birthday 2012

Other than the parasitic nightmare described in the previous post, it’s been a while since I’ve updated, and quite a bit has happened since late July. For starters, my birthday! Sabrill and Damien came up, my host family made me some very yummy food, my church sang Happy Birthday to me in English (LOL!), I … More birthday 2012

learning to teach

Two to three days a week I go to the homes of two 3rd graders to help them with reading. We go over letters (their names and the sounds that they represent), how they form syllables when paired with other letters or by themselves, and how those syllables come to form words. I’ve really enjoyed … More learning to teach

2nd 4th

The 4th was great this year. I had an incident in which a few items were, uh…misplaced (talk to me personally for more on that), so I’ve had to borrow pictures from other people’s cameras. This year I sang America the Beautiful and the national anthem at the volunteer party, and I collected and announced … More 2nd 4th

words and songs

On Tuesday, I started working with kids who have trouble reading. PCDR’s education sector has officially transitioned from mostly ICT (Information & Communication Technologies) to literacy and basic education. I did some basic education training with my high school and elementary school teachers a few months back, and, despite initially thinking I would avoid it, … More words and songs

belleza

Highlights from celebrating one year of Peace Corps service. One down, one to go. Sometimes, I can’t believe I live here on this beautiful island. I really am living my dream. 🙂 God is good!

awkward mourning

I was at the elementary school about to leave when I heard that the father of one of my teacher training group participants had passed away that same day. I had to make a quick decision: go home as planned or go to the home of the father of one of the teachers I knew … More awkward mourning

politics

2012 is an election year. You know how it goes: everyone up in arms about the right or the left or the other. Fun, arbitrary campaign slogans and strategies overshadowing talk of real solutions to issues that affect the nation. And voters are left struggling, trying to decide between the lesser of two evils, or … More politics

1 year 1 mo 23 days in

Written Tuesday, April 24, 2012 So, it’s been a year already! I’m over the hill with my Peace Corps experience, and I hardly know where the days have gone. Twenty-seven months is approximately 810 days; I’ve completed about 418 of those. Pretty soon, I’ll be writing this about finishing up my service (wowzers!). In the … More 1 year 1 mo 23 days in

soundtrack

Written Tuesday, April 23 I live for Thursdays. On Thursdays, I go for an hour to guitar lessons. I don’t know why I didn’t pick up learning guitar before, but I now have a new love in my life! I’ve wanted to learn guitar for a long time, and now I have time to do … More soundtrack

ants…in my food!

Angry face! I spent a total of about 3.5 hours cleaning out a major ant infestation in my house. And these are the ones that bite! I’d never seen anything like this. I have to be even more vigilant than before now.  

we turned 50!

In February, Peace Corps Dominican Republic celebrated 50 years with el pueblo Dominicano. We had a pretty big shindig in the capital, which included the presence of the worldwide director of Peace Corps, Aaron Williams (also a former volunteer in the DR). I was on the Communications team working before and during conference. Check out … More we turned 50!

say what?

Say what? I remember reading in one of the Peace Corps publications something about “learning a new way to communicate.” That sounds so pretty, doesn’t it? But it can be really hard and very frustrating when you’re accustomed to being able to communicate in one way, and now have to in a completely different one. … More say what?

home again

Written Thursday, January 19, 2012 I don’t know if I could do justice with words to describe how wonderful it was being home for Christmas and New Years. It was awesome. My first family stop in the US was to my sister’s house in Philadelphia, and I rode the train to get there. I sat … More home again

teacher training

Written Saturday, October 8, 2011 Last Saturday, I started my main project: training teachers on teaching methodology and incorporating technology into the education process. After spending time with another volunteer, who has the same main project, I got really excited about beginning. Fourteen teachers from the daytime staff signed up. I didn’t think all 14 … More teacher training

must love dogs

Written Saturday, October 8, 2011 Remember Mamita? The hood rat, uh, I mean street dog that I wanted to take to come live with me? Well I guess you can take the dog out the streets, but you can’t take the streets out the dog. After two confusing conversations with the previous owners, Mamita followed … More must love dogs

apellidos

Written Wednesday August 31, 2011 I published this before, but for some reason it didn’t go though. Anyway, here it is again! 🙂 I majored in Spanish Language and Literature in college, so I’ve been pretty invested in the Spanish-speaking world long before I came to the Dominican Republic to live and work. I remember … More apellidos

IST, MRI and mange

Written Wednesday, August 17, 2011 Last week the Education sector had its 3-month In-Service Training Conference (IST). This is where we present our community diagnostics after having been present in and having interviewed our community for three months. It was really good to see all the other volunteers’ presentations and the diversity of communities in … More IST, MRI and mange

mamita

Written Wednesday, July 13, 2011 For the last several weeks, I’ve been taking care of a dog that’s stolen my heart. I’ve named her “Mamita,” which means “little mama.” She had an owner, but they decided they didn’t want her anymore because she “got too big,” or at least that’s the word on the streets. … More mamita

black like me?

Written Wednesday, July 13, 2011 The volunteers got together to celebrate the Fourth of July. I took a guagua (small bus) to get there, and on the way there was a Haitian man on the side of the road waiting for the bus. The cobrador (the guy that charges money and tells the driver when … More black like me?

the enemies

Written June 4, 2011 Note: If you get squeamish about gross stuff, maybe you should skip this entry. I wrote this in my journal, and wasn’t sure if it I should post it. Mneh, why not? Sometimes you hear these noises, and you’d just rather not know what they are. Other times you hear things … More the enemies

day 89

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, … More day 89

my site

Written Sunday, May 8, 2011 On Tuesday, we got our site assignments. I opened my assignment packet and read the first few sentences that graced the cover letter: You are about to embark on a journey that will change your life. Peace Corps will give you the opportunity to directly affect the lives of many … More my site

back in the city

Written Monday, May 2 We finished CBT (technical training for our sector) and returned to Santo Domingo on Friday, but not before I had one of the most embarrassing moments I’ve ever in my life experienced. I have to share this on the World Wide Web, because sometimes you’re so humbled (or humiliated) that you … More back in the city

storm back home

Written Wednesday, April 20, 2011 Saturday afternoon a tornado ripped through Raleigh and other parts of North Carolina. I found out around 8pm that evening, right before going to watch a movie with the other volunteers. I called my sister in Raleigh to make sure they were okay, and she got back in touch with … More storm back home

canto a mi Dios

Written Today 🙂 This past Sunday, I visited the church again. Even for a Pentecostal church, their services are long! Lol but I enjoyed myself. Their praise team is really good, as well as their musicians. I thought it would be a good idea to meet some of them, and sit in on a praise … More canto a mi Dios

cbt

Written Monday, March 28, 2011 On Thursday of last week the Information & Communication Technology (ICT) group traveled to El Seibo, where we’ll spend the next several weeks in technical training for our sector (what PC calls community-based training, or CBT). This has been a really nice change from congested Santo Domingo. The community is … More cbt

volunteer visit

Written Today 🙂 On Thursday we went on our volunteer visits. Each trainee visited a current volunteer within his/her sector to get an idea of what it’s like to be an actual volunteer. My volunteer lived in Manabao, which in the mountains. It was coooooooooold! At night I to layer up with several blankets and … More volunteer visit

la raza

Written Tuesday, March 15, 2011 On Monday we discussed race in the Dominican Republic, and specially, how Dominicans view themselves. Dominicans (and most Latinos) don’t look at race as “black,” “white,” etc. but rather view their race, regardless of physical features, as solely “Dominican.” This point of view is what caused recent changes in the … More la raza