunity to go back to Los Corozos again this year. The relationships that I have formed with all of these people are some that I will always hold dear to me.
Aaron and I were able to enjoy a fresh coconut while enjoying the view in Santo Domingo before catching our flight back to the US.
I hope you enjoyed learning about my trip to the DR. If you want to hear more about my trip feel free to hit me up through email or one of my social media accounts. You can also get more information about the service trips in general does by checking MOVE out.

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A Typical Day in the Life of Chris Williamson

How I Live My Life: Spring 2017

Are you guys interested in seeing how a Business major and Media Studies, Digital Arts and Journalism minor lives there life???

Wake Up Call!!
I will usually get up between 8:30 and 9:30 each morning depending what day it is and if I have any homework left to do. Today I decided to get up around 9:30 so that I would have time to shower, get dressed and watch a little tv before class. During this time I decided to continue my research into programs and organizations that would allow me to work and travel in another part of the world after graduation. Some days I will go to Alliot for breakfast but more times than not I will just grab some fruit or a Cliff Bar at my house.

Class Time
Luckily for me, during my time in here at St. Mike's I somewhat intentionally set myself up so that I would be able to take only 3 classes this semester instead of the normal 4. What I did was I came into St. Mike's with a few credits thanks to a Dual Enrollment program that my high school had as well as taking a class or two over the summer through the Accelerated Summer Program that St. Mike's offers. You can either stay up on campus for for 6 weeks while taking classes or do a hybrid or online course, which is what I have done. The hybrid courses allow students to take these classes online with a few in class periods on campus to start the program.

This semester I have Business Finance on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 12:15 to 1:20. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I have my Intro to Philosophy class from 1:15 to 2:50 and then Global Communication from 3:00 until 4:30.

From the end of class until dinner
I use the time between my last class and dinner I will usually meet with a professor if I need help or I will go back to my house to hang out with my roommates or do a little homework. I will also use this time to go to different meetings for ShredMC, Senior Class Gift Committee or my DR trip with MOVE. Today I used this time to take my yearbook picture, fold laundry and watch the Mets Opening Day. Today was one of the first nice days in awhile so I also spent a little bit of time outside with my friends.

I will usually eat around 6:30 or 7:00 depending on when I get hungry. For the most part I will end up cooking something at my house but some nights I will go to Alliot for dinner with a bunch of friends.

From 7:30 until bed
I spend most of my time after dinner just relaxing with friends. I'll either go to a friends house or people will stop by here. If the Mets or the Rangers are playing you can almost always catch me watching those games in my room while finishing up some homework.

For the most part I will try to go to bed around 11:30 or 12 so I will just go to my room to watch some Netflix before falling asleep.

I hope you guys enjoyed listening about my typical day. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or check out my Instagram or SnapChat to get more of an inside look!

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