We will be working in a very different environment from what we are accustomed to. Although we have planned an itinerary of what you will do and where you will go, we are not able to predict all that you will see and experience. Therefore, we recommend that you become familiar with some of the issues surrounding poverty and development. All pod leaders will be offering an 10-week preparation program and you are urged to participate in these sessions. It’s a good idea to consult with social science teachers and faculty around you who have traveled to developing countries. During our trip, you will have many opportunities to discuss what we see and experience.
Check out some travel books on the Dominican Republic; there are many good ones out there. Check out as well websites on international development issues and those issues facing the Dominican Republic. A few good ones:
To enhance your experience and to facilitate greater communication, acquiring some basic Spanish is recommended. For some survival Spanish lessons on-line, check out www.studyspanish.com, www.spanishnewyork.com and www.vocabulix.com. For conversation practice (and fun!), check out your community for Spanish teachers or beginner courses.
Come prepared to work effectively with children. Gather ideas from camp counselors, teachers, librarians and websites. A few good ideas can be gathered from www.gameskidsplay.net and www.funattic.com to name a few.