My life here in the D.R. is never ordinary by American standards. This week, however, has been particularly eventful in its non-ordinariness. Here is a run down of what's been going on in my community over the past seven days:
|Emely at home resting her leg|
My host sister, Emely, was hit by a motorcycle as she was leaving school. Don't worry she is okay, except for the broken leg. Here is the full story: A 17 year-old was popping wheelies on the dirt road in front of the primary school, and surprise he lost control and hit Emely as she started her walk home. First they took Emely home, but soon they decided she needed to go to the hospital. By the time they arrived at 7p.m. the doctor who knows how to set bones and make casts was gone for the day. Luckily, they were able to take her to a private doctor. The boy who hit Emely has agreed to pay for the cast, which cost $700 pesos or $16 dollars, an amount my host mom had to borrow from her church because she didn't have the funds available at the time of the accident. Emely's family will still have to cover the costs to transport her to school since she will be in the cast for a month - she will be traveling via a motorcycle. Emely doesn't seem to phased by the ordeal. She is enjoying the lack of chores, getting a ride to school, and the piggy back rides from friends as she changes classes.
|Putting the finishing touches on the ceiling|
My project partners took all 150 gallons from my water tank to use for library construction. The water was mixed with cement to seal the ceiling of the library. Part of me is happy that one more step is done and the other half is annoyed that my water tank is empty. Remember, I don't have running water. All the water I get comes from the sky, so taking all the water from my tank is not a small problem. My project partners' excuse is that they thought it would rain, which to their credit it did look like it was going to rain. I just wish they would have asked first. I have had water taken from my tank without my permission before, so I keep an additional 70 gallons of water inside my house. I am hoping we get a good rainstorm before I run out of water. If that happens I will have to sit out by the side of the road with an empty trashcan and hope the water truck passes by. I am lucky that I can buy water; not everyone can, but I still don't like having to waste my day waiting for water.
|Nana inside the water tank|
The one benefit to my project partners emptying out my water tank is that it gave me the opportunity to clean my tank. Or more correctly, it gave my 9 year old neighbor, Nana, the opportunity to clean my tank. Over the past year my water tank had collected its share of mud and leaves at the bottom. The bottom is out of reach of my hands so Nana offered to go inside the tank and clean it out for me. My biggest contribution to the cleaning was to blast bachata music by Romeo Santos over my portable speakers. I heard neighbors across the street talking about the music and declaring that I am bien dominicana (very Dominican).
|Neighbors at the beach - Nana is the one covered in sand|
Thursday I presented at a teacher's workshop in the northern area of the Samaná peninsula. In order to get to the rural school where I was presenting I got a motorcycle ride with a teacher trainer. The ride was over an hour and we primarily stayed along the coast line allowing me to enjoy some beautiful views. But I will say that riding a motorcycle isn't as glamorous as it seems. We nearly had to cancel the trip due to a rainstorm, and my hips were aching by the time we arrived at the school.
Lastly, a highlight of my week is that we installed windows and doors at the library! Whoo! It is starting to look like a real building! You can check out more pictures of the progress here.
|Library Committee members showing off the new windows|