Written Sunday, May 29, 2011
Since swearing in, I’ve just been acclimating myself to my community. Here are a few updates:
Marcia. So, for a few days we had a chicken take up residence under the bushes next to our pouch to incubate her eggs. When I got back to my site after swearing in, my dona told me it had already been there for a while, and the incubation period would last some 21 days. When one of the eggs hatched, Fran (my little sister) and I were pretty excited, and decided to name the little guy Romeo. The mama hen needed a name too, so we went with Marcia. She was still sitting on the other two eggs. We decided she was probably hungry, so I gave her some of the bread I was eating. Marcia threw down! Over a few scraps of bread. She was so hungry, not only did she block Romeo from getting any of the bread crumbs we were throwing out, but she snatched away from him any crumbs that happen to fall from her mouth that he picked up from the ground. I’d never seen a mother (of any species) snatch food away from her newborn to feed herself like that. We think she had been in the same spot for the majority of the time without having left for food. The next day, we didn’t see Marcia or Romeo under the bush, but her remaining eggs were there. We then saw her across the street in search of food, with Romeo by her side. She later returned to finish incubating the eggs, but as I had suspected, the eggs were bad. Marcia’s owner came by to pick her up, and the eggs are still under our bush unhatched.
Mangoes. Can we talk about Mangoes? I’ve never eaten so many mangoes in such a short period of time. There are SOO many mango trees here! And you just pick them off the tree when they’re ripe and dig in (utensils optional). I actually prefer eating them without a knife, although I’m now able to peel a mango with a knife with much more ease than before. (It pays to learn the ways of the locals, especially when it comes to mangoes.) One day my host mom went to the campo and came back with a serious sack of about 60 mangoes; we all ate a ton. The next day there were about 10 remaining. It’s that serious. A picture’s worth a thousand words they say, so I’ll let the following photos finish this topic for me.
Hair. To keep it short and sweet, these Senegalese twists are overdue to come out of my hair. I wont lie, I’m stretching them as long as possible (#dontjudgeme). I do miss my hair, but it so much easier to do the get-up-and-go thing. I’ll probably take them out next weekend. I’ve been wondering how my community will react to my “pelo malo,” which, by the way, I think is beautiful, and anything but bad (afterall, God doesn’t make mistakes). Guess we’ll soon see. 😉
Churches. I have the best little brother. Ever since I told him that I sang at the church in El Seibo, he’s made it his mission to make sure that I sing in a church here in our town too. So he’s taking me around to visit different churches in hopes that I’ll (sooner than later) sing in one of them. This is awesome because (1) I’m getting to see what the church landscape looks like here in town and (2) it’s helping me with my integration into the community. I’m in no particular rush to sing in church at this point (well, sometimes I do get the urge, but I’m cool), but it’s been great doing this nonetheless.
Other Wknd Highlights. On Friday, I had a committee meeting—the first one that I ran. It went pretty well. Still finetuning a few things, but I’m excited to actually begin doing something involving a bit more interfac
e and interaction with people. Later on, I went walking, and out of the corner of my eye I spotted the most coveted chocolate among Peace Corps volunteers: Reeces Cup! I had to buy it. Even though it wasnt fresh, it was well worth the 35 pesos for the experience. Later that day, a teacher from the elementary school died. We went to the house of the deceased that night. I got really sad when I saw one of her sons crying and describing the plans he had made with her. It just reminded me of how fleeting our lives are. To make matters worse, this is Mother’s Day weekend in the DR. 😦
Today (Sunday) was mother’s day, and Dominicans celebrate it pretty big. Well, I guess they celebrate everything pretty big. I made chocolate chip cookies for the occasion. Dominicans don’t really make/eat chocolate chip cookies (maybe, in part b/c the chocolate chips are pretty pricey down here). They were okay, but my family really liked them.
RE: critters – after we got back from church, out of nowhere a frog jumped up on the door of my host parents’ bedroom. After a lot of laughter and quite the chase, we finally got it out of the house. Then there was another one in another corner! It’s been raining here every day for almost a week, which means bugs and other critters make their entrance in our home. Among the most dreadful for me…the “R” word. You know what I’m talking about – cucarachas. I HATE THOSE NASTY THINGS. But I provide comic relief for my family whenever one is in the house. Bleeeeeeeeh! 😦
Tomorrow. Tomorrow I start my diagnostic, beginning with interviewing the teachers at the high school. I hope all they’ll all be apt to participate. Wish me luck!