assignment and site!!!!

Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
Trip End Nov 07, 2007

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Flag of Dominican Republic  ,
Saturday, October 22, 2005

Hola friends, and bienvenidos!

Yes, it is true, I finally found out where I will be staying and what I will be doing for the next two years of my life! We were all excited the other day as our APCD (my boss, in other words), Adele came to talk to us individually. We all felt as if we were going to find out what we were getting for Christmas...the tension was unbearable. I found out that I will be at a site in the north east part of the country, 30 minutes south of Nagua, where I am now. The site is a "market town" called Piminte, of about 18000 people, which means there are one or two paved roads, and there may or may not be internet. However, I wont be "roughing" it any more than I am now, and there may not be as much access to resources that I have here. I am about three hours from the capital, and thirty minutes from my friend Cindy (fellow trainee), with another seasoned volunteer between us. I will be working with the Red Cross, working with groups of young people on how to give talks on AIDS/HIV, health, first Aide, etc. I was so excited when I found out, since I was afraid I wasnt going to get something I would like, but the Red Cross is such an awesome opportunity! I couldn't be happier about my site, and many of my anxieties have been lifted.

Now that the most exciting news has been presented, now I can continue with the other crazy things in my life. Healthwise, I have been doing well, except for the lovely parasite I seem to have contracted. Not to worry, it has done nothing more than left my stomach and I on bad terms with each other, but has failed to produce anything terrifying, as you would expect to get out here.

The other night, I went to bed early because my stomach was having one of its temper tantrums, when I heard a loud noise outside, heard screaming, and felt the house moving. I ran outside to the balcony to find that all the neighbors were gathered around, yelling, surrounding a huge truck that had crashed into the side of our house. I ran downstairs, unsure of what was going on, as my Dona yelled at me to stay inside. My little cousin Carlito was crying and I could not understand anything he was saying, but I heard him say the words "Estela" and "Chocar". Estela, being the sweet little girl who I adore who lives across the street from me, always bearing a smile and a sweetness about her that only an angel could convey. For whatever reason, I thought "Chocar" meant "to choke" so I started asking Carlito who was choking Estela, and what this had to do with the car in the side of our house. Upon talking to my Dona, I realized that "Chocar" meant "to crash" and realized what had transpired. Fearful that little Estella was hurt badly, I began to sob, but then I was told that she was only knocked off the back of a motorcycle and suffered only minor injuries, and was out of the hospital the next day. Apparently, the driver of the car was drunk and had hit her moto, then careened into the side of our house. I asked my Dona what was going to happen to the man who hit Estela and she said nothing would happen to him, which gave me an even sicker feeling in my stomach. The side of the house that was hit was fixed promptly the next day.

The next day I had started to feel better and told myself that I would be better no matter what, because we had made big plans to go hit up the Karaoke bar someone had seen. For those of you who know me and my love for karaoke, you would already know that a coma could not keep me away. We went to the club, which looked a lot like some of the bars down in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego. It was very nice, and booming very loudly. I was under the impression that others in my group had planned on singing, but as tons of people started to file in, and the bar became crowded, and I had already requested to sing a song, everyone backed out and I realized I was going to be singing a song in front of 200+ people, most of whom had probably never even seen an American, and I felt my stomach cramps coming back. I stepped in the middle of the stage, surrounded by people, and was not sure if I really could do it...but then the music began and I sang my heart out to Ricky Martin's "La Bomba", the only spanish song I know. After the song was over, everyone cheered and my fellow volunteers screamed, thinking that I didn't know the song and had just gotten up there and winged it (I told them that I already knew the song later). It was the the most amazing feeling ever! I felt like a Dominican Diva. ha. Watch out, DR Idol!!

Other than that, things have been not too interesting on this end of the world. I started a new internship with a different organization where we will be giving talks or "Charlas" to kids on STDS/HIVs and in turn, teaching them how to give the same talk to kids in schools. We are also planning a big basketball tournament for the kids of Nagua, which should be fun and exciting also. We also have a leadership conference we are giving to another community near here in about a week. So as you can see, it hasnt been all fun in the sun for Lisa...just in case you all thought I was on a two year vacation in the Carribean!

So I have compiled a new and exciting (not really exciting) wish list for those of you who feel the need to help out your poor PCV!

Batteries (double A)
Phonecards (I found out that you can buy them on a website and then email me the code so I can use them here , otherwise, I can't use the ones that you buy at the store in the states)
Snacks, snacks, snacks!!!
Headlamp (like the ones miners use...lots of volunteers have them out here and they come in handy!)
Tampons (sorry for my male viewers, but they are hard to find here!)
Skirts (size medium or 7-8)
Body wash and shampoo (body wash especially...expensive and hard to find...and the bar soap they have here stinks)
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karlawhittle on

Hola Mamacita
FYI, I check your blog postings about as often as I do MySpace!!! ;o) hahaha JK I check your blogs more!!!! hehehe I love you girl and am takin great care of the others!!!! I will give them your love!! We all miss you terribly!!!!

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