Stand UP Dominican Republic: Competition Day

Dear families, 
Friday is a special competition day at dream camp! The kids and teachers participate in different relay races and competitions all morning. We were with our colour groups and did things like egg toss, hula hooping, and a race where 10 people in a line all had balloons in between each person and had to do two laps of the basketball court. Before Shabbat we stopped at the grocery store to buy some treats for our Shabbat oneg potluck. Each “fruit group” shopped together to find their favourite things to share with the bigger group.
For Shabbat we traveled back to Sosua to use the synagogue there which is one of the oldest ones in the Caribbean. It is low season in the Dominican Republic so most people who work in tourism are not here right now and we’re not able to join us for Shabbat. One lady is still here and as part of our experience in a synagogue led a question and answer session. Our celebration of Shabbat on Saturday focused on community building and mindfulness. This was done through some big groups games and guided meditation. We continued spending time together through the day on Saturday while we rested and relaxed after a full week of activities!  We closed out Shabbat with a teen lead havdalah service. 
Today we went to a new beach in Rio San Juan which is a place that’s really popular among the locals so it was neat to see how people spend their weekend time. We listened to Latin music and played in the beautiful blue water. We ate lunch in Playa Grande and had really delicious tropical juices coconut drinks called Coco Loco. After lunch we had a shopportunity where we got to check out some cool things to bring home to our friends and family. We stayed at Playa Grande for the afternoon and relaxed on the beach. We couldn’t believe how clear and blue the water is. Each time we see it it’s exciting all over again.  We felt like we got a real Dominican beach day today between the music, the drinks, and knowing that Sunday is the main day people take off each week. 
After dinner tonight we heard from a lady who works with Única, one of the programs of the dream project. It focuses on young women learning about sexual and health education and how to prevent pregnancy which is a common occurrence in Dominican Republic. It is for women ages 12-18 and they can also train to be group leaders when they are 15-25. The teens asked some really good questions about this project and learned how it’s benefitting the community. 
We are looking forward to seeing what this week has in store for us. 

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