In our second week, the 28 participants and 3 amazing group leaders went on a 3 day, 2-night weekend excursion to the mountains in Jarabacoa. The thrills of the white water rafting and the peaceful hike to the waterfall had everyone in good spirits. We stayed at a beautiful hotel where everyone's rooms were in the same area. This definitely caused us to become closer as friends. Our hotel allowed us access to four different pools which is where everyone spent their time. Our first day there we ate lunch at the ranch and headed off for our tour of a coffee bean factory. The smell of the coffee stuck with me as I left the factory. When we got back to the hotel we took advantage of our free time and hung out at the pool for a little. After we had an American inspired dinner at the hotel and sang our hearts out with karaoke. There was never a dull moment that night.
Day 2 comes around and our hearts are still happy from the night before. Everyone was so excited to go white water rafting that today. It was something most of us hadn’t done before and a major part of this trip was stepping out of our comfort zone and that's exactly what we did. 2 hours of rafting had us starving so all went back to the ranch for a big Dominican style lunch (consisting of rice and chicken of course). Exhausted from the day most of us (including me) took long naps before dinner. The leaders surprised us with the In the Time of the Butterflies movie after dinner which is about the Mirabal sisters during the time of the Trujillo's dictatorship in the DR.
The heat didn’t stop us on our third and final day from hiking and swimming in a waterfall. As usual, we ate breakfast at the ranch and then went on our short hike to the waterfall. After enduring the heat, the water from the waterfall surely did cool us down. After about 2 hours we went back to the ranch for yet another big and filling Dominican lunch. We all were a bit sad that we had to leave because we all had tons of fun. As close friendships started to form we knew going into week 3 would be the most difficult considering it was our final week and we had to say our goodbyes soon.