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!