One Third

Today is my 9 month anniversary in the Dominican Republic. In reality, six months in my community was of bigger significance (a fourth of the way through my service) but it is kind of crazy to think that I’m officially one third of the way done with entire 27 month Peace Corps experience (training+service)! I’m just finishing up a week of language classes in the same training center where we started out back in March and it’s a strange feeling to realize 9 months back at the same place where it all began.

My last update was a downer but while I’m still super sad about my kitten, dog and my temporary move, I’m definitely feeling much better. I’ve been in the capital for over a week for Thanksgiving festivities and language training so I’ve been entertained and with friends which has been wonderful. Thanksgiving was great and I felt especially thankful this year to be among great Peace Corp folk and that my mom and brother will be here soon!

Our Thanksgiving festivities began with a 5k Turkey Trot followed by soccer and basketball in a really nice park. After a few hours of exercise and fresh air we moved on over to the hotel that hosted our feast and spent a couple hours hanging out in the swanky rooftop pool. Then we had a delicious and huge lunch in the early afternoon and while everything was really great, the pies stole the show. Each table got a pumpkin pie, an apple pie, a pecan pie and a tray of brownies and we pigged out! Then while we digested, we watched the Peace Corps talent show. We have lots of talented singers and dancers and there were some really funny acts too. My sector was definitely inspired to put an act together for next year; there has been talk of a Village People spoof since my group is predominately male. So hopefully a year from now I’ll have some ridiculous pictures to share!

I stuck around in the capital the whole weekend after Thanksgiving to hang out with volunteers and wait until our language training began on Monday. On Sunday we came to Pantoja and I stayed with the same host family I lived with at the beginning of training back in March and they were very impressed with how my Spanish has improved. It felt like deja vu to be back there again but it was really fun to actually be able to converse without being so overwhelmed and stumbling over my words. I’m heading back to my site this afternoon and then tomorrow morning I’m off to Los Yagrumos (my temporary site) for a couple weeks. Hopefully I’ll get back to my site again before my family arrives to prepare my house! I’m looking forward to these two weeks of hard work since I think it will make the time fly by before I get to see my mom and brother and celebrate my first Caribbean Christmas!

Happy Holidays to all of you!

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7 thoughts on “One Third

  1. We just drove through the Dominican section of Harlem and were talking about you. What a great post! I’m thankful that you’re on the upswing. Count down to Christmas…and then your bid day!

    • I’m so curious to visit the Dominican section of NYC when I get back! Lots of people here have family in “Nueva Yol” so I’ve heard lots about it. It always cracks me up because many people here refer to the whole USA as New York and then Manhattan means the city, all boroughs. And recently someone mentioned that they have family who lives in a campo (aka the boonies, farmland, etc) of NYC and when I asked where, they told me Long Island. If they could only see how un-campo Long Island is! Love to the family, and I hope to see you all in a few months when I visit for the Michael/Julian graduation festivities at Memorial Day!

  2. So sad to hear about your kitten and puppy-but sounds like things are definitely picking up! I’m sure it will be wonderful to see your family and it sounds like the work in the other pueblo will provide some great expierance so that hopefully the system in your village will go that much smoother! And it sounds like there are lots of animals that once you get settled back in the new year you can get another little guy!

    • Thanks Aly! It was a rough stretch but things have been much better lately. Still struggling to get past all the red tape to get my water system going but the aqueduct in my temporarily adopted community is going really well. How are you? How’s life in DC?!

  3. We are learning a few Spanish words, Ellen–ahem, watching some “Go, Diego, Go”! But when you are back in this part of the world, will you give us some lessons? Sena has two friends from school who are Spanish speakers–one whose parents are from Colombia, the other whose mother is Guatemalan–so we’ll be learning and practicing all we can. Right now, may I say: I excava you! (I am harking back to a time long ago when you and Zak and Michael visited, when you were all little; Vinnie was digging a hole out front, and I said, to show you three meanings of “dig”: “Vinnie, I really dig you, but please don’t dig, dig?”) I dig you! (But not really the excava way!) I’m so happy for your fun celebration and time with friends–and the accomplishment of nine months there. And the two special people whom you’ll be seeing soon.

    • Hahaha just mentioned to another water volunteer friend your use of excavar and they cracked up! Excavar is a big part of my work vocab here since we’re digging many kilometers of trenches to bury pipes. Love to you, Matt, Sena, the pups and all the Michigan family!

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