#PCTImpact: Night Two Recap
We’re coming to the end of our first full day onboard fathom Adonia and getting closer to our destination – the Dominican Republic. Today was a day full of discovery, learning, interaction and stepping outside of our comfort zones.
We started the day with a hearty breakfast in the Pacific Restaurant. The specialty of the day was Eggs Benedict and it didn’t disappoint. Following breakfast, it was time for a series of activities designed to make our upcoming time on land more enjoyable and more impactful.
Our first session was a primer on teaching English to the local communities. During the school year, fathom passengers work one-on-one with children on their English skills. Since we’re traveling in the summer, we will visit a local community center and then be invited into a home in that area to work with around 10-12 people of varying ages. We learned about the lessons we’d be teaching and what the students have already studied. Our Impact Guide Gabe offered us tips on how to encourage everyone to participate and how to effectively teach English in this setting. Melissa and Michelle, the teachers in our group, both found the course materials to be of excellent quality and well thought out. Melissa added that the structure aligned with actual ESL curriculum standards found in US classrooms. It was clear to all of us that we weren’t just doing lip service – this would be real, quality teaching.
The next session of the day was our second meeting with our group’s Impact Guide, Paige. Today she focused on fathom – what is it, what are its goals and what are the principles for which it stands. We were asked to define “fathom” and each answer painted a different picture of our trip’s purpose. Some took the word to mean “depth” and therefore a “deep” impact in the community. Others offered that it might mean that right now we cannot “fathom” the impact we’ll both make and feel after working with the Dominicans. We also talked about empathy vs. sympathy and how the whole concept of fathom isn’t about simply throwing money at a problem or giving a society what WE think they need but rather listening to the community, observing and then helping them achieve a lasting prosperity.
Our third session (all before lunch!) was a basic course of Spanish words and phrases designed specifically to help us better communicate while on the ground. Impact Guide Ricardo was an excellent teacher and Chris even remarked that he learned more during that session than his whole year in high school Spanish.
Since today is the 4th of July, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to enjoy some wonderful barbecue – and Adonia didn’t disappoint us. The crew put together a lovely lido deck celebration including burgers, hot dogs and even some Dominican favorites accompanied by the music of the house band The Crave.
After lunch, it was back to “school” as we attended two more workshops designed to enhance our experience.
The first was “Social Innovation in Action” and focused on the work of Ashoka, an organization of global entrepreneurs focused on solving the world’s most pressing problems. Our group was presented with several real-world problems this Ashoka has faced and we worked on our own solutions. Then, we were shown videos of how the real entrepreneurs solved these issues. One innovative story was a company searching and disarming land mines using mine-sniffing rats. Yes, you read that correctly. Another innovator used fishermen to fight the problem of overfishing.
Our second afternoon session was “The Story of You.” This interactive seminar was designed to help us tell our own personal story with the goal of making us better storytellers so we can ultimately share this week’s experiences with others. Hopefully these blog posts will benefit from some of the tips we gleaned from this session.
Dinner was again in the Pacific Restaurant and was just as good as the first night.
After dinner, some of us decided to participate in the “Wine and Paint” session. It was a lot of fun, even if our paintings looked nothing like the picture we were trying to duplicate.
This is a good time to mention that The Today Show is onboard the ship filming for a segment that will air on Sunday morning on NBC. They filmed a lot of our class – watch for us and more about fathom and this cruise this weekend on Today.
We ended the night by attending the 4th of July celebration in the Crow’s Nest.
Tomorrow morning we have some last-minute classroom activities before arriving at Amber Cove around noon. The afternoon will see us embark on our first impact activity – Community English teaching.
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