When you accidentally say you want to be purple in Spanish it is guaranteed that comment will never be forgotten… My whimsical desire to change colours has now become the impossible of becoming the same colour as barney the dinosaur. Fan-freaking-tastic. I have a feeling that my friends are going to make fun of me for wanting to be purple every single time I walk purposely walk into sunny areas- which is often, because I have a long term plan of being super tan. I will commence this when I finally go to the beach.. which should be soon because I keep bothering my one friend about going to the ocean. Dominicans just don’t get how intertwined my soul is with the ocean. And everyone here thinks I’m kind of insane for the sea.. partly true.
In the morning was the first meeting for Club Infantil, a kids program on Saturdays at 10 am. Right before the program started I was eating a breakfast sandwhich when I got a massive amount mayonnaise on my shirt. You know you’re a smooth person when you get mayonnaise on yourself before 10 am. That was pretty super… After I tried scrubbing off the condiments from my shirt and failed miserably I found out on Saturdays I will be teaching English in the morning. That is kind of exciting but the idea of teaching is terrifying.
In the afternoon the group of people from Canada and the youth group at the church met together to play sports. We sat in a big circle around the sanctuary and I was on the side with everyone from Dominican and the exchange was hilarious for me. Because the people from Canada would be need to ask the Dominicans a question and vice versa- and it was so funny because it was my old culture and my new culture coming together and I thought it was humours.
We then walked over to the other church with a large area to play basket ball, most of the time I just talked to people and tried to force my Spanish friends to speak in English with the gringos from Canada. (I feel like I am allowed to refer to white people as gringos because I am one… and I think it’s funny ) When los gringos had to leave the one girl saw me there hitting the volleyball around and was confused about why I was still there. Everyone that knew I was going to be in Dominican for 3 months laughed and said “she’s the gringa dominicana!” I was very satisfied with how that moment played out.
In the evening my friend drove me back home to my house on his motorcycle, which is something that will never get old. At my casa I was greeted with the typical supper of hot chocolate with bread that you dip in the hot chocolate. It’s gross, I can’t understand it, the hot chocolate and bread are good separately but when you put them together you get soggy bread and little chunks of bread floating in your hot chocolate. It’s a socially accepted idea of crotons for hot chocolate- and coffee. And the coffee is served in tiny cups that are the size of shot glasses. I strongly advise against trying this.
Today at school in the morning I hung out with my friends practicing English and Spanish together- this is very typical of my mornings at the school. As I study Spanish people always come over and help me with words or we get side tracked and start practicing English or talk about random things. This happened that particular Friday, my dear friend at the school, is someone I feel that I can confide in and I was feeling particularly distressed about being white that morning.
In the Dominican culture beauty standards are modeled after white girls with straight hair. Almost everyone here spends so much time flattening their natural gorgeous hair (the hair I covet most). So many people have such straight here that I almost feel like I need to straighten mine because my hair is curly. Being here I would ideally like to fly under the radar when I’m walking on the street or going to school on a motorcycle. Instead, I feel like I am a massive white bull’s eye that gets hissed at only because of my colour and often I’m lumped together with the idea of North American riches.
Following that conversation, one of the Dominican translators for the group of people from Canada came into the office and started asking me questions about my relationship status. He then continued to tell me that it is my divine plan to find a man in Dominican and God could use that to serve him.. blah blah blah. I’m not sure if he was just trying to be nice (latino culture is full of people destined to be match makers) or ya no… I’m not sure but it made me really uncomfortable. But my friend I had just talked to, shot him down in Spanish so fast I couldn’t even process what had happened. At that moment I was just so happy and amused by the situation, thinking to myself “So that’s what rejection sounds like in Spanish.. good to know.”
Friday was Duarte’s Day (Juan Pablo Duarte was a founding father in Dominican Republic, he helped fiancé the War of Independence against Haiti)
Hundreds of children pilled into the sanctuary of the church and each grade went to the stage and did a short presentation. Many acronyms were used to describe and why there is a holiday (on Monday) for Juan Pablo Duarte. It was very long. Coming out of there, I understood why my friends from Dominican did not want to watch the presentation. I could just imagine how tedious it would have been to do this every single year in school. For me it was interesting because it was the first time I had heard of Duarte.
