In between the two public trips, the interns have the privilege to stay in the Dominican Republic and take part in a week full of adventures. So far we have painted a school and experience ‘A Day in the Life’ and we have had time for intern and staff to get to know each other better. Today all the interns participated in a Leadership workshop. This establised what leadership is and how we as interns are leaders. During the workshop we completed multiple tasks and activities that gave us a better perspective on what leadership is.
When asked during the workshop what characteristics a great leader would express, there were so many different answers. I sat there thinking in my head that great leaders are not made up of the same characteristics, but they can have many. If you look at great leaders in your life they all have different characteristics and all have accomplished different things. When I look at all the leaders that I was sitting with, almost every person expressed unique leadership characteristics, and that’s what makes a great leader.
We were also shown a video that showed leadership from a dancing guy. The video involved a guy who had the courage to stand up at a festival, dance alone and look ridiculous. What he was doing was easy to follow and that is one key to being a leader. If a leader is easy to follow and sets an example, more people will join and it eventually becomes about the people and not the leader anymore. It also taught us the importance of being able to follow a leader and not always be the one making decisions.
Overall this workshop helped us understand more about leadership. It helped us know how to improve and become an even better leader. It gave us the chance to participate in activities and make new goals. It is information that will never leave my head!
Austin ~ Dominican Republic Intern 2013
When returning to the Dominican Republic as an intern I had no idea what to expect. During intern week we participated in many fun activities, one of which was a creative workshop in Arroyo Seco. During this time we got to teach the children of the community how to make bracelets, help them with colouring, arts and crafts and also got to have a face painting area where they got to choose what ever they wanted. My fellow artistic interns made it happen.
We started off the day by explaining to the kids the different stations and then they got to choose where they would like to begin. The station I was first at was bracelet making. At home I love making threaded bracelets so I was very excited to share that knowledge with the children. They each chose three colours and we cut the string to the correct length tied it all together then placed it on the bench so each child could have their own working area. First it was a little confusing to teach everyone because of the language barrier but once we overcame that battle it was all giggles, smiles, and beautiful bracelets.
Another station that was set up was painting. The kids loved getting their hands dirty with paint and creating master pieces on the paper, even on each other sometimes. After each child had completed a painting and signed their name on the bottom we would hang it up on the wall of the community centre to display their beautiful art for everyone to see.
One of the most creative stations we had was arts and crafts. We had googly eyes, pipe cleaners, construction paper and so much more. Here the kids were using glue and tape to piece together the best thing their imaginations could conjure up. One of the interns started making pipe cleaner glasses for the children which was super cute because before we knew it everyone around had colourful Harry Potter style glasses.
The most popular station was the face painting. It started out only needing two interns but turned into four and five because each child had such a creative imagination that each face was so elaborate and we needed to make sure everyone got their turn!
At the end of the day all the interns and staff said our goodbyes to the children as they raced outdoors to compare faces, crafts and bracelets. Although it was quite the big mess to clean up after our tiring but awesome day we did not hesitate to each get in line to get our own faces painted, we had everything from pirates to fishbowls on our faces, we’re all kids at heart right. After many pictures and laughs we packed everything up and headed back to the resort. We all raced down to the beach to cool off in the pool.
Later that night the interns and staff all went to Cabarete. We window shopped and talked, took awesome beach pictures and enjoyed a lovely Italian meal together. To end off the night our awesome leaders Kelly and Kent treated us all to ice cream for dessert, it was such a great night out to end an amazing day.
Being able to stay in this beautiful country for an entire month is one of the obvious perks of being an intern, but the not so obvious perks are some of the best. We form incredible bonds with the people of the communities we work in and also friendships that will last a life time within our LiveDifferent family.