PCV Visit

Trip Start Feb 2007
Trip End Apr 2009

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Flag of Dominican Republic  ,
Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Whooftah!  There is so much to write and am not sure where to begin.  Well, we all went on our volunteer site visits last week, and I had an awesome experience(and not everyone did, so I'm really thankful that I had a good person).  But the girl I went to see is also in Spec. and Basic Ed, and she is in my exact same group, but just came a year before me, so last Feb.  She lives in San Jose de las Matas, which is in the mountains and is completely beautiful.  I loved it, and it was cooler there, too, which was a nice break as it is now entering "summer" time here and it's a little hotter, mid 80's now instead of low 80's, which feels like a big jump for some reason!  So yeah, I spent 3 1/2 days with her, going to her school, seeing what she does on a day to day basis, asked her a million questions about what to expect,and about everything.  It was great....she is an amazingly hard worker and is so dedicated to her site and her projects.  She is also just a very positive, enthusiastic person, which was just good to see someone in such high spirits after a year here, because it can be stressful and discouraging...so it was good for me to see!  She still lives with her host family, which most people do not do here, so that was interesting to see why she does and the benefits of it.  I still haven't decided if I will live on my own or with a family, but I am going to wait to see how I feel once I get to my site and figure it out then.  But she is very much integrated into her community, and they all love her...she gets at least 100 hugs a day just from the kids at her school, and they are just yelling her name whenever she is on the street because they want her to come to their houses, chat, eat, whatever.  People here are just very loving and sharing of whatever they have and want you to be a part of their lives, which I love and am looking forward to getting to my permanent site!  We got to go dancing on Saturday, which is always an experience for me, because you all know that I have little abilities with this, but I am really trying and am slowly getting better!  You just can't get through a day here without dancing it seems, and I have never seen guys who are so into it...they LOVE to dance.  The main dances here are the merengue and the bachata; I like the merengue more because it's simpler, and I don't step on the guy's feet every other second. 

So I think in my awful Spanish, I arranged for a triple date somehow.  I still don't really know what I said or how it was interpreted, but here is what happened.  My friend Jen and I were saying how we wanted to go play pool sometime because there is a place right up the street from where we live.  So I told my host sister this one day.  That night, I am doing my Spanish homework at the table and my sister comes in with three guys, one who is her boyfriend.  She tells me that we are all going to play pool and that I need to go get Jen.  So, ok, not a big deal, right?  And then we all get together, and it's pretty clear that Jen and I have dates for the night and have been assigned to one of the guys.  It was hilarious...Jen and I were like, hmm...we're pretty sure this is a date 'cause guys and girls don't just hang out here...they are never just friends.  It all ended up being ok; we just played pool, which i guess girls don't do here...all the girls were just sitting watching their guys play.  So we felt a little awkward, but I just think it's ridiculous to just watch "your guy" play pool.  We each had our own table, and Jen and I didn't even get to play together as we were at a table with "our dates".  So awkward.  Then Jen had to go home, but everyone else came back to my house, and my sister and her boyfriend went on the deck, and I was just sitting there with these guys, and my spanish is not so good!  But I got my dictionary and tried to have a somewhat intelligent conversation.  One of the guys is going to med school to be a cardiologist, so it was pretty interesting talking to him.  But they probably felt like they were talking to a three year old the way I was trying to get across my thoughts and ideas! 
On Thursday, we get to leave for our next training site and will spend the next 5 weeks there.  There are seven of us in the Spec. Ed. group, and they are so great.  It's all girls, and we are looking forward to training and hanging out together.  We will be on the coast, Sebana de la Mar, and it's one of the top two places to go whale watching, which is in season right now.  So I really want to go!  It'll be nice to get out of the city.  We will also be in the schools for half of the day, so I'm looking forward to that and trying to figure out the kinds of things I will be doing. 
In 5 or 6 weeks, we get our cell phones!!  This is a pretty exciting event for us because we get free incoming calls and text messages, so I expect to be talking and texting to you all soon!  It's still kind of expensive for us to call the states, but texting is pretty cheap, so I can at least do that.  I will give you my number when I get it, maybe in a mass email 'cause I'm not sure how safe it is to just post it on a public site? 
But that's the news for now!  Is the snow melting yet?  It's March...and should be Spring!!  So weird to think about you guys having snow and cold.  I hope it warms up quickly. I am really trying to get some pictures posted up on this, but it's a difficult process right now with public computers and such, but I am trying to figure it out.  Adios!   

PS, here is a link to my friendīs travel blog site...she can be better about telling stories that we all do, so it might be fun to look at her page.  www.jenfoora.blogspot.com.
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