Later in the evening after school was finished I was home for super- which is a meal that doesn’t exist here because everyone just has a plate pilled as high as a mountain for lunch, and on this plate is about a pound of rice with beans- anyways I had just eaten my staple meal of toasted bread with nutella and peanut butter (I would die without these) and then I went to my bedroom to tidy it up. I heard some voices in the living room, which is normal, people stop and say hi often or sometimes the TV is turned on really loudly and I think it’s a visitor in the house. I thought nothing of the voices and came out of my bedroom and two teenage boys were sitting on the couches.
Lucila and Ramon were not in the room, just two random guys sitting there with a guitar and piano. I’m really racking my memory for some conversation that I had in the past that would explain this moment, nothing came to mind. Because in my culture it would be normal to give someone a heads-up that people are coming over.
Being my graceful self I reacted swiftly by walking back into my room and closing the door awkwardly, pretending that nothing happened. I was way to confused and tired to deal with the situation. Later I emerged from my safe haven to get juice and Lucila and Ramon that they had known these boys for years and they were here visiting. I got my juice and began writing out what I was going to type on my blog.
Shortly after that the power went out, something that is pretty common here, which meant no more blogging for me. The 5 of us sat in the living room around candlelight while the one of the strange boys in the house played guitar softly. It was a moment that reminded me to slow down and take a moment to breath. The mood was very tranquil and peaceful and I soon fell asleep (which is a talent of mine, being able to fall asleep almost everywhere I am). When I woke up I realized that it was really late and the two adolescents were still in the house and it finally clicked in my head that they were sleeping here tonight. Which is exactly what happened. I'm lost faith that I will every fully understand what is going on.
Thursday was a typical day of school getting there early, drinking some juice boxes well trying to understand my Spanish world and helping people with English pronunciation of words like bread, Jennifer and cheap/sheep. I don’t feel as bad for not being able to say Spanish R’s because Spanish people can’t say certain things in English- it goes both ways!
Anyways, my normal day involves me being extremely confused and not understanding what is going on and then doing something super random. And Thursday followed that exact pattern. After doing a long session of speech therapy (my friend practicing the ‘d’ sound in the word bread and me practicing the ‘r’ sound in perro) I found out that I was suppose to visit my host dads’ sisters children. So Ramon picked me up from the school at 2:30, following this Ramon drove to a private school and 3 people got in the car. The whole time I really had no clue what was happening or why we were at a private school picking up kids. After this we went to one of the richest neighborhoods in the city and I am seated at a table with the 3 people we picked up from the school. Surrounding me is one of the most beautiful houses I have ever been in. There is a crystal clear pool in the backyard with the mountain in the background and I felt like stepped into a designers magazine. I felt incredibly underdressed in the presence of the elegant house. One of the women staffed at the house served lunch, which was a plate of typical Dominican cuisine. I couldn’t speak for a few moments because the entire situation was so surprising. It was a complete culture shock with in a culture to go from an area of obvious poverty (the market) to a massive house, worthy of a feature article in LifeStyle. The teenagers were really nice and spoke to me in English, something I really appreciate. After lunch we watched How I Met Your Mother and for a while I forgot where I was in the world. I felt like I was at home except it was really humid and there were palm trees.
Driving back to the school my head was spinning because I didn’t know how to react. I had no opinion because the situation was so confusing. The house I visited is the house most of the world covets if they don’t already live in it. It was so beautiful and the lure and desire to have a lifestyle that allows nice things is something you can’t blame a person for having.
My life now is a very comfortable life in the eyes of a Dominican, I have my own large room and a bathroom to myself there is a kitchen and living room and the house is decorated and furnished. There is food in the fridge and the water and power works- most of the time. I didn’t realize that I had forgotten what a dishwasher was or what a straight floor looked like, I had forgotten how big homes can be and how affluent most of North America is. I had forgotten how much I resented most of the consumerism culture in Canada and in the car ride back to the school my mind exploded with all of this frustration on how the world operates. And I didn’t allow my speak for almost an hour after that visit because I was so overwhelmed by all of these positive and negative emotions that were contrasting each other. And if I opened my mouth I knew I would say something horrible about something.
In the evening there was church and el grupo de los gringos came (I always forget the word for missionary) and sat at the front of the church. It was kind of nice to see Canadians- even though I was still rattled about cultural differences- and it was good to sing a song in English and the message was translated, making it so much easier for me to understand. At the end of the service the group was asked to come to the front because they were flying back to Canada soon and the one girl told me to go to the front of the church too and I said “No, because I’m a Gringa Dominican” which they thought was really funny… but I think that is starting to become a reality..
