13 November 2005

Site Discoveries

So, I got the site I wanted. Does that mean everything is dandy? Well... I've made a few discoveries of my new home this week, and they will take some getting used to!
I'm actually really lucky as far as my room goes. It's set apart in the back of the house. It's a huge room with a dreser (partly full), a closet (mostly full - NOT of my stuff!), and my own bathroom. Yes... my own bathroom in my room! And here's one of many things to get used to: the shower is a tube coming out of teh wall... directly in front of the toilet! (And there's no sink.) I will have to figure out how to take a shower without soaking everyghing in my "bathroom"... and how to wash my hands without bathing my feet as well. :o) Unfortunately for these learning goals, the water was off for 2 days, so instead I got to practice being "clean" without a shower! And lastly for my shower learning experiences... the water here is freezing (straight from the moutain springs!), so I will have to learn how to heat my own shower water on the stove - including lighting the stove - and soon!
The temperature here is actually cold. It reminds me of camping in the mountains during the summer. It warms up during the day (if the fog & clouds leave, which isn't as often during the winter), and temperatures drop at night. True to dominican style, the houses are open & there's no heat, so staying warm is a little challenging since I didn't bring many warm clothes! And of course, the mayes thrive here, so I'll be battling more bites for awhile!
Lastly, some quick observances of my new home: 2 of the boys currently have chicken pox. Good thing I've already had it! I discovered they don't use toilet paper here. (How?!?) And my room is directly in front of the gallera - where they hold cockfights - so I'll have to make sure to be gone Friday afternoons to avoid the bullah (noise)!
But despite all these oddities, the family here is great. The house has a family of 4 (soon to be 5!), but everyone here is family... all 100 or more!
Oh! And how could I forget the most exciting discovery of all?! Wednesday I met Julia Alvarez, the author, who owns a finca across the road. Her finca (farm) is run by an organization to help teach the cafecultores here to better their coffee. I'll probably be working with her farm, but it was a treat to meet her since she's rarely there! Now I'll definitely have to read her books!


Krista said...

I am so very excited for you!!! I looked up Julia Alvarez for more info on her and also found the website for the finca...it souds great! http://www.cafealtagracia.com/index.html
I can't wait to come and see it all!

Anonymous said...

Hi from the Bay Area (a Hillside friend) -- I'm thrilled that you got the assignment you wanted. And your "finca exploring" sounds like great fun! It's sunny and warm here today; hope you're getting some sunshine too. (I'll say "hi" to your Mom when I see her at choir practice!)