lunes, 16 de noviembre de 2009

Now I'm Back

Hello Everyone!!!!

Sorry it has been so long since my last update, but my life in this country has been starting up. I have not had internet in the past couple of weeks, more to come on that later.

I swore in as a volunteer on the 28th of October. It was a sweet ceremony at our training center, I'll post some pictures soon. My buddy Bob and I were voted by our group to give our speech at our 'graduation' it was in Spanish and hilarious. Look for it on YouTube soon. We had a day off then on Friday the 30th of October we were off to our sites. It's been an awesome two weeks, but I'm glad to be out in the city again.

I am currently in the city of Santiago. The heart of the Cibao, which is the fertile valley that lies in the middle of the DR. It's about two hours from my site and another two hours from the capital.

This is my first official blog post, I hope that I can keep them consistent. We will see. There is no reliable interent within 2 hours of my site. The beginning has been awesome, although, very slow. I've already read 6 books since arriving to my site, but my work starts this week, but I'm pretty sure I'll keep doing a lot of reading. So if you have any good suggestions, let me know. I'll try to find the books here.

Well, I'll start by describing my campo a little bit, it's the smallest kinda of community here in the DR. Mine is called Puerto Juanita and it is in the province of Monte Cristi, in the North West of the country. I am about a 45 minute motocycle ride from the nearest paved road. It has a population of about 250 and about 60 houses. It's a 3KM trek to the nearest place where I have cell phone reception. I run there just about everyday. I'm trying to stay in shape. I've heard of a mythical internet center in a community 40 minues away, but when I went the other day the interweb was down and there was no power, per usual. Ummm, if you want my phone numbers they are on my fbook. My donas phone is a 'land-line' and you can call anytime, no country code needed, just dial one.

My job here is going to consist improving community health through prevention and education. I have a couple of courses I will be giving to mothers, teens and the whole community. My community is pretty poor but they do a lot of fishing and crabbing. I am partnered with an NGO that is helping with agricultural education. They are going to be starting next week.

I live with a host family now. They are pretty awesome. There are 7 people in the house. My don and dona, Benita and Antonio, their son Mingo and his wife Edith, their grand daughter Marielena and two kids from the community they took in as their own, Jose and Anadeisi. They house is pretty nice for a campo, and I have my own room to the side of the house with a queen bed and a sweet mosquitero. I'll let you guys know their phone number on my fbook so you can call me when you want!

I've been reading a shit ton, going running everyday and eating a lot of viveres. SO, people here for breakfast or dinner eat boiled green bananas or plantains or other types of banana type fruit that are green. Or yucca or potatoes. The food is ok, it's getting better, rice and beans with meat for lunch and some veggies. I can handle the food, but when I get rice, beans and spaggheti for lunch, I'm a bit over loaded. But I miss tacos like i never thought I would.

Well, I'm about 30 minutes from two beautiful beaches, with white sand, palm trees, fried fish, cold beer and blue waters. And Dominicans like Mexicans love to swim in all of their clothes. They will put ON a shirt to go in the ocean. I don't understand. SO needless to say I feel right at home when I'm at the beach here, just like California. We also have beautiful mountains and I have a few friends that work for eco-tourism projects here athat have really sweet set ups and can probably hook me up with a deal if you decided to come visit.

The mosquitos here are NON STOP. They LOVE me. I'm hoping not to get Malaria or Dengue. But about 10 volunteers have already gotten dengue, so I'm not so safe. SO yeah, i hate mosquitos.

I have been loving my experience so far. Lots of awesome people in my training group and in country. The island is relatively small, so travelling to see one another is a definite possibility. And with Thanksgiving coming up we are all giong to be flocking to the capital for a volunteer thanksgiving at a country club where we will eat lots of food, have sports tournaments, talent show, and lots of dancing. I'm going to be in the talent show but I"m not going to spill my talent just yet, some of my partners here may be reading. I'm keeping it under wraps.

Don't feel shy to email me. I love hearing from all of my frieends and family back home. I miss you all. I am loving this island but I miss my island that is California very much.

I'll write more next time I"m in a big town, i hope.



jueves, 27 de agosto de 2009

Playing some ball

Gonna go play some basketball with some Dominican folks I met a few days ago. It´s kinda hot and muggy, but I¨m loving it. Atleast I have a shower.

I will write more later and post some pictures!


domingo, 23 de agosto de 2009

Hot Rain and Loud Noises


Greetings from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. It is awesome here. It was quite the journey from Southern California to Santo Domingo, but it has been well worth it.

The weather has been spectacular (I have not stopped sweating since I arrived), the people are spectacular (My host momma Ramona and my training group and trainers), the food is great (Yucca and plantains are delicious), and it is very, very loud (which of course, José loves).

Here is a little low'down on the island the peace corps here. As soon as we got here the Country Director (CD) Romeo Massey told us that we have the best peace corps assignment in the world. It is a very small island with great weather, beaches, and people. Since the island is so small the furthest assignment is maybe a 5 hour bus ride from the capital where many of the volunteers take time off to meet and go off on other excursions. They encourage people to come visit in order to take some of the culture of the island back to the states and leave some of their own culture here for the Dominicans to enjoy. YOu work very closely with other volunteers, we have a huge thanksgiving celebration in the capital where we cook a traditional thanksgiving dinner with all volunteers in country. We go out for 4th of july and all that good stuff. A couple of volunteers came to talk to us yesterday and they seemed to be having a BLAST. in their training class, 41 out of 52 stayed for the whole duration of service. Which makes me very excited.

I arrived on Thursday and started training and getting shots right away. I miss everyone from the US but there is just so much going on here. Yesterday was my first big thunderstorm which I throroughly enjoyed with my new buddy Cameron, from Arizona, Ryan, from near Temecula, and my host brother Gabriel, who is super rad, 11 and loves to dance andplay guitar. We then played a game of wiffle ball with our other American friend, Dean, who is training with us, in the rain. It was awesome. ONly day two, and I´m already playing some ball. STOKED.

Training seems like it is going to be quite intense, but I hope that I will be able to make some time to write some e'mails and keep my facebook updated for now. It about 3 weeks I am off to community based training where I go into a rural community and train for my particular job. Being able to speak Spanish has been a HUGE advantage. There are some people here who do not speak any spanish, but we have 5 hours of Spanish lessons a day and we all live with host families, apparently most people pick it up pretty quickly, but the dominicans speak super fast.

More will come later, I´ve only been here four days and it is still very hot and humid. but I´m LOVING it. I think it will only grow. I will post more later.

With lots of love,