There is not much to say about today (Monday), the group of white missionaries came and did skits for the kids, which was an odd experience for me to see because that was me a year or two ago. A stranger, trying to connect with the children while having no idea what is going on. But I know that the group was learning a lot about the culture, the kids had fun and I know that the teachers like when these groups come. It gives them a little break in the day from teaching. The highlight for me was being able to see the man that was my translator for my team the first year I came to Dominican and now he was at the school translating for the new group.
I walked to the market today and bought some passion fruits which are delicious, I can get three passion fruits for 30 pesos which is 0.80$ CAN. (which is the same as a taxi ride on a motorcycle) I saw an elderly couple wearing visors and backpacks over their chests… all I could think is that’s pretty much how I look.
After that I realized I had ripped my pants… which is something I very sadly, typically do quite frequently. And when I was in the washroom sewing up the back pocket of my pants, I was really revaluating all of my decisions that led me to that exact moment. It was a good reflection time and a pretty amazing sewing job if I do say so myself. You can hardly see the white thread on my black pants.
Throughout the day and into the night I was at the school doing random jobs for the men’s conference that was happening Tuesday night and all day Wednesday. There was a large group of girls that did behind the scenes things like make entrance bracelets and cutting out bookmarks. My hands wanted to bleed after 2 hours of intensely focusing on cutting paper. All of the girls I was working beside were speaking Spanish so fast I couldn’t understand everything but it was still really interesting for me to watch their interactions. My friends here are incredibly similar to my friends in Canada except they speak a different language and are a bit crazier.
I can understand a lot of Spanish but my habit of daydreaming is not an asset when it comes to comprehension. For example on Sunday the pastor was talking about how happy he was to have the group of white people here from Canada, we all clapped and then I started daydreaming. I was happily in my own world when I notice the pastor is pointing at me and everyone in the room is starring at me, clapping enthusiastically and I have no idea what is going on. Oto, tells me “Jen stand up”, and I do but I’m just so rattled about everything that I really awkwardly and slowly rise off my seat, with the most terrified look on my face and then sit down as soon as possible. That was a very uncomfortable moment.
I arrived at the men’s conference in style, I stepped out of the car taxi with friends in matching white shirts and black bottoms. And some of the men coming for the conference did a double take when they saw me in my very North American/European self standing there, trying to say “God bless you” in Spanish, which I pronounced terribly. The girls here are amazing people and have just automatically accepted me into their lives. In Canada this would very rarely happen to be so inclusive to a person that doesn’t speak the same language as you. Tuesday was the first time I felt like I wasn’t a tourist in the country.
On the Wednesday I arrived just after 7 am for the conference and to summarize the day there was a lot of laughter and random things that happened and I was a waitress for breakfast and lunch time- collecting dirty plates. It was hilarious for me when I was floating around the room with a ridiculous amount of plates stacked up on my arms watching all the men’s faces trying to figure out if they should speak to me in Spanish or English. It was a flashback to many different jobs I used to have minus the whole ‘language barrier’. Also, being busy was a good excuse not to give guys my number.. actually I don’t have a number right now.. so I mean my facebook information. I really need crocs.
There was a couple there from Puerto Rico/Chicago and I was talking to them in the afternoon and they actually had thought that I came from a really white part of Dominican Republic because I looked so comfortable in the culture…. I was so happy to hear that. The rest of the day was a bunch of random jobs and I made an effort to go out in the sun for 10 minutes every hour to help with my plan to become very tan. It’s a work in process. Everyone here thinks I’m crazy for trying to darken my snow like appearance.
Once again, in the early hours of the morning I put on my most conservative clothes and jumped in the old white pick up truck to get to Que Branda Honda… I felt like a zombie struggling to do simple tasks like brushing my teeth and in that state of sleepiness speaking Spanish is not an option for me. On the way to church they stopped at the market and Lucila got out of the car to buy something and Ramon and I waited for her. I asked him what she was going to buy and he replied with Roosters. I almost had a hear attack because I now have a passionate hate for roosters because of my neighbours miniature farm outside of their house. Actually I misheard this and instead she brought back a bag of cookies.. in my defense the word for roosters and cookies are extremely similar.
I managed to keep my eyes open for most of the 40-minute car ride but about 30 minutes into the ride Ramon stopped the car and instantly the backdoor were opened and a plethora of excited children pilled in the small truck. It was terrifying in my zombie like state of mind. Of course there was no warning or small comment like “by the way we are going to stop the truck for a minute on the way to the village and a large amount of small children are going to invade the back seat in bed of the truck like a swat team.”
