So I have now celebrated my birthday in a foreign country. This changed my plans a bit. First off my father in no way was going to provide the cake (which has been bought and than mailed to Erie, PA, South Orange, NJ, and Arlington, VA). But I solved that dilemma years ago when I picked up the Franconia Mennonite Cookbook and found the recipe for sour cream pound cake. I have yet to try another recipe from the book, but shall at some point. So I got the ingredients and made the cake myself. It was of course a challenge since I could not find a thermometer for the oven (oh Jumbo you failed me) and therefore was paranoid about it not baking right. I am willing to do that to get the flavor I like best, but traditionally I think someone else should make your birthday cake. Now my cake may not be the prettiest thing, but it is delicious. It was of course more presentable than my attempt at mississippi mud brownies for my english class, but once again that was delicious.
It wasn’t a terribly exciting day, but that’s not what I wanted. I’m saving up my energy of any big sort of celebration for the next one. It was an enjoyable where I got to eat cake, go to an expo and see some huge cows, then chill and eat cake. Also had a group call with my family in the states, in which I was taunted with the fact that they all had eaten pepperoni rolls. Those our what I jokingly call our familiy recipe, and only a failure if you are dealing with the dietary concerns of someone who does not eat meat. Isn’t it so sweet how nice they were to me on my birthday.
I was asked that night if I wanted to go on a trip to Higüey. At first my brain could not work out exactly where I was going, but I agreed. And then asked what time and was told 6 am. Since I had already agreed, I just smiled and said ok and Ronela told me it was her treat for my birthday. A bit later it finally clicked that I did indeed know the name of the place we were going and could spell it, with the umlaut. So the next day I get up at 5:30 and am ready and waiting for Rafienny and Ronela. We left the house a bit after 6 and walked to the Catholic Church. We then waited for a a length of time for the many people to be organized. This was not a few vans or a school bus trip. I am not even sure how many guaguas there were, but something like 12 guaguas and a school bus. We then start heading east, I had to ask Ronela what one of the monuments in the capital was for, but she pointed out the first Jumbo to me.
A little before twelve (we had a stop at the dominican equivalent of a truck stop) and after a wander through the gift shop went in the church for mass. The Basílica Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia was stunning.
I wanted to use this opportunity to point out the attachment of dominican jovenes to their phones (that have connection to facebook). No different than the US. But during mass where you are bring candle to light, take by the icon, and leave is that the time. Pictured below on the left is Juan Carlos, doing such a thing.