05 October 2006


So much has been going on lately, where to begin?!

First off, I celebrated my 27th birthday on Tuesday. Courtney and I decided very last minute to have a party. She made me a cake, and I invited some people from my community. It was a very "Peace Corps" birthday! First, Courtney had problems with the cake and ended up piecing together a cake out of the good pieces of 2 cakes. It was so pretty though! She decorated it with flowers, and of course it tasted good! Surprisingly, people came to the party. Naturally, the people who keep complaining that they haven't been invited to the house yet didn't come though! We started around 6pm. Caroline, a new American in my site (not PC), came also. We had cake and chex mix, and all was well, until the water went out! As Miguelo said, "That's a party for pobres (poor people)! Not even water to drink!" But that didn't stop us. I put on some music, whose volume was apparently laughable by Dominican standards. So someone ran to get a better stereo, and we danced the night away! It looks like that year will be full of adventure - I began my 27th year climbing up crazy hills the next morning! :o)

And just last weekend I had another dancing night at my friend's inauguration party. I headed up to Imbert, Puerto Plata to support Mike in the inauguration of his visitor center at 27 Charcos where he's working on an eco-tourism project. There are 27 waterfalls that you can hike up and then jump down (yes, hike up the falls!). The guides are all youth from the surrounding communities. After the morning ceremony, attended by all the big-wigs of supporting organizations (USAID, UN, Canadian Embassy to name a few) there was a band which played all evening. Naturally there was dancing, and I was an easy target among all Mike's guide friends! Mike and I finally took off around 10:30. Getting back to the main road, we thought we heard firecrackers, and turned to see a fire starting. We were certain the brand-new palm-branch roofs were on fire! There was nothing we could do about it, but we were plenty nervous that night! How do you explain to multiple aid organizations that the building they just financed and inaugurated was burnt down?! It was with great confusion, relief and annoyance the next morning that we heard the fire was the caƱa (sugar cane) fields burning right across the river from the center. Why would anyone burn fields at 10:30 at night? Oh, but life's always an adventure here!

And speaking of "celebrating", our youth camp "Celebrando el Cibao" went well! We had 50 youth from all over the north & east of the DR. The main focus of the weekend was diversity. We had a group of JICA volunteers from Japan, some Brazilian martial arts, a Dominican jazz musician that "creates" instruments out of anything (think Stomp, but not as loud!), and many more sessions. I brought 2 13-year-old youths from my community, and I think after finally getting settled in, they enjoyed themselves. It was the first time they had participated in something like that!

Among other busy-ness, the new training group arrives here in my campo on Monday for a month, and I'm taking another 3 youth to a business conference in the capital next week. Should be an interesting time for all!


Mrs. Stearns' First Grade said...

Hi pumpkin! it sure is great to catch up on your news. sounds like you're having a great time. Tell everyone we are looking forward to seeing them in April.I went to a Teacher's convention last week and saw Carol Frost and she said HI! Do you need her e-mail? Take care I love you and I'm praying for you always. Love , Mom


i love to see pictures from my country!
thank u !
by the way, i writed u a comment in your space, so here is too great too !, see u!

Mrs. Stearns' First Grade said...

Hi, I just read Kristas Blog and enjoyed hearing about things in Africa. WOW! Does she look GREAT! Even though she has no hair. I think she is the only one that can look great without hair.Dad and I hardly knew it was her.We saw Pam Johnson she said she needed to talk with you and she might e-mail you soon.I've got to go the natives are getting restless. love mom