But the children were equally as surprised to see a random white person in their mode of transportation to the village church so we sat beside each other the children and I awkwardly glancing at each other for the remaining 10 minutes to the village. The little girl loudly chewed her crackers and sipped her juice box and that was the only sound made over the sound of the truck roaring down the road. The silence made the whole situation that much more awkward. Once we finally got to village I was greeted with very strange looks from the residents. (As I often am because I look as foreign as the snow)
Lucila and Ramon want me to go there every week to help out with the kids church service and help her with colouring and teaching simple bible stories like Samson. That was all fine and dandy. The shyness of the children dissolved with the heating by the sun of the little church. And before long the most spaced out child with eyes half the size of his face was sitting on my lap. All the kids want to practice their English with you as soon as they see you, which is extremely difficult to understand because I’m not expecting them to say anything in English. The kids all have really thick Spanish accents and Good morning sounds more like “Gu-mo-ING”
Which is a very difficult sequence of sounds to recognize. At the end when everyone received cookies the children brought them into the truck and chewed the loudly beside me again, except this time they rapidly fired questions at me.
I seem to always do really random things partly because of my personality but mostly because Luclia and Ramon are go with the flow type of people. For example we stopped to buy a roasted chicken at the side of the road. Just because they felt like it but I didn’t eat it at lunchtime because I wandered into the backyard to look at palm trees when my upstairs neighbours invited me to their house.
Something Dominicans excel in is hospitality I am constantly surprised by how friendly and welcoming people are. They invited me to stay for lunch and I spontaneously stayed there for a few hours talking to my friend.
In the evening we got to the church fashionably late, because if something starts at 7, that is the time you start leaving the house. We got their earlier than many of the people because we don’t live terribly far away from the church which allowed me to watch the group of white people from Canada come in and take their seats at the very front of the church. It always throws me off when I see white people here because they just look so out of place. (I also look very out of place). Because I was in the back of the church I don’t think they really noticed me until they went to the stage to sing a song in English- which I knew and happily sang along too. At this moment the singer on stage and I made eye contact and I could tell he was a little bit surprised to see me sitting in the audience so casually.
I like listening to sermons here, not because I get something spiritually enlightening out of them but because it is a time where I can really work on my listening skills and comprehension of the Spanish language. Spirituality is oozing out the people that live here and it is not necessary to only go to a church service to find that.
After church some people my age convinced me to go to the city center with them. There was a concert, dance performances, fire breathers and chaos. Further away in the night sky I could see fireworks exploding into darkness. It was an exciting evening filled with laughter- which is something I can actually do bilingually. And I may have hit one of my friends because I thought he called me a prostitute in Spanish.. What he actually called me was a person that jokes a lot… I think I’m destined to have many awkward moments with mistranslations. My night ended with a motorcycle ride back to my house with the stars looking down at me about the mountain guarding the city of Puerto Plata.
I am becoming accustomed to waking up to the smell of fresh empanadas being fried in the morning; it is the most delicious way to drag myself out of bed. Every morning I am reminded by the smell that I am somewhere very far from my home. The roosters also help with being able to wake up in the morning because you can’t fall back asleep because your ears want to bleed. The roosters are just as obnoxious as the first day I arrived and sometimes the street dogs and the roosters have a fun little contest at about 3 am to judge who can be more annoyingly loud in the middle of the night. It’s fantastic.
In the morning Ramon dropped off Lucila and I off at the church. Usually there is a kids program happening on Saturday mornings- that supposedly I am going to help/teach English at, maybe? I honestly have no idea because there is a men’s Christian conference happening on the 20th and 21st and currently this is preoccupying everyone’s time so I’m sure I will get things more clearly figured out after the 21st. For now, I am just waiting until people have time to meet with me and figure out specifics of what I will do, in that sense the culture is very different. In Canada everything would have been decided and agreed upon months in advance, here it’s no problem if you know now or if you know later.
This particular Saturday there was not the kids program but instead many different pastors came to the church. My friend was working at the food store at the church/school (its at the same location) so I talked to him and poured juice occasionally when someone ordered it. I now feel a lot more confident in my ability to recognize food words because of that morning.
My relationship with spiders I would say is tolerable but strained. Generally, I don’t care about their presents too much, I would prefer if I didn’t have to interact with them but the little ones are so tiny and squishable that I don’t really care if I see them. Behind bottles of Kola, a massive spider jumped up and infested the store with its giant presence. It was the size of my palm and its legs moved so rapidly and disgustingly around the room. The spider was quickly swept into the sidewalk by my friend because I protested loudly against the life of the creature. From the sunny concrete I could see that thing starring at me with its little creepy eyes. I don’t think I have ever been that appalled by a spider before.
