And we are back in business

So I know it has been forever, but I have been working my fingers to the bone.  Not really.  I have had time, it was just with the computer limitations, I never took the time.  A failing on my part.

A quick trip along a path that leads nowhere and then I will update you on at least some of the things that have happened since Thanksgiving (the order may not be chronological or reverse chronological, but they will be Ashley logical, sorry in advance).  So the diversionary path:  My friend Zach is in Guatemala doing something with medicine, he did a few years ago drop the information on me that he was a year into med school (which led to a discussion about what information needs to be shared more promptly, he did improve on this).  He sent me an email about sitting next to a group of Peace Corps volunteers.  They were probably volunteering to assist with translation to a medical mission.  Just bringing it up because it’s something I might do, not this spring but before I leave.  Wanted to share with you another service we offer up.

Okay back to what I have actually done.

First – I have been more than 3 months into my service (up till the last week of October only counts as training).  With 3 months, I have the ability to have external visitors, take vacation, and move out of the homestay.

I have taken vacation and had external visitors.  Matt and LB came down for a long weekend because of schedule restrictions.  We stayed at a swanky place in the colonial zone of the capital, graciously paid for by them.  We went to a day of games of the Serie Caribe and saw the Dominicans win.  The Dominicans had the best record overall, so when another volunteer went to the last game of the 6 day series and saw them lose, he then saw them celebrate which felt a little off to him.  It is much louder through the whole game, and I will make a point to go to the regular season next year.  We did a poor tour of the colonial zone (apparently I did not retain much of that information, I promised to be a better history guide next time).  We went to a beach which is heaven for boogie boarders.  I also took them to the colmado and introduced them to the most popular Dominican beverages, including coca cola which Matt tells me is better because there is actual sugar used.  And a trip to the magical land of Jumbo (plus a less magical El Canal).  I did not give them the authentic experience of carro publicos, guagua, visiting with donas and having someone much older give up a seat for them, eating cane, or bucket flushing.  But I cater to what the visitor wants, so I can provide those if requested.

What also made the visit wonderful.  Matt’s old laptop that works.  Ahh a working computer that is mine is so sweet.  Oh yeah my old computer was not fixed.  My middle h-sister (that’s my new shorthand for host whatever) Raffienny called the store for me and was told the new monitor had arrived but was not in yet.  When I had my h-mom call, she got fuerte and came to the conclusion that they were lying about it arriving and led me to the decision that I would just get my computer and find another place to fix it.  I never had to pay the 500 for them looking at it, but also they said nothing about the monitor being there, so she might be right.  Plus I was going to be overcharges, which I knew but was fine with if it was fixed quickly.  Obviously it was not.  So I have given the computer to the oldest Ronela, who is responsible for the cost of fixing it and arranging that.  Plus I finally hooked it up to the external monitor of the desktop in the house and waited long enough to see it work (the waiting apparently did not occur in December), so I have gotten the stuff I need from it, which was one of the big things to me.

So the final privilege that I thought of – moving out.  Well I am not.  I did not foresee this, but I don’t want to.  I get privacy when I need it.  Yes more control over food would be nice, but also a hassle.  And I love my h-family.  Moving grants you independence, privacy, and control, but it is also a hassle of where and all you need to get or are responsible for paying for after that.  Maybe I will come to change my mind later, but I am not predicting that.  In training and before I came, I thought about with great anticipation the moment I could live alone.  But after some time in Cambita, I thought how comfortable I feel in the house and what a nice house it is (moving out might downgrade me).  The only little bummer is that I won’t be getting that dog I thought about since the 3rd week of training.  On the otherhand, I would have had to deal with all those reasons I never really considered it in the States once I get back, so it’s more of a drizzling cloud at rare moments and not a torrential cloud of disappointment.

That seems like enough for this post.  Except that I now own a Licey Tigres cap and had to show Nelson (h-dad) who is an Aguiila’s fan as soon as got back to Cambita.  Yup I am still me.


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