Back in the Saddle

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

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Flag of Dominican Republic  ,
Saturday, August 25, 2007

Hi All!
  How is everyone?  Hope all are doing well and enjoying summer as it winds down.  I am back in the DR after an awesome two week trip home for Clare's wedding.  It was so great to catch up with friends and family, and of course the wedding was beautiful and heartfelt.  We had such a good time celebrating with Clare and Andrew, and they did such a good job with all of the planning, decorating, etc.  Other than wedding stuff, I had some time to buy some new clothes, snacks, and gifts for my host family.  Now my refrigerator is stocked with wasabi mayonnaise, pesto, cherry jam, trail mix, and lots of other little things that are unavilable in the DR.  I also got to see Abby's baby (adorable) and Katherine's new house (so cute).  All of these exciting things are going on stateside, and it was nice to catch up and not feel like I am missing out on all of the events in my friends' lives.  I am headed back for a long weekend in September for Sarah's wedding, then Mom and Dad are down here for a visit in October, so I have lots more things to look forward to.
  Back here things are going well.  My water filters got delivered a few days after I got to my site and we have been busy distributing and installing them.  Each one weighs a couple hundred pounds, and also comes with a huge sack of sand, so they are pretty difficult to move, especially given that almost no one has vehicles and we are relying on manpower, mules, etc.  I also finally ordered my stove pieces from the artesan who makes them and they should be ready in September.  I got to see the workshop where they are made and it is pretty cool.  They throw all the pieces by hand on a foot-powered pottery wheel, and then they are dried and fired.  I am gearing back up for English classes and youth group after a summer break.  I am thinking of changing the format and instead of giving a bunch of English classes and having a separate youth group, I want to form a girls' group and a boys' group, kind of like Scouts, where they do art and nature activities and also incorporate some English lessons and vocabulary.  I think it would be more fun for them and easier to streamline for me, since I am going to be busy pretty much every day from here on out building stoves.  It is really starting to hit me how little time I have left, now it is less than 8 months! 
  I posted a few new pictures on my Flickr site and will get some wedding pictures up soon for anyone who is interested to check them out.  A big thanks to everyone who supported my projects by purchasing rice sack bags and donating money to buy books.  Your help is greatly appreciated and the women in my mothers group were so excited!  Thanks again.  Take care all, and I hope to see some of you in September!

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