Saturday, June 28, 2014

Pizza and Moro

Sharing is a big part of the culture in the Dominican Republic. I've recently started sharing my time with the neighbors by frescaring across the street with mi gente. I also made brownies recently and brought them to the sharing space. One particular neighbor gave me a bunch of free milk this morning and another gives me fruit on occasion.

Today I was talking with the young guy next door. His arms are covered in this black gunk and his legs are peeling away. He was recently in a moto accident, so he has basically been frescoing ever since. He has scabs and weird black dried cream falling off of his legs. When I look at the infection, blood, dried cream, and dead skin cracking and flaking I go back to my childhood and imagine that I would be picking at that all day if I were him…. back to the story at hand. This guy asked me what time is was and when we noticed that it was food time I told him I was going to make pizza. When I asked if he wanted one he said just un chin to probar. I went ahead and made two broccoli, pepperoni, and onion pizzas and but them into small pieces.

When I went back outside he wasn't across the street, so I went to his house to see if he was eating with his mom. He wasn't there, but I gave her pizza and in exchange she gave me chicken and moro. Long story short, Amanda shared pizza with the Mom and all the other guys outside. The guys were reluctant at first. They even claimed to be having stomach issues, but finally took a piece. When I went back home and was pulling clothing off of my room they shouted up at me… "Amanda, do you have any more pizza?"

The guy that didn't want any at first wanted more. They asked who made it and were impressed when I told them it was all me. Yay. Amanda can make personal pizza in a skillet that even Dominicans love.

We ended with me promising that the next time I made pizza I would share.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Hair is happening...

Natural hair is a challenge, but I'm having fun with it on the island. 

Chicas camp

A few weeks back I received a call letting me know that someone had dropped out of GLOW camp and that I could now bring two girls to camp in their place. 

I've met with two parents in regards to three girls. I don't think I realized how hard getting the girls would be. So far the problem isn't the distance as I currently thought, the problem is that the girls do so much house work and the mother's don't think they can afford to lose them for five days. One set of girls is a cousin set. The mother cares for both of them and they do all of the cooking and cleaning in the house. So far it looks as if one may be able to come and the other would have to stay behind. I also don't know that parents see the value of the camp. 

I just hope my limited Spanish was enough to explain the value of a girls camp. 

I have another parent meeting set for tomorrow. A girl asked me to talk to her father. It sounds like she lives with her two older sisters and I may have more luck with them. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Not in America

"That would never happen in America!"

Today I was buying ice cream. When the cashier handed me my treat I took a bite. Then she tried to hand me another. 

The other cashier was waving her arms. "Wait! You have the other persons ice cream!" 

Sad face. I looked at the woman ashamed. "I'm sorry!" She took the ice cream. "But... I already tried some." She waved it off and we both paid for the correct ice cream. 

That would never happen in America. 


Sometimes, when I am not doing Peace Corps things, I like to send my friends and family random photos, in hopes of receiving one in return. 

My sister always comes through. 

Other people are also pretty good at the return photo thing. IE My favorite, Taylor, but I don't know if she would want her photo on the internet. As my sister is my sister, she had no choice. 

My mom also sent a photo after I explained the game, but she has since told me the picture is not allowed on the internet. Fine. 

Anyway, that's how I bond with my family back home. Random photos make up for some of the time when, if I were home, we would just happen to see each other. 

Also, for those interested, I am now twisting my hair, so that's a thing. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Best day of my Peace Corps service?

I know I haven't written in a long time. It's so long I don't actually know how long it has been. Here are my excuses in a list that is also kind of a list of accomplishments.

1. I decided I wasn't going to "leave" my site for 6 or 8 or 10 weeks. (We will see in 10 weeks)
2. I've also decided I wanted to compartir with my neighbors more. (I now have friends)
3. I started playing dominoes with my neighbors.
4. Things just don't seem strange or "exciting" when they happen to you every day.

The real reason I decided to write a post today is that I could not contain my excitement for having taught a group of DOminican dudes how to play spades.

SERIOUSLY! That happened TODAY.

I've started visiting all of my neighbors. By visiting my neighbors I mean we all sit out under the trees across from my house when it's hot to catch some shade. Really, we are awesome.

I also started visiting the guy down the road who appears to be the only guy in the area who owns a set of dominos. When I was about to walk over there today the guys were coming back and said the guy who owned the dominos was at the clinic. He's sick today. Sad… but opportunity was knocking. I asked if any of them had a set… nope. I had my chance… "Do you know how to play cards?"

I wasn't about to let this turn into some "Casino (Dominican card game I understood for about 20 minutes one time and then the rules changed.)… I was going to make these guys play spades!!!

It was so exciting. I was all aflutter with trying to know the spanish words for the following:
1. Spades
2. Clubs
3. Diamonds
4. Books
5. Tricks

Whatever. It was great. I even went nil and my partner covered me. A better spades player could have broken me, but I was so proud of them. I had about 20 people sitting around the small table watching, and three guys playing. They got really tigure and started talking trash. I loved every moment. Seriously, please, can we play again?