Happy Bebe You You!


I hope this blog reaches you all enjoying the holiday season. I celebrated my first warm Thanksgiving last week in the capital with all the other volunteers in country. We rented out a country club and had a massive pool party, typical American Thanksgiving dinner, and quite the entertaining talent show. I even won a few pesos in a poker tournament (oops, can I say that?)

Yesterday was my birthday, and it was a smashing success. I invited all of my friends in the community, and we had quite the turnout. Everyone pitched in and decorated my house with balloons, ribbons, and even bought me a beautiful cake. Another volunteer, Shilpa, and myself made banana bread and guacamole. It was the first time many had ever tried both, and they were a big hit. Thanks to everyone who attempted to call me and for those who wrote on my facebook. I felt very loved!

Dominicans like to sing Happy Birthday in english… but instead they sing Happy Bebe You You. I´m not really sure if they know it´s incorrect. Ha!

I was talking with my mom on the phone today, and she brought something up that I wanted to clear up.. I am not on vacation. Yes, I must admit that some days I do absolutely nothing, but let me explain how doing nothing is doing something. Volunteers work very hard. They accomplish many things in their service. Right now, I´m in my ¨project planning¨ phase. I´m doing different tasks to complete my community diagnostic, and with that I will plan out my projects. Right now, I´m making a map of the community and conducting interviews. I don´t work 9 to 5. I don´t have an office. Some days, I wake up late, clean my room, wash my dog, eat lunch, walk around, cut yuka, eat cacao, and go to bed after I play my guitar. But at this point, adjusting and integrating myself into the community is part of my goal in the first three months. Yesterday I had a birthday party and a lot of people came… people that I´ve gotten to know in just this one month. Just making friends is work. I´m integrating, I´m learning Spanish, I´m adjusting- work. There are some volunteers who are proficient in Spanish and have started a few projects like teaching english or whatnot.  But that´s totally the decision of each volunteer whether they want to do their diagnostic and juggle a small project at the same time. Hey, I made business cards this week for my artisans. That´s something!

My mom also wanted me to write about a few Dominican habits I´ve picked up. The first one, and my favorite, is the ¨lip point.¨ Dominicans usually don´t point with their fingers, they point with their lips. Pucker up in one direction, and that´s pointing. Another one that I have just started is the nose scrunch. If someone wants to ask ¨what?¨ ¨they simply scrunch their nose for a moment. My project partner kept doing it to me and I would scrunch my nose right back in confusion. She was asking me what? with her face and I was responding verbally with what? because I didn´t understand her facial expression. I get it now.  Another one would be the hissing. Psssttt-ing and Tssss-ing is mostly heard when a man is trying to get a woman´s attention. I get those alot, almost every day. But, they can also be used to get anyone´s attention. Saying psssst works a lot better in a crowded colmado than saying Hey! I love the psssst (but not from men.)

Life here is going well. After my first initial shock of being placed in my community all by myself, I found the strength to pull myself together and start working. I must admit, the first week or two is this huge reality check, and I practically cried every night. You ask yourself, ¨What am I doing here? Who am I going to talk to? Why did I leave my life behind for this? How do I do my projects? What if nothing works out?¨ Through talking with other volunteers, I quickly learned it was a shared feeling, and once I made friends and started working and planning, the feeling passed. It´s still hard to be away from those you love, but after spending time with my community, I feel a bit more at home.

Did I mention in my last blog that I almost stepped on a gigantic tarantula? Ew.

My doña loves my dog and it´s so cute! I mentioned that I wanted Ani to wear a bandana on my birthday, and my doña went all out making her THREE dresses and a pink bow! Ani was quite the hit at the part in her pretty dress and bow. I love her, she loves me. I´m teaching her to sit. She´s bilingual, you know. She is learning ¨sit¨ in english, but knows ¨come¨ in spanish. I verbally compliment her in english, but for the most part she hears spanish. Pretty neat, eh?

Wanna send me something? How about a mountain dew or some parmasean cheese? Hahaha, just kidding. (I´m not kidding.)

Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized

One Comment on “Happy Bebe You You!”

  1. chelsyalbertson Says:

    you know that if anyone is gonna send you parmesan cheese….it’s gonna be me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: