Saturday, March 15, 2014

Dos Borrochos y una Mesa

My new site is a lot different from much of the rest of the country. I am right on the north coast which is tourism and voluntourism central. Not to say that this is a bad thing. I have been able to meet a lot of great people because of this factor. The hard part is that I haven't found the best way to integrate in my community. In my old site people invited me in all the time(isn) and in friends' sites that is how Dominican culture typically runs. In my new site things are a little different. I feel as if I am just another white person trying to do something with everybody's time. I've been trying to combat this by starting a youth group and getting out more, but it hasn't felt like enough. Also, I miss walking up to random colmados and playing dominos. I just don't see people playing as often here. 

Well, when I came home from some time in the capital I decided I was going to integrate in my community. I was going to ask someone, maybe the old guy I've been stalking, to play dominos. 

As luck would have it, when I went to the colmado tonight, some of the local hombres borracho were sitting there. They shouted some things at me, offered Brugal, and said hello. I took my chance and inquired about a mesa de dominos. We chatted about how i knew how to play, wanted to play, and lived across the street. I headed home to wait. 

As I chatted with my room mate I heard someone enter my house. The guy had found a dominos table and was going to buscar another dude to play dominos with us. My room mate had her heart set on watching another episode of Shameless, but i figured it would be good for both of us to spend the evening chatting with the local old dudes in spanish. 

We played a few games and had a good time. I turned up some of the Dominican music I have and impressed them with my spanish. The funny thing is, no matter how many times we told them that Michelle was fully capable of speaking spanish, and no matter how much spanish she spoke, my partner continued to say "di le a ella". He did not trust that she could speak, even though we have gone over and over how her spanish is better than mine. I guess this brown skin is doing more than protect me against the sun down here, it actually makes me easier to understand in spanish. Thanks, skin! 

For now, I am learning to love my new site. I want to look back on my time in Peace Corps and think fondly of where i live. I want to think of friends I made while I was here, but I won't be able to do that if I don't get up, get out, and find where these friends are located; even if i do have to start with the guy that's probably had one too many. 

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