Student News

Dominican Republic #5: “Love and Belonging”

Paulina Baltazar – June 6, 2018

Liz Tarazi ’19 and Christian Ransom ’19 reflect on the importance of human interactions.

A long day to mark the halfway point of being in the Dominican Republic. To start our day, we headed to the work site keeping in mind our level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: love and belonging. Although a little tired and sore from the previous days on the work site, everyone was smiling and ready for the next adventure. After some fun trips in the back of the pick up truck and leveling off the floor in the living room, we headed to the Haiti and Dominican border. The relationship between these countries is fascinating, and Jose (our trip leader) explained it in depth on the way there. This brought us back to the love and belonging level. The love between the Haitians and Dominicans is the same as it is between people of their own kind, regardless of their political standpoints. This brought about a sense of belonging everyone was able to reflect upon during the long bus ride from San Juan to the border.

The Dominicans and Haitians also treated us as if we were their own. Seeing unity among all of us despite our varying backgrounds really was inspiring and something we all can continue back at Deerfield. Love and belonging were the level we focused on as a group from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and was truly emphasized in our interactions. Despite language acting as a barrier, we were all able to connect because of our sense of duty to complete the house and this contributed to a sense of belonging. No one can feel left out if we are working toward one goal and how we interact will impact the love that is expressed among one another.

Our day ended with a city tour of San Juan which allowed Jose to teach us the rich history of the region and visit various monuments around town. Another day full of lessons in the DR!