So, I know I haven’t updated my blog in a long time! I have been sharing Alicen’s blog as a link on Facebook, but I know that not everyone can see that. I don’t particularly love writing and she has been doing a much better job at posting updates. Her blog is daysofjubilee.wordpress.com. We also have a page on Facebook called The Dominican Experience where we put pictures and post updates. I am only going to write about a few things on here that she didn’t mention in her post. Therefore if you would like to know all that we have done you should look at her blog!
Monday: prepare activities for the coming week of the summer program
· Alicen has some English lessons with members of the community
· Susie is working on an undergraduate research project associated with our summer program. She is interviewing households to see what foods they eat and where they get these foods.
· When the girls are busy doing these things, I usually play baseball or just simply hang out with the kids.
Program Days: Tuesday-Thursday
|The kids with the sign we made!|
· We have our program at three different schools in our area from 8:00-11:00 in the morning. This program is focused on nutrition, gardening, and recycling. The theme of our program is Sunflowers. We have a theme that most of the kids have memorized and translated into English it is something like this: “We are sunflowers; we have to turn ourselves towards manners of living that sustain our bodies, family, community, and the world.” It makes a little more sense in Spanish because the name for sunflowers is girasoles. The verb for turn in Spanish is girar and the word for sun is sol. The fact that sunflowers turn to face the sun throughout the day is in the name, making the connection easier. So far we have planted sunflowers in containers made from toilet paper rolls, explained parts of plants and their responsibilities, talked about photosynthesis, explained the purpose and importance of recycling by differentiating between things that decompose and things that do not, and we have talked about organs and their role in the body. Alicen’s blog has pictures and descriptions of most of the activities that we have done so far and she will continue to post more as we continue.
Tuesday: El Callejon
Thursday: La Capilla
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: Relax, clean, do laundry, beach trips, run errands in Nagua or Cabrera (neighboring cities) and just hanging out with the community.
Random Other Things
Alicen’s cat, Hunter, had kittens! So now we have four precious babies living in our house with us. They just opened their eyes today. Thankfully, they really haven’t been keeping us up at night. They only squeal and make noise when their mom sits on them. She is not even a year old and probably wasn’t ready to be a mom, so it is funny seeing her have to be responsible.
One of my roommates and best friends, Lauren, is doing an internship with a ministry called Manna Global in The Dominican Republic. It is crazy that we are both here in this country doing separate things. Also, we are only about two hours apart! We were talking about how we would have to find a way to visit each other. It is hard because we are both very busy and transportation isn’t the easiest to find. She had a few days free this past weekend and told me she would be in Rio San Juan for the weekend, which is about 45 minutes from us. We decided to head there early Saturday morning to find her. Access to phones and internet is somewhat rare here, so we essentially went to Rio San Juan knowing that she would be in that city somewhere. We arrived pretty early in the morning and went searching for an internet center to be able to send her a message to say we were there. At 8:30 in the morning on a Saturday, none were opened. Even though we knew it wouldn’t work, we were just walking the streets of Rio San Juan yelling, “Lauren!” to see if we could find her. We eventually went to a restaurant that had Wi-Fi and I was able to get in touch with her. She told me that her and her group were heading to the beach and would be there around 12:00. So we took public transportation to Playa Grande and waited for them. They eventually showed up and Lauren and I were beyond excited to be reunited! We spent the afternoon hanging out with her and her group catching up and getting to know them and what all they had done!
|Lauren and I at Playa Grande!|
A few nights ago, I spent about an hour watching a pig give birth. I have never seen an animal give birth and I really enjoyed seeing one of the women in the community help deliver the piglets. It was dark so I don’t have any pictures from it, but hopefully I’ll go take a picture of them soon. I’m sure some of the community was wondering why I was so interested in something that is such a normal part of their life, but I absolutely enjoy seeing and learning so much from the people in this community on a daily basis by living alongside them and allowing them to share so much of their knowledge with me.
Once again, be sure to check out Alicen’s blog and the page on Facebook for more updates!
Thanks again for all the thoughts and prayers; we are having a wonderful time here! Cannot believe how fast it is going by!