First Day in Santiago!
Trip Start Jan 29, 2011
31Trip End Feb 26, 2011
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Afterwards we went to orientation about the culture and customs and talked about the tentative schedule of things were going to be doing! On the schedule so far are most days working in the clinics or in the campos. There is definitely some beach time built in as well as time to check out Carnival! We were told when we go to Carnival, we might be hit with fake cow bladders and that is to ward off the devil for a year... The thing is it supposedly hurts to go to carnival...were also supposed to go to Santo Domingo!
Now, i must explain that the ILAC (institute for Latin American Concern) center is situated on the outskirts of Santiago. On the corner, we exchanged money to RD (37.4 to the US Dollar) and then headed to the City center
Once we got to the City center, we walked around passing many a street vendor selling everybing from shoe laces to American DVDs (they had a copy of tangled already...) to watches to lottery tickets to fruit. These vendors were very polite and did not push anything on you as they do in some places.
We walked to the monument in the middle of the city commemerating the many men and women who have fought throughout history for the independence of the Dominican Republic.
It cost each city dweller 60 pesos to collectively pay 900,000 RD when it was built! There is a circular staircase, just like at the Wallace Monument in Stirling, where you climb between floors to reach the top where there is a beautiful view of the city!
After, we walked to meet Leah, our tour guide/translator/mentor and took a guagua back to the ilAC center for lunch: tayote (sp?) is a potato like food, made today with a cilantro quiche-like filling, a pork dish with rich sauce and bell peppers as well as rice and beans and fresh pineapple (the same color as the pineapple in Ghana!).
Guess I am not going to starve like Tam made menthink I was... :)
After lunch, we went for a tour of the grounds- there is a laundry mat, computer lab, running track, library, classroom, church of course, and a comedor (cafeteria).
Now I'm sitting at one of the gazebos typing this update feeling the awesome breeze
Part 2 of today!
We had our Spanish class for about 1.5 hours with Edwin today! He focused on general greetings, positons of things (in front of, on the side of) and Body parts! I haven had to say some of these words in years, but I was so glad to partake!
After class, we went to the corner market and I found MALTA!!!! I was so excited because it was so unexpected!
We walked back and just in time for dinner! I swear oftentimes that the food here is similar to Filipino food! We ate broccoli, green tomatoes (and red ones too), buttery mashed potatoes, a beef an vegetable dish and water!
After dinner, Father Bill, a member of the Jesuit order, had an Examen prayer session where we learned how to do daily prayers and relaxation. The session was held in the chapel which is beautiful, open to the outdoors and very detailed inside.
THEN, to top off the evening, we went to Helado Bon, a local ice cream shop and I got a two-scoop ice cream cone with brownie and caramello ice creams (per suggestion of one of the directors here)! We ate at the shop which was awesome for some local people watching! They even had a playplace (like McDonald's) outside!
We hired a private guagua and he drove us back and forth. On the way there I got to sit in front! I took a shower and then came downstairs to update the blog!
Well, until the next entry!