¡hasta nunca!

5 May

Helloooooo world!  Currently writing to you from my bed in Santo Domingo.  Yup, we’re back in the big, bad capital.  We left Peralvillo yesterday morning around 9:30; I was a complete mess – can’t believe that 5 weeks of CBT went by so quickly!  I couldn’t have asked for a better host family experience.  They were welcoming, entertaining, comforting, generous, fun, and interesting to talk to; they treated me like a queen, taught me how to dance, opened their home to me and my fellow trainees, helped improve my Spanish, and shared Dominican cooking tips.  Blood-related or not, we are most certainly family 🙂  Because we had so much confianza, jokes, teasing, and/or sarcasm were not uncommon.  For example, when I’d have to leave the house for training, instead of saying hasta luego or adios or nos vemos ahorrita, I opted for hasta nunca (bye forever).  By the end of CBT, all of my neighbors were saying it too!  I explained to them that even though I say ‘bye forever’, I’ve always come back.  So, when I bid them hasta nunca when I left yesterday morning, I made a promise to both myself and to them that I’d return.

I believe I mentioned in a previous blog post that we were going to attend the Construye Tus Sueños Regional Conference this weekend.  CTS is a CED initiative that motivates entrepreneurship in and teaches business skills to youth.  Kraft Foods, producer of Green & Black Chocolate, took particular interest in Construye because their product is made entirely from 100% organic cacao that is grown right here in the Dominican Republic.  They realized that it was important to invest in the communities their cacao was grown in by making them more viable places for youth to stay and work.  As opposed to leaving to find work in the city, Construye motivates youth to open a small business in their own hometown.  Given all of this, CTS is the only Peace Corps initiative worldwide that is funded by a private or public business – Kraft has offered to fund Construye for at least the next three years.  Pretty cool stuff.  Unfortunately, not everything went as planned, and the conference was postponed until further notice.  BUT, seeing as Peace Corps demands flexibility, we held our own mini conference on Friday in Peralvillo, which turned out to be a great success!

Friday was a busy day.  In addition to the CTS workshop, the director of the Community Economic Development Sector, Michael, came to visit us.  A large part of his job includes site development – finding and deciding where each of us will live and work for our two years of service.  He explained that the most important aspect of both his job and ours is collaboration.  In order for a community to receive a Peace Corps volunteer for example, a group or organization must solicit one (PC doesn’t just drop a volunteer in a random community).  Once in site, we’ll have 2 project partners that help us to integrate and to lead various projects.  Which brings me to TOMORROW, when we find out our site placements!  I have no idea what to expect, just that that’s where I’ll be living and working for the next two years.  Quite exciting, and nerve-wracking…

Last but not least, here’s some photos that I took during my CBT experience in Peralvillo: PCDR – CBT Training.  Wonderful place, even better people 🙂

Hasta nunca!


One Response to “¡hasta nunca!”

  1. Jason Burnside May 6, 2013 at 12:44 am #

    Hi Kate, I’ve been reading all your blogs. What am awesome experience for me just reading this, I can’t imagine how awesome it must be for you. Can’t wait to hear all about it when more when you get back.


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