Farmers, and artisans, and tours oh my

So I know where I am going.  But that is something to talk about another day, because I have to follow up on a previous post.  I will say luckily I did not get café farmers.  I say luckily because it was going to either be very awkward or I was going to have to start drinking coffee.  And I really had not figured out which way the dice were going to fall.  For those of you worried about me fitting in with not drinking the coffee, feel at ease because I never turn down the opportunity for natural juice.  Oh my gosh I hope there is some kind of fruit available in my back yard in my future home.  That and a dog.  And hopefully the home is less than 4 months away.

I got some feedback on the English Promotion Charla.  When I was told I should have stood closer to the charla papers and not across the room, I wanted to say does it not show I hate being the center attention.  Of course I stood away from the paper, I wanted them to look there and not at me.

We have also done another charla in Spanish, this one to a bunch of teenage girls about costing and pricing cookies.  Let me just tell you a nice warm oatmeal chocolate chip cookie in my stomach felt like a slice of happiness and the comfort of home in the US.  And eating the extra chocolate chips, just decadent.  It’s nice to have found another way to just set myself into a happy place.  Although Bon (icecream) also works as it always have.  I’ve used that to sometimes just make the day a little better since highschool.  And although not everyone guesses my age right, that was more than a decade ago.

Okay since CBT is almost over with let me try to wrap this up.

We have technical classes at La Mansion.  It was built by an American decades ago, Trujillo acquired it at some point and it plays into the Mirabal Sisters history, and now is run by Codacafe.  It is serene up there on the top of a hill.  Included are some pictures of the others hard at work while I organized my itunes library.

What else have we been doing, you ask.  Why field trips.  The best one was last Thursday when we went to observe a tourism operation called 27 charcos which is 27 water falls you jump or slide down.  The site is currently without a volunteer, but they have previously had 4.  The guides have gone from just earning money from tips to standing up to the tour operators and demanding they get their share of the ticket price.  You wear a helmet and life jacket and have guides the whole time.  Part of the ticket revenue goes to assisting the community, which is great to here because I am CED.  Of course I was terrified ever time right before going (apparently I gave Tim our trainer a look that said how could you get me into this, not that I realized that is what my face was conveying) but each time after immediately after not impaling myself on the rock and hitting the water, I thought it was incredible.  Still on each new jump I could not believe I would actually manage to jump out from the rock (this reminded me of the free fall ride in Six Flags New Jersey where when waiting at the top I would think, why did I do this again and when getting to the bottom be willing to get into the line to go again, to have the feelings cycle through again).  At one I slipped and the guide is like yes slide and I swear that time I actually got pushed a little, as opposed to all the other times when he just offered to push.  What convinces me I did feel a push was that he yelled down are you all right.  I responded yes but was thinking you ask that after pushing me, did you not think I was going to be alright, was the push a good idea.  Everyone thinks, no the hesitating is not helping, but in my twisty turvy way of thinking through things, I can actually get around to going and I cannot just jump off without thinking about it.

The other ones we visited were an artists group, café fincas, and an eco tourism site called Pico de Ocampo.  I have some pictures from the farm visit.  And yes I have included one of the views we saw because apparently mountain grown coffee is not a specialty, but the normal way of growing.  The others I either did not take my camera out or did not bring the heavy thing at all because there was a hike up a mountain.  A hike I did not even end up completing because a small little cold wrecked my ability to get the appropriate amount of oxygen.

I also have written a business plan in Spanish and will be cold calling NGOs and Private Volunteer Organizations tomorrow.

The five and half weeks have been busy, although there has been moments when I missed the offerings of city life in the US for activities after dark.  I cannot believe come Friday we will be back in the capital.  But its coming, and that means in about a week I will see my site for the first time.  Awesome.

A friend said “I’m piecing together your adventures in the DR from your blog, I’m interpreting it as “things are going relatively well.” Hopefully I’m right about that.”  Things are going swimmingly and I must say it’s incredible.  I would like to point out that I would love to hear from some of my other friends, considering I am trying to keep you informed.  I want to know what is happening in your lives as well.  Especially considering in 2 weeks I will not be in constant contact with other Americans like now.


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