Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
48Trip End Nov 07, 2007
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It all started Wednesday when we were told that we may have to go into "consolidation mode" which means that PC will make us gather in a central location due to national disasters or political upheaval and stay there until notified that we can return to our sites. We hung around until Friday when we would know for sure as I suffered many "This Gringa is crazy" look when I told the townfolk that I would have to head for safety at the impending storm. Yes, it seems that Dominicans are more skillful at the art of meteorology than most CNN experts, but I was definitely looking forward to camping out in a hotel with actual air conditioning and hot showers with my fellow PCVs in the region for four days. Plus, the chance to see a real live hurricaine (growing up in the southwest and west coast I had only gotten to experience scary thunderstorms, tornados and earthquakes) was the chance of a lifetime and something I could tell my kids...or at least my niece and nephew.
The call came Friday in the mornign that we would have to consolidate afterall and I packed my mini medical kit and card games for what I was sure would be a fun-filled hurricaine fiesta. Off I headed to a rickety hotel 30 minutes away. How cool must it be that all my friends and family back home were watching the news, biting their fingernails, thinking, "But it's heading for poor Lisa!"
It never really came to that, but we all sat around and waited. We stayed in contact with our fellow PCVs from the south who had been consolidated to an all inclusive five star resort casino in the Capital where the storm was sure to hit hard, encouraging them to "Be strong" in their rough three days of buffets, massages, jacuzzis and black-jack playing. It was all we could do to set up a fund for them from our friends and family in the states.
Needless to say, as we were on our 20th game of Go Fish (being unable to leave our hotel-prison) the wind actually got up to gusts around 5 miles an hour and the rain came down so hard I think I saw it flatten a piece of grass. We tried to imagine what it would be like to see trees whipping around in the wind, but alas, we witnessed nothing of the sort.
Don't get me wrong, I am more than happy that no serious damage was done in the small impoverished country of the Dominican Republic. I guess I will just have to earn my badge of Peace Corps service with a third bout of Dengue. Knock on wood.