Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
48Trip End Nov 07, 2007
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It all began at Thanksgiving. I was really looking forward to thanksgiving again, if nothing more than for the anual volunteer talent show. I had practiced my song since the previous year after my performance at last Thanksgiving was a big hit. Unfortuataley, when the time came, my stage fright got the best of me and my voice wasnīt my own. The song I sang sounded so much better in my kitchen. Not to mention that the electricity went out mid-song. I was humiliated. Oh well, I guess my fifteen minutes of fame had definitely passed. No post-pc American Idol for me!
The first week in December was our one year In-Service-Training. This was the opportunity to see what all 14 other youth volunteers had been doing over the past year, and also give us the chance to talk about some challenges we had. The IST was held atop a beautiful mountain getaway called Blue Moon. It was gorgeous, and featured an Indian banquet, which I thouroughly enjoyed. It was great also to see all my fellow volunteers as we reflected in disbelief that we had made it a whole year and had less than one year remaining. All was going well until I had a huge panic attack as I suddenly started thinking about all the things that hadnīt exactly accomplished that I had wanted to. And now, here lay one year left to get it right and make a difference. That is a lot of pressure to surround yourself with! My fellow volunteers calmed me and gave me praise for the job which I had done and tried to remind me to focus on the positive.
The second week of December, my friend Tara came to visit from the states. We spent the day at the 27 Charcos, a tourist site (being developed by a PC volunteer) and it was amazing. We climbed through 27 waterfalls,and then had the thrilling challenge of jumping and sliding down from them. At times I thought I might die, but I didnīt. All went pretty well with Taraīs visit, except for the fact that Delta airlines lost her bag (she still has never received it) and the fact that she became violently ill with stomach issues the second-to-last day of her visit. I was sure that she would never want to visit me again, but she claimed she had a great time and it all made the trip more interesting at least.
Christmas this year was a bit better. I bought a stove-top oven pot so that I could make brownies. I didnīt tell anyone I had found a package of brownie mix or I would have been the shame of all doņas for miles around. Everyone loved them. My friend Alysia, who also was stuck in the DR for Christmas came to my site. We made rice curry and more brownies and enjoyed our feast. We later went out dancing at the local club and had quite a pleasant time, thought it could never make up for the absence of Starbucks and Ikea and all the other overcommercialized necessities to make it really feel like Christmas...
For new years, my best friend from fourth grade, Jessica (who had just reconnected with me after all these years) came to ring in the New Year with me and other volunteers in Cabarete. We had a great time until she too and another volunteer friendsharing our hotel room ended up getting violently ill from something they ate the evening of New Years and spent the evening throwing up. Boy, Iīm sure that now NONE of you are coming to visit me. Shortly after, I ended up sick too. We didnīt get to travel to any of the fun-filled tropical destinations I had planned. We didnīt even go to the beach once.
To top everything off, I would love to pass along recent photos to add to my blog, but my camera was stolen at the internet place in my site. I am trying to offer a reward to get it back, if not thecamera, at least the memory card. It has been a few days and I am sure that it is not going to resurface. However,I have hope that my faithful readers maybe can help me out. I have set up a Paypal account with a link on this website. You will be able to donate a dollar or two to my Ļcamera fundĻ. If everyone who reads my blog donates five dollars, Iīll have a new camera in no time. If my camera somehow resurfaces, Iīll donate all the money to my youth or one of my projects. Please help me out!
Hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Years. Never take for granted the family and friends you have, because one day you may not be able to spend this special time of year with them.