A special place that I hope to return to

Impact: 10
Support: 10
Fun: 10
Value: 10
Safety: 10

My experience in Samana has been a great one! I feel like I’ve had
some highs and lows making it a great learning experience in a short
amount time. First off, it doesn’t get any more beautiful than the
view. The first few days were overwhelming meeting all the other
volunteers and kids at school, while not yet knowing where to find
anything in town. Being in an apartment definitely comes with it’s
pros and cons as well. I didn’t like that the majority of other
people were in the shared apartments and particularly at night
couldn’t safely get to hang out with them. This has gotten better
making in advance plans to have a travel buddy. I love how welcoming
everyone is and no one is shut off or out of any group or activity.
Once I knew people had been here for months, I feared it would be hard
to make connections quickly when so many friendships have already been
established. I was happy to find that is not the case at all and
everyone is always included.
Having basically no prior Spanish knowledge, I feel like this has made
a unique experience. It has been difficult communicating with
Dominicans, especially at school. However, it also has been cool to
overcome that barrier. I’ve had to quickly learn some key phrases and
feel like I can successfully order food. Kids have been patient and
we have tried to teach each other Spanish/English words. No matter
where you are kids are the same and have a great spirit about them.
They have been fun to play and learn with. With the scheduling
changes and addition of Jessica, it is a cool time to see the
transition and growth in ADP. I’m excited to see the progress even
once I leave! I am looking forward to comforts of home (water not
turning off, air conditioning, not loud to sleep), but the atmosphere
and people make this a special place that I hope to return to.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed