15 October 2005
Life in CBT
This last week we began CBT - Community Based Training. It's just the business group of 13 here. We're in a small town in the north of the DR, out in the campo. We all have new host families, and mine is wonderful! My dona loves to talk... She carries on all the time. Of course, for me that's great! She lives with her husband, and her children live in 3 houses surrounding her house. Three of the grandchildren are over all the time, and I am enjoying playing with them and getting to know the families. One of the babies is 11 months old, and she just started taking her first unassisted steps this week! It's an exciting time here. :o)
We have business (technical) class twice a week with all 13 of us. We are further divided into barrios by Spanish class. There are four of us in my Spanish class (which meets every day), and we're all living close together. Three of the four of us are living with sisters! The whole community knows everyone, and almost everyone is related. It's definitely a small town life! My particular house has a flushing toilet... But it's outside. This makes for some interesting problems in the middle of the night since the back door is really hard to reclose! Most of the other families have toilets inside, although there are a couple people in our big group whos families have latrines. Almost all of the families in my community raise some type of livestock - pigs, goats, ducks, geese, chicken... and almost all have some sort of plot of land where they grow some plants, either for consumption or sale - plantains, bananas, beans, corn, avocado, and more. Many of the families have their own fruit trees also - mine has a mandarin orange tree, cherry tree, orange tree, and more! It's been interesting to see how these people live off the land. There's not much of that left in the US!
This last week we started our first big project - a community diagnostic. Unfortunately, we haven't had much time to work on it. Either it's been raining (we have dirt roads), or the power's been out (I'll have to explain the power situation here in the DR at a later date), or we have school or homework. It's definitely been a busy week. On Monday we have to present our findings in Spanish to the rest of the business group. Luckily it's a group project by community, so the 4 of us have been working on it every chance we get!
As this post is getting long, I should bring it to a close. Sorry there's no picture attached to this post... I haven't brought out the camera here yet and I forgot the cord at the house. I'll be sure to at least post one pic next time! If you're sending mail, please send it to the same address in Santo Domingo. Mail will be brought out to us sporadically. Hope all the beautiful people reading this are doing well! Send me a line so I know who's getting this. Miss you all and I'll write again as soon as I can!