Monday, July 28, 2014

A Baby.

Something big is about to happen. Someone is going to have a baby. That someone is America and the baby is ME!

All that to say, I have about the same about of time left in my Peace Corps service and took my Mom to gestate me. After that I will come out screaming and enter the great land of America. After this time, the ability to feel me inside a womb… or see my inside this country during my Peace Corps service, will be over.

So pack your bags, friends, family and stalkers. Are we friends? Visit me. Did we used to be friends, but now you don't like me? Visit me! (I mean… I'm sure we can both get some utility out of the trip right?) Do you think I'm cute? Visit me! Do you read my blog and think, "Amanda doesn't even know who I am? Visit me! Do you wonder what it's like in the Dominican Republic? Visit me! Do you really just want to experience a colmado? Visit me! Do you want the inside scoop on the Dominican Republic from someone who has traveled way more than she ever thought possible on one tiny island? Visit me!

Long story short, my house is nice and it's about to be empty. I've decided I am probs using the rest of my vacation days in country, so I should probably use them with someone next to me. I'm done traveling alone. Come get to know me, and if anything else, I'll introduce you to my cute friends.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

What I took from the Chicas Conference...

Because I have a mostly unwritten policy with my blog that I don't mention too many things about work I probably won't talk much about the recent Chicas Brillantes conference I went to. I do want to talk about an "Archie Bunker" activity, but I am still trying to find an Amanda-way to do that. Until then I give you "What I took from Chicas Brillantes".

Two things. 

The first: 
Most of the pages from a 2003 calendar. I was attracted to the images while my group began working on their collages. Unfortunately for them, and fortunately for me, none of the girls in my group were interested in these images.

Imagine my luck when the activity was over and the leadership told people to go ahead and take the leftovers. I offered the images first to the Dominican leader in my group, because she and I had been looking through them the entire time, but she was also ready to trash them.

I've learned a lot from these images. For starters, 2003 was the international year of freshwater. Pretty cool. Also, each piece is made with water from the location in the world it represents (wash image was originally a water color done by Dave Parker.) I also learned that I like "art" in my house. I was going to wait until the volunteers left because I am sharing space with them and since they live here too I want them to be comfortable, but they all liked the pictures, so up they went. It's cool for me to have something to remind myself that water can be scarce for some people. My water goes out, but I have confidence it'll be back the same day. Others don't afford such luxury. 

The second thing I took from the Chicas Brillantes conference was the idea of encouraging notes being sent within a group of people. We all know emotions can run high, especially when a lot of girls live together in one house, so I thought this could be fun. 

I started with white Manila folders I had on hand (you can see I was short one) and I just asked my housemates to each decorate one. You may have noticed a theme, rainbows. I was drawing mine next to Cole and as she began drawing her rainbow I let her know that I was planning on drawing a rainbow too. After that Taylor drew hers and I wondered if she had noticed the rainbow theme too, but she hadn't. The rest we pushed to draw rainbows, I mean after three it's a theme right? 

Hopefully thinking about good qualities someone has, as all of my roommates possess, will help keep good spirits for all. 

For more information about water in asia and maybe this 11 year old calendar

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A quick update

I haven't spent much time blogging lately. This is mostly because I don't like blogging about work-type stuff and I have been doing a lot of work type stuff lately. Such is life.

I will tell you that I am working at an english immersion camp for the organization that solicited me. Because we didn't have enough American volunteers the first two weeks I had invited a few Peace Corps Volunteers to fill in and therefore have had plenty of time to bond with some PCV's while they stayed with me at my home. I have also had a great time getting to know the American Volunteers who are down here for differing lengths of time during the summer. I will let it be known that I have taught them all how to play spades so my evenings have been filled with some pretty intense bonding.

I set it up a last weekend to take the volunteers to Santiago. This was probably going to be their last chance to get out of Puerto Plata for a while, so we met up with Chris and went to the Centro Leon museum in the city. I'll have to find a link to the museum, because it really was worth the price.  I also bought the coolest book I have ever bought. It was written by children from across this country. USAID and some other organizations put it together. The illustrations were added and the text was typed up. It is really well done.

The rest of the week was camp.

The Fourth of July was a lot of fun as well. Most of the PCV's in this country were heading east for an event, but I stayed in site with Conner and the volunteers. I am trying to spend a lot of time in my site right now, really getting to know the gente here in Muñoz. That has really been working out. I like having the volunteers here, but I have wanted my neighbors to know I am not just here for the summer. Conner and some of the girls and I went dancing in Cabarete for the evening. It is super close to my site, but I hardly ever go.

All right. I shall add in some photos and you will see them and be happy. Unless you are reading this from the DR and have slow internet… I suggest killing the page, because the pics are already on the fabu! 

Centro Leon Peeps. The two girls on the ends helped at camp. 

My new room mates and the guy hitting on them. 

I was embracing big hair and Facebook blew up over it! 

Cutest book in the world. 

Yogen Fruz and packed carro publicos in Santiago. 

My shower wasn't draining so I had the landlord let me help work on things. He was shocked when I told him my mom and Uncle taught me about "house-stuff". He didn't let me help much, but it was cool to see how the DR handles plumbing y etc. 

Fourth of July in Cabarete. I love this girl. Also, I look tan.