Activities and travels
Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
48Trip End Nov 07, 2007
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One of my groups is in Los Limones, a campo about twenty minutes away on an unpaved road in the middle of NOWHERE
Another activity just begun is a little girls' club (consisting of girls aged 13 and under) who meet once a week to learn about self esteem and helping others. This is my most dedicated group yet! The girls can't wait to come over to my house and hang out every week. They dubbed themselves "Las Estrellitas" which means "little stars". They are well behaved and are excited to do community service projects around Pimentel. If only the older youth could be as motivated!
Through all the activities starting up, I have been able to take time to get away, which is much needed when stress begins to rear its ugly head. Two weeks ago I went with Anna and Juan Carlos and a family friend to a campo of La Vega where we sat around, ate, and talked the whole time, in the tranquility of the country. I had to use a latrine (outhouse) and take a shower outside with a hose, but it was quite a fun experience! Surrounding the houses were fields of Plantain and Papaya trees. I felt like I was in an entirely different world.
The next weekend, I went to the Capital for a meeting with my boss, and I decided to swing over to my friend, fellow PCV Tilden's site in San Felipe to visit her and see what her project was like for the weekend. It was such an amazing time! Tilden was a volunteer in Haiti before all volunteers were evacuated and the remainder sent to the DR instead. Therefore, she was placed in a Haitian Batey in the DR (a sugar cane field) where many Haitian-Dominicans live and work in the cane fields. Her community sits in the middle of the cane field, and has about 100 families. It was quite an adventure, being able to experience both Hatian and Dominican cultures at once. I was confused at times when the people would switch between spanish and creol (the language of Haiti) when speaking to Tilden. We walked to the nearest community of Monte Christi (about a five mile walk in the middle of a sugar cane field!) and visited another PCV named Lindsey (environmental education). She walked back with us and we helped Tilden give an AIDS talk to her youth group.
During my stay, Tilden happens to be quite the Martha STuart and we made wheat apple cinnamon pancakes, rice crispy treats, and curry rice! It was a nice change. Once I had to leave, I had many a good idea from her to bring back to my site and i knew it had been worth it.
Ok, so now here is the part where I ask for your care package items. Mostly, I need books in spanish for the kids to read, and also, I still need sports equipment (namely basketballs). Also, markers, construction paper, jewelry making kits, and arts and crafts supplies are heavily needed for fundraising activities we will be doing with my Estrellitas!
The regular stuff, like ouchless rubber bands, crystal lite, cookies, etc. still remains. Thanks to all of you who send your support in care packages and emails!