I Gotta Feelin’…

Whelp, the adventures started before we even arrived here in the DR three days ago, and they definitely haven’t slowed down yet!  These last three days have been exciting, challenging, eye-opening, rewarding, overwhelming, and AWESOME in so many ways.  It really is hard to put into words everything we have witnessed so far.  We have already been immersed into so many different Dominican lifestyles, it has been overwhelming at times.   It is hard to believe that such disparity exists between the Dominican people in such close proximity to each other, but to be able to be a part of it all is pretty neat.    

On Tuesday, our first full day here at ILAC, we woke up bright and early after the crazy mad traveling that was Monday, had breakfast, and were ready to go.  We exchanged our money down the street and witnessed an electrical wire get caught on the top of a truck and literally pull the entire pole the electrical wires were attached to right out of the ground on the corner of the busy street.  It was INTENSE!  Seriously, some of us feared for our lives as the pole fell down. 

After that we took a tour of “downtown” Santiago.  It was cool!  All of the buildings are super close together and everything is just really crammed together.  There are always lots of people out on the streets or driving and it is just really loud all the time.  It is also pretty colorful, which definitely adds an element of excitement to the “hustle and bustle” feel of the city streets. Really there just always seems to be a lot of movement and lots of sounds-people just always seem to be going somewhere with a purpose.  This is kind of ironic, because we have talked so much about getting used to being on “Dominican time” down here (aka everything just happens at a slower pace or whenever people feel like getting things done) but they do NOT drive like that at all.  The driving is crazy…people are honking all the time and cars do not necessarily stay in their lanes.  Pretty much people just do not obey traffic laws at all.  So whenever we cram into a bus, I just have to remember to put all my confidence into the drivers who are used to this crazy driving and go with the flow.  We have had good luck with this so far, so I am keeping my fingers crossed!

At the end of the day Tuesday, we sat and prepared for the busy day of interviewing and filming we had ahead of us at Cien Fuegos yesterday…we were not entirely sure what to expect, but we prepared ourselves with questions for interviewing, made sure our batteries were charged, and got a good night’s sleep…

I think one of the hardest things for me upon first entering Cien Fuegos yesterday was the fact that at the same time we were placed right into the middle of this severely impovershed community, we were also working to set up the cameras and get ready to interview.  This was overwhelming.  I was SO focused on listening intently to and taking notes on every little thing each interviewee from Cien Fuegos was saying because I want this documentary to be as pure and real as possible.  But at the same time, I also wanted to take in every little thing I was personally observing and feeling about this community.  It was hard to find the balance between these extremes.  But as the day progressed, we got a little more comfortable with what we were doing as journalists.  We are indeed learning to balance this film making process with what we are experiencing as human beings from one country witnessing the struggles and successes of human beings from a comepletely different one. 

We got some great footage of some beautiful people.  People who work so hard day in and day out to instill HOPE for a brighter tomorrow into the hearts and minds of fellow community members.  This day made me realize ju