A funeral, a cockfight, and a little reggaeton

Trip Start Feb 14, 2006
Trip End Apr 06, 2008

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Flag of Dominican Republic  ,
Saturday, February 24, 2007

Hello All,
  Well, here I am in the capital again, trying to get some work done.  I always come here with a big list of things to do, errands to run, etc, but somehow I never quite manage to get it all checked off my list.  My main reason for coming down was to bring Stella to get spayed.  She went into heat a few weeks ago (who knew it could happen at 6 months?) and I have had to keep her under lock and key to keep the male dogs away.  And given the fact that she is the only female dog in my community, they were howling outside of my door.  This situation was of course making us both miserable, because she is used to a lot of freedom and consequently tried to run every time I so much as opened the front door a crack.  So, the puppy is at the vet and if all goes well I will pick her up on Wednesday.
  In the last few weeks I have had some interesting "cultural exchange" experiences that I will share with you all.  Last week I went to my first Dominican funeral, which was interesting.  I went with my host dad because he was going to take me to town to buy some stuff for my house, and we had to stop by the funeral in another community to "cumplir" which translated to "complete."  When someone dies, everyone who is even remotely connected to that person is expected to go to the wake, the funeral, and/or various prayer services in the week following the funeral.  And considering that these communities are small and everyone is family in some way or another, that means that when someone dies you must go and show your respect and support for the family. 

  Ahhhhh!!!!!!  I am so annoyed.  I started this entry the other day and then yesterday I came back to finish it.  After typing away for half an hour, I tried to post it to the blog and it didn't work!!  So now I lost everything I wrote yesterday and I have to leave to catch a bus and I don't have time to rewrite it all.  So let me summarize . . .
Funeral - Doņas crying hysterically, casket in the living room, totally awkward for the gringa who didn't even know the deceased.

Cockfight -  Roosters getting their eyes pecked out and eventually fighting to the death, betting on the fights, dancing and drinking in between fights.  Cruel to animals??  Maybe.  Part of the culture?  Definitely.

Reggaeton - Valentine's day at the local watering hole.  Six year olds at the discotech practicing their semmi-inappropriate shimmying and shaking moves they learned from MTV en espaņol, parents looking on bopping their heads to the music, and everyone clapping when they finish.

So, that is the brief synopsis of my lovely long blog entry that got erased due to unreliable internet service.  Hope everyone is doing well.  Miss you all and can't wait to come home in June for Katherine's wedding!

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