Trip Start Feb 2007
Trip End Apr 2009

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Flag of Dominican Republic  ,
Wednesday, February 21, 2007

So, today our training was all about how to use the public transportation here; the buses, public cars, and taxis.  I don't know how to do justice to how unbelievably crazy the traffic is here.  Like, there are three lanes on the big highway, but there are really six or seven.  People just do whatever they want, and it's a little scary, ok, it's really scary(but it's ok mom and dad :) ).  The buses and public cars are so funny, and I'll try to post pictures; there are always AT LEAST 7 people in a car, a normal like Toyota or whatever, it's like a clown car...and buses, I don't even know, like if you can move, you have a lot of space.  It's just insane, and there is no organization or routes; you just have to know where you are going and what kind of car to look for and stuff.  I'm getting used to it, but I am definitely praying a lot when I'm on the streets! So today we went into the city so we could get use to all of this and then explore everything.  It was so great.  We saw the Peace Corps office and the hospital where we have to go if anything happens, which is really nice, or "as good as it gets here".  the PC office is great to, people enjoy being able to come to the capitol and hang out there for a few days to rest and what not.  Then we went to the "Colonial" part of the city, where Columbus first arrived and all that, and all the buildings are so old and beautiful.  We saw the first church in the New World; it's like 500 years old and is awesome.  We went to this old fort/castle and went inside and toured everything, and went to a museum of amber and the other natural things they have here.  I love all the amber jewelery and need to buy some sometime.  Then we went to like the heart of all this where all the shops and places to eat are, which was fun...did some shopping, which mom you would love, everything is $1 or less, well most things.  "Dollar Stores" everywhere ;)  Then, the best part of the day....we ate at Pizza Hut.  I know we've only been here a week, but we were craving pizza so bad, it was ridiculous.  I don't even like Pizza Hut that much, but this pizza was so good, maybe I just missed it that much.  I brought the extra home for my kids, which they thought was the best thing to ever happen.  I'm not above bribing :)  I do know that I don't want to be in the city for my permanent site; it's just not for me.  There are SO many people, a lot of traffic, which means a lot of pollution, trash, and it's just not my first choice.  I'll be in a bigger town for sure, if not a city, so I'll get used to whatever, but I would prefer to be somewhere a little smaller. 
Next week, I am going to visit another Peace Corps Volunteer, who is in Special Education, also.  She lives about 2 hours north of the the Capitol, in the mountains.  It's a cooler region, so that will be nice.  The temp has been really good so far; it's not the crazy humid time of the year and when it's mid 70's here, everyone is freezing.  I even wore my sweatshirt the other night, so I felt a little wussy, but you just get used to it being 80's and everything else is freezing :)  But I will have to get to her site by myself and figure everything out, so I'm a little nervous about it, but it will be a good test of my Spanish and transportation abilities.  I'll spend 3.5 days with her, so I'm really looking forward to the visit.  Then the next week, we leave for our other training site, which is on the beach....yay!  We will be there for 5 weeks, and then we will come back to the Capitol for the last three weeks.   
Ok, thanks for all the emails!  It's so nice to hear from people, seriously.  Oh, I have also been told that if people want to call me here they should look into Skype.  It's an internet thing, and it's free to download.  To call the Dominican is like .11 cents, which is pretty good, and it's free to call computer to computer.  I don't know if calling cards are a better price than that, so whatever works the best. Calls are great, so good to hear people's voices.  I'm trying to get stamps, which is more of a process than I thought, but I will start mailing letters and stuff, so let me know if it ever gets there.  I think it's like 3 weeks to get to the US.  And packages, I do not expect for you guys to send me packages, really, but if you do, they say to send it in a padded envelope, like a manila one or whatever.  Or else the tax for us to receive a big package is too much or people open it or it's just not good...so padded envelopes are the way to go.  I don't need rat poison yet! :)  But I have been killing my fair share of cockroaches in the middle of the night when I go to the bathroom!  Quick note, there is a rooster that is at the house right next to mine....Ok, so this rooster has some issues.  He crows ALL night long.  I can usually sleep through that cause I am so tired, but he always wakes me up at like 4 am.  I hate him, and am trying to figure out how to get him to the chicken plant very soon. I would have never guessed that my biggest complaint would be a stinkin rooster! 
Ok, that's my venting for the day :)  I'll try to post pictures next time.  Take care, guys.  Hasta luego.... 
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