Archive for January 2010

Diagnostic- DONE!

January 29, 2010

I´ve officially finished my first three months of service. My diagnostic report is finished and my presentation is ready to go! On Monday, I´m going to the capital with my project partner Jorge to present the diagnostic, and will be staying the week to learn about project planning and other fun schtuff.

Right now I´m sitting underneath the giant enramada style cafeteria at the school. It´s a beautiful day, warm but breezy in the shade. The school sits back away from the community, surrounded by trees and hills. I would like to say I´m peacefully enjoying this slice of paradise, however…

The students at the school have sports tournaments during the school day. Our school´s baseball team just arrived and are really roudy cause they won their game. The cafeteria was empty, but now it´s filled with about 30 boys age 15-18 and one gringa (me) so you can only imagine what went down. Immediately they crowd in line to eat and while waiting, all I hear is ¨Tss… Sarah! Was yo name?¨ (They´re not so good at english pronunciation.) One boy says ¨Sarah, I love you  baby,¨ then blows me a kiss. Another says about his friend ¨El quiere casar contigo,¨ which means ´he wants to marry you.´ Eventually they all sit dwn at a long table, and after a while I hear them calling my name again. I look up and the ENTIRE table of boys is looking at me, including my host brother (we´re buds). I have my ipod earbuds in, but I can clearly still hear them. So to avoid another ridiculous comment, I give them all this look like I can´t hear you.  Then they start yelling me to take out my earbuds, but I continue to give them the ¨I can´t hear you¨ gesture while smiling, so they know I clearly can, which gets them all going louder. Sarah! Sarah! Quitalo!  I looked back down at my computer and held up my finger to give them the Dominican finger-wag which means no. It always works. They laughed and went back to eating.

Today I passed by the tobacco fields, and they´re beautiful. The tobacco plants are about 2  feet tall, and every single one of them is tied to a white string that connects to the protective netting above. This way they grow straight up and don´t fall over. The earth underneath is a rich brown, and the netting above is white. Just imagine a huge field full of green plants and thousands and thousands of strings attached. It´s really quite interesting. I´ll try posting a picture of it on facebook.

Christmas and New Years were great. I spent time swimming in the river, going to the waterfalls, and celebrating New Years with fireworks on the beach. Can´t blaim me for not working those few weeks. Nobody works during those weeks.

This Sunday kicks off the Carnaval festival in the DR. It´s an annual festival celebrated in different regions, and here in Bonao is the second largest Carnaval. Every weekend for the month of February there´s a parade in Bonao. The costumes are really colorful and dramatic, often scary masks with demonic iconry. This Sunday, however, is just a march for promotion, I suppose. I´m walking with a group of people from Cigar Family wearing shirts that displays our school. Tomorrow we´re having a party in the community as well, and the money from the tickets sold will go towards this years Carnaval events. Once I figure out more what Carnaval really is, I´ll explain more.

Well, I´m about to get mopped over. Stayed tuned for more!