At about lunch time Lucila told me that we are going home, I grabbed my green backpack and went outside expecting to see Ramón’s old white truck.. Instead she stood there beside to motorcycle two taxi drivers telling me to climb on the back of one. Naturally, I hesitated feeling conflicted about this situation, the years of my parents and schools enforcing “stranger danger” were not in accordance with her command to get on this mans motorcycle. But because I’m me, I’m impulsive and like adventure- I happily obeyed, thrilled with the idea that I would be going on a motorcycle for the very first time in my life.
It was terrifying but an adrenaline rush especially when the motorcycle would weave back and forth between the cars. It reminded me of how my mother used to cross stitch, it was as if the motorcycle was the needle and there was an invisible thread dragging in the air behind us, creating a pattern in the air.
Coming home we realized that the water had started working again (it was not for the past day or so) which was fabulous news for me because that meant I could actually take a shower and do the dishes.
For the rest of the evening I forced myself to sit down and study verb conjugations in the future and conditional tense while Lucial and Ramon intensively watched baseball. It is Ramons hope that I will become fanatic about baseball, but I can guarantee that will never happen. I was reviewing many vocabulary words when Lucila and Ramon noticed and began to help me with my fight against my incredibly English- Spanish accent. Until I start doing something productive at the school or church, I will study Spanish as much as I can because I feel like that is a good use of time. Spanish is something I need to know better to successfully do any task for the community I live it.
I am learning the skills of cultural understanding and trying my best not to look at everything through an overtly Canadian lens. If I do that, I will just get frustrated about dumb things that I cannot control and it is exhausting to think about the way I used to in Canada because structures and ideas that work in North American society just would not have the same use here. I hope that is something every North American realizes; our thought processes and ways of thinking aren’t nearly as productive here because the thought processes are different. Neither way is better than the other, merely different, and should be appreciated equally in their separate contexts.
I reek of insect repellent. I spray it on myself religiously because the mosquitos have decided that I am the most desirable human in the city of Puerto Plata. Speaking of not wanting to be desirable, I am seriously considering investing in a pair of sturdy crocks… they are pretty much the same as insect repellant- except for humans… anyways because of the mosquitos my feet are constantly itchy. But I would rather itchy feet than the snow any day.
And when its 15 degrees out and I’m feeling chilly enough to put on a sweater, I laugh to myself because comparing my sensitivity towards the cold here and in Canada is comical. I have extremely different tolerances, which is good because I need to wear pants to the school everyday… and if I was super sensitive to the heat I would melt- the same way I saw marshmallow in a jar morph into a giant ball of white gelatin today. Sometimes it is so hot in the afternoons that the Trident gym I bought at the airport in Miami sweats to death. When you put a piece of gum in your mouth it is flavorless because all the sugar and perspired onto the paper wrapping.
This morning I unpacked my suitcases and made myself grilled cheesen the afternoon I hung out at the school and talked to people all afternoon improving my Spanish. It is a good thing that I have been here before and I remember most of the people because this time around it is so much easier to just talk to people. It seems like most people remember my face as well, which is probably why this transition into Dominican is effortless.
After school, Lucila and Ramon on the way home parked the car at a random house and I had to wait in the car for them for a long while they discuses business with someone.. I realize how sketchy that sentence sounds, but they do have legitimate businesses- a bookstore, a snack store and a plethora of farms- anyways the point of the sentence is that I’m starting to feel more like their adopted English child, than some stranger living at their house, because that is such a typical thing that my parents would do/have done in Canada.
In the evening, I pulled out my Spanish textbook and decided to study it like my life depended on it, because it is somewhat tiresome never knowing what is going on. The only thing I am sure of is what time I need to wake up in the morning, past that I haven’t a clue. After a while, you just get used to not having to micro manage your life or worry about the small stuff.. Like the location you’re being driven too… Anyways studying Spanish, was a good effort but then I decided to watch Spanish TV instead to learn, it was a nice compromise.
Before going to sleep I once again coated my entire body in my new perfume “scent de la Repellent de Insects” <-just so you know that needs to be read in an over the top French accent.
