Home Sweet… Tarantula?!

About two weeks ago, I moved into my new house. It´s right around the corner from my Doña´s house, with orange and white concrete and a zinc roof, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, living room, dining room, and kitchen. I have more than enough space, but I chose the house because of its location and it´s security. All the windows are barred and there´s a gate in the front. I´ve been very happy here so far. In my first three months of service, I slept a lot… I mean a lot. The lack of schedule and constant Spanish overload made me tired all the time. But when I slept all the time, that just made me feel useless which sometimes got me down. Well I´m over that 3-month-hump now and am proud to say that I get up before 9 o´clock every day and have been skipping my usual afternoon nap. I have to admit that part of the reason I´m getting up earlier is I´m afraid Ani will get restless and pee on my clothes. However, she´s been pretty good about notifying me when it´s time to do her business. Plus, I do have more responsibilities now.

The other night I found a GIGANTIC tarantula on the wall in the kitchen. I about passed out, but I gathered myself and ran to Maria´s house with Ani and mandar-ed the boys to kill it. That night I also came face to face with a rat. I´ll have to mandar someone to get poison. I woke up and found rat poop on some of my clothes! Argh.. But all in all, for a home in the DR, it´s going great.

Having a home in the central of the country definitely has its benefits. Here in Caribe, where some call it a magical micro-climate because we have palm trees AND pine trees growing together, the earth is rich and fertile. In my ¨backyard¨ I have an abundance of cacao, coconuts, three types of oranges (for eating, making juice, and seasoning meat,) cilantro, eggplant, some sort of melon, avocado, guandules, pan de fruta (a seed from a pod that grows on a tree… you boil it and eat it,) platano, and guineo (bananas.) CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!

Saturday marked my 6 months of being here. 6 months down, 21 more to go.

I am proud to say that I have started a project. My women´s group is making Mistolin, a disinfectant product, and I´m very excited for our opportunities for success. The Cigar Family Foundation School uses Mistolin, as does todo el mundo, and I gave a sample for them to try our product. If they choose to buy from us, that´s a big client! Basically we buy the chemicals in the capital, make the product in bulk, and sell it for cheaper than the brand name stuff. Dominicans are mainly concerned if it smells good, and trust me… it smells gooood. I came up with three name and slogan ideas and had the women vote on them. The end result: Caribe Clean, ¡Fresco al Fin! (Fresh at Last.)  I realize Clean is in English, but I chose it because it rhymes with Fin, and it makes for alliteration. It also includes the name of our community.  Everyone loves it, that´s enough for me. I designed a label for the product, and the administrator of CFICF is going to get stickers made for us to put on our product… for free!  Gracias a Dios.

Enough for now. I have to get ready for a women´s group meeting. Hope everyone is staying warm in the Midwest. If you´re looking to warm up, go eat a hot meal at Olive Garden East Washington Street, and make sure to tip your server well!

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