Today may have been our day off, but that doesn't mean we were any less active. A late breakfast at the buffet set up by the hotel was a good start. Pool time lasted for almost four hours. It felt so good to just relax and discuss the work we had accomplished the past couple of days. We made friends at the pool including a Rotarian who came to the Dominican Republic from Virginia.

We discussed several ideas for next year's trip. One suggestion was to expand the library for the students. Joel Kopke, our District 7640

Interact Chairman, says that we already have a retiree who is handy with carpentry and a donation of thousands of books. Another plan has us considering a need that just arose with the orphanage's kitchen.

More than half of the gas burners were inoperable and need to be

replaced.

We also discovered that both freezers at the orphanage were broken.

This issue prevents the Sisters, who run the orphanage, from

purchasing large quantities of meat at a discount. The orphanage can't afford to be wasteful with the funds. Knowing this, we plan to discuss this with one of the Rotary Clubs in our district and the District Interact Committee to replace them.

In the late afternoon we drove 30 minutes east along the coast to Boca Chica where we once again enjoyed the warm water. The beach was like a little village with shops lining the street and beach area. Once we sat down we found little peace as locals came at us all at once with items to buy. It was a little intimidating, but we managed to bargain with several of the merchants and get a good deal on bracelets and necklaces. After several hours we returned to the hotel where we plan to eat dinner and chat about the week.

Tomorrow it's back to Vineland and Galloway for us. I look forward to

sharing my experience with everyone back home as well as with our

Interact Club. We plan to encourage even more Interactors to join us on this trip next year. The more students we have, the more we can accomplish.

Tomorrow's blog will be my last, and I have asked each member of the trip to share their most memorable experience. Thanks for this

opportunity.

Stephanie