Tag Archives: cabarete

a snowless christmas and happy new year

7 Jan

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

It’s crazy to think that group 517-13-01 has been here for almost one whole year already!  Some days are easier than others, but like I expressed in my last post, I’m very happy (and lucky) to be doing what I’m doing.  But a true highlight of 2013 was having my mom and sister come to visit me!

Christmas-time in Pescadería seemed like a combination of Spring Cleaning and Thanksgiving.  Everyone spent the entire month of December painting, dusting, and organizing their house from top to bottom, intending to start the new year on a clean slate.  Given that two of my favorite people were coming to visit me, I followed suit – house got painted; chairs and table got sanded and painted; windows got washed, then decorated with paper snowflakes.  This was our first snowless Christmas, and I don’t think any of us were sad about it.

I gave mom and Carrie a decent tour of the community, stopping by La Cabrita (where there now at least 10 new baby goats!), my host family’s house, and other homes of wonderful people that have taken me under their wing.  Not only did my community get to know more of me by meeting my family, but my family got to see where the heck I’ve been living for the past 9 months, how I’ve been keeping myself busy/sane, and who’s been taking care of me (read: the 3000+ members of Pescadería).

laundry and longaniza

laundry and longaniza

We drove a couple hours down the southern coast to Paraíso, and stopped on our way back through for papaya juice and the best sandwiches in Barahona.  We survived a dance lesson with Reni.  We people watched.  We gorged ourselves on Dominican Christmas favorites – longaniza (homemade pork sausage with lime and garlic), fried chicken, potato salad, fried plantains, apples, almonds, gumdrops, and pastelitos (platano/banana tamales stuffed with pulled chicken) – and shared some of our own by decorating gingerbread cookies that Mom brought all the way from the States!

cookie decorating!

cookie decorating!

We left early the 26th to explore Cabarete, which is located on the north coast of the island and is known as one of the kite-surfing capitals of the world.  After all of the attention, translating, and traveling, lounging in a hammock while reading a book and drinking a passion-fruit mojito seemed like a pretty good idea.  And it was.

described above.

described above.

We ventured out the 28th to do the Playa Grande tour, recommended by a fellow PCV living in the neighboring town of Sosua.  For US$150 we had our own personal and bi-lingual taxi driver, who took us to various beaches, a waterfall where crazy locals jumped off, a cacao farm with tons of yummy fruit and honey to sample, and our personal favorite, Dudu Lagoon.  35+ foot cliff jump and zip-line into vibrant blue-green fresh water – one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had in country to date.

Playa Caletón

Playa Caletón

Playa Diamante

Playa Diamante

Cave next to Dudu Lagoon

Cave next to Dudu Lagoon

Dudu Lagoon

Dudu Lagoon

fishy lunch options at Playa Grande

fishy lunch options at Playa Grande

Carrie and I at Playa Grande

Carrie and I at Playa Grande

Carrie and Mom left for the snowy States the 30th after a semi-successful paddle-boarding session (how could we visit Cabarete without doing at least one water sport?  Couldn’t).  I stayed in Cabarete till the 1st, ringing in 2014 with other volunteers that had flocked to the area to celebrate the end of one year and start to another.  How will this one top the last?  Who knows, but here are some goals:

  • actually start writing in my journal, even if it’s just a couple words a day
  • floss
  • visit 5 other volunteer sites
  • graduate 15 girls from my Chicas Brillantes class
  • do a Medical Mission (will probably end up writing about this later)
  • complete Construye Tus Sueños course and have 3 students participate in regional and/or national conference
  • build that darn basketball court (more on this later, too)
  • plan an activity with my women’s group for International Women’s Day

Anyway.  Since December is not the most productive time to get things done in this country, all of my groups and projects are starting up again.  My Chicas group meets Thursdays, my Chicos group starts Saturday, the women are meeting Tuesday, La Cabrita is having a planning meeting sometime next week, my Construye Tus Sueños class starts the 26th, and kids are headed back to school (well, technically they started today but no one will actually go till next week).

sunset at Sosua beach

sunset at Sosua beach

Thanks to all of you who take the time to read these posts.  I can only hope you’re learning half as much from me as I am from this experience here in the DR.

Felicidades amigos 🙂

a rainy but happy start to 2014

a rainy but happy start to 2014