The roosters and chickens shared my sentiments at 6 am when the blasting alarm shot out of the phone. The roosters down the street made this horrifying squacking sound, that was interpreted by sleep deprived me as screaming in the wee hours of the morning. And the awkward stray cat made this Spanish meowing sound outside my window that looks directly at a garden filled with palm trees and massive pink flowers. Their petals look as if they are were dipped in a fuchsia pink at the tips. The natural alarm clock kept me moving into the unknown of my first full day in Dominican Republic.
I have my own corner of the house and my own bathroom. It is fantastic. Side note* I am seriously regretting not bringing my own pillow. Going to the washroom in the morning I can even walk there in my pajamas that is something so unimportant but it makes me unbelievably happy.
My day started with Yogurt, and empanadas, of course. The most stereotypical Spanish dish. If you don’t know what that is, I sincerely hope you are typing EMPANADAS into google right now and are educating your self of the delicacy of Spanish cuisine. And my host family/Dominican Family/Lucial and Raymon are the sweetest and kindest people. They have already done so much for me and it is only the second day. I wish I knew more Spanish so I could properly tell them how thankful I am for everything they have done. I’m sure I’ll be able to soon.
The morning was a blur, partly because of my sleepiness (I only slept 3 hours on the plane the day before if that gives more context to the truth of my sleep desperation.) The morning was adventurous in the most mundane routines.
The moment I stopped and realized how amazingly unusual my situation was, was when I sat in the office talking to my Dominican friend in Spanglish- mostly English, about poverty inequality in Dominican and political science while drinking a juice box. In that moment I noticed the voices all of the children playing outside of the office wall and the extremely loud noise of the traffic roaring by side the school. The 30 degree weather and the extreme normality and difference that this moment had to my life in Canada hit me like a ton of bricks.
After that the simplest things, like watching how Dominicans drive motorcycles and the things they carry on the motorcycles became the most fascinating thing in the world. I could not take my eyes off the street.
When my odd interest in motorcycles dwindled I found my self in a little snack shop/food store connected to the school and so many children speaking Spanish were calling to Lucila their orders.. all at the same time. I never have realized how quite my society compared to here. My job was filling up refresco (pop) in a cup with ice, so when it was ordered they could just hand it to the little hands. It was insane how busy that shop was. But by the end of it I could successfully remember the names of most of the chips, candy pop in the shop. It also greatly helped with my ability to understand the value of the currency, and what 1, 10 and 20 pesos can buy. A lot of snacks and pop. That’s the answer if you were curious.
The father of a friend of mine, can’t comprehend that I am happy being single, him being a trouble maker, purposely speaking incredibly loudly caught the attention of the motor taxi drivers standing on the other side of the waist high blue concrete fence. I got hissed at all afternoon. What is a hiss, one might ask, for some strange reason it is how you cat call. In reality, it sounds like an army of snakes is about to overtake you. Later one of the hissing taxi drivers creepily watched me as I ate my lunch. It was an incredibly uncomfortable moment for me.
I think I am converting to Dominican time, people I know from Canada were supposed to pick me up from the church at 2 but arrived a few minutes before 3. Normal me, would be incredibly worried about the tardiness but instead of even noticing they were late I ended up in a kindergarten class room watching the substitute give the children instructions on what to colour. Eventually the Canadian couple found me and was very apologetic over their lateness. And I didn’t even mind waiting. Especially because I completely floored by their kindness of driving to get me and brining me up the mountain. Which was beautiful and breath taking I also saw a gecko there chilling on the fence.
It was a good moment, it was especially good when I realized that everything about me screams “I only speak English” it was an advantage when I could understand what the Dominicans on top of the mountain were saying about the couple that drove me and their other two friends. I had a good chuckle to myself. Then someone asked me to run away to Haiti with him … that was not such a good moment. I sense a pattern of the things that make me annoyed.
Later at night at Lucila and Raymonds’ home I talked to Raymond for a long time about life in Canada, in Dominican, life in general, religion and cultural ideas. I really like him, he is understanding and patience with my attempts at conversation. Yesterday night, he jumped all around the kitchen, dinning room and living room pointing out items and getting me to say their names over and over again. He is a good teacher and I think I will learn a lot from him and Lucila.
I ate miniature bananas for supper, it is as if a banana and plantain had a child that is the mini banana I ate- but I forget the name. Something with a lot of R’s in it. And if you have talked to me in Spanish before, you will understand how unfortunate my R’s are in Spanish.
I getting really sleepy and I’m freezing… that is really strange to say in Dominican… anyways that’s everything interesting from today I want to close my eyes before I start accidentally counting how many spiders I unknowingly share this room with.