Today (12/6) I went on an epic hike to the river Sumbi with my host brothers Acxel (12) and Hansel (11). I had a “wow I’m old” moment trying to keep up with them. We started out going DOWN a dirt path that was pretty steep. Then it turned into climbing rocks through the underbrush of the mountains. We finally got to the “river” which was more like a creek with a small waterfall and a swimming hole. I had another “wow I’m old” moment while we were swimming and I was concerned about them diving off the ledge and hitting the rocks below. We hung out until the sun went behind the clouds and it got cold. Then was the climb back to the house. Needless to say I will sleep well tonight.
Yesterday I had a meeting planned to discuss my English course. The meeting was set for 2pm. I made the trek to the high school and was there by 1:45. No one showed up until 3:15. This is pretty typical “hora Dominicana” but I tried to make it clear that class was going to run on “hora Americana” from then on. As of now I will be holding two courses; Sunday from 9-12 for beginners and from 3-5 for the more “advanced” students. I also have finally started a volleyball team. We have yet to practice with the net but since the only experience with volleyball I have consists of summers at Bethany, we are starting off slow until our forearms get used to playing. I have a meeting with Adele, my supervisor and my project partners on Wednesday to discuss my community diagnostic.
Other than that things are going well. Thanksgiving in the capital was a lot of fun but the pumpkin pie just wasn’t the same. We went to the country club where there were lots of sports games like basketball, soccer and an IM relay. I swam the breaststroke for the “freshman” team. (We are the newest in country volunteers). We won our first heat but lost in the finals. Not bad since I haven’t swam competitively since high school and considering it was after the huge Thanksgiving lunch! (And the fact that Bambi showed up the night before ;-) ) I have received more marriage/novio proposals and because of this, half the men in my campo now think I have a husband somewhere who is going to come live with me. If anyone has a solution to this problem I’m all ears. My community also thinks I’m a “tigra” (in Dominican “tigres” are gangsters/thugs) because of my card shuffling skills and magic tricks.
Adele’s visit went well. She brought me some packages from the capital from Elana and Meg. THANKS!! We discussed my diagnostic and she checked out the house that I want to move to in January and talked to the owner and told him what he needed to fix before I move in. Friday I went to the capital with Iris my project partner for her birthday, where we stayed with her two older brothers. One of the brother’s took me for a SAT in his supped-up Honda. It was nice to be in a real car for once but he kept driving me to all the colmados and calling me his future wife. We made some brownies for Iris and I went back home.
I had my first English class. I gave a test to see which levels everyone should be in. Once again half the people showed up an hour late. But since I had a book to read I didn’t mind. Only six people of about 25 will be in my “advanced” class.
This weekend (12/17) is the Christmas party at Romeo’s condo in the capital. There are lots of celebrations planned for Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) in the campo. Christmas Day isn’t really celebrated. I’m sure it’s going to be weird not being at home.