Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Finally in the D.R.!

Hello everyone!
I am here in the D.R. in the school that I go to on my host sister's computer. She is a teacher here at the school. Yesterday was my first day of school and not very many people speak english, so it was a little scary for me. It is currently raining and here they cancel shool when it's raining ( I wish they did that in Homer!) I'm not really sure why they do that, and my host sister tried to explain it to me but I couldn't really understand.
When I left Alaska, I went to an orientation in Miami where everyone who was going on an exchange to South America from the U.S. met and got prepared. There were six people going to the Dominican Republic.
When we landed in Santo Domingo, the capital of the D.R., another exchange student and I got picked up by her host family and we went to this big Italian dinner thing at the host family's friend's house. There were five courses! And on their t.v. they had a video of one of Celene Dion's concerts playing over and over, I guess they like her alot :) after the dinner we stayed at the host family's house and watched 3.10 to Yuma with the host brother (we watched it in english because that host family knew english very well. People in Santo Domingo speak english alot..but other places not so much). The next day I rode the bus to San Juan and met my host family there, and I was feeling a little homesick so the AFS people who spoke english let me go with them to Las Matas for the night so I could get more accustomed. I also found out that I'm only staying with my host family for a month, and then moving to a different family for the other 9 months. This is because the family is going to Europe for a month so I need a place to stay.
Both of my host families are very nice, even though none of the parents speak any english, but my one host sister does a little. I'm learning more Spanish every day, which is good.
The school I go to is good, the classes I have are trigonometry, Spanish, physical education, informatica (a computer class) and French. French and Spanish are pretty hard... because I have to go from Spanish to French. But the French teacher is also the English teacher, so that helps.
Everyone here is very nice and welcoming so that is good. One thing that's really different is when I'm walking down the street, guys will whistle or yell, "Hola, Rubia!" which is "Hello, Blonde!" because noone here has blonde hair or blue eyes. It's kind've funny but it gets annoying.
Well, that's about all I can think of to say right now! Please comment or send me an email or something..I want to hear from everyone! How's Homer going? How's school there? Anything new? Miss you all alot! Lots of love.


Stray said...

Hi Hailey,
What a wonderful introduction to DR! I read your email as well, and it sounds like you are going to feel more and more at home in no time. I enjoyed hearing about the homes and pets too. A dog named Campion - cool! By the way - Isaac and Sophie have started their classes at UAA, they have 1 class together! Levi takes his drivers test today. The trees in my yard are just beginning to drop a few yellow leaves... Other than that Lupine is keeping me company.smooches and hugs <3 He!d!

sharon said...

sounds like a very busy intro to your new environment! I'll mention the idea of no school on rainy days to Miss Red at Raspberry Lane, but I think Sam would be sad to miss school. I'm glad family # uno isn't leaving you home alone when they go to Europe ;-)
Sam, Blaise, and I will be reading up on you. Blaise would like a picture of you to see.
Love, S

Dad said...

I know what you mean about the "Hola, Rubia"... In China, I stuck out like a spruce tree in an alder patch. Everyone would say "Halloooh" all the time. After a while it was annoying, so I started running at them with my arms waving and screaming jibberish! that worked! Just kidding... I knew they were just not used to tall guys with beards, and so i just ignored it and didn't let it bother me. I'm sure after you have some more friends, they will help you ignore it or get the boys to leave you alone.
Keep posting, and add some pics!

Anonymous said...

What a great description of your first days. Sounds like you'll be tri-lingual in no time. I'm curious as to what you learned in your orientation in Florida. It must have been nice to meet all the other exchange students before heading off on your own. We're rooting for you!
Love, Aunt Deborah

Anonymous said...

Hey Bug how can you get annoyed with boys whistling at you? lol but it sounds like a lot of fun what you've done so far, and i cant wait to hear more! im so excited for you, bummer you cant go to Europe with your family! school just started yesterday for me and is pretty fun already, and i have a double single dorm, and i have yet to get a roommate, which is kind of nice right now lol but i totally decked out my room and it rocks! anyways write more next time :P love you and hope to talk to you soon get on msn more!! Love Your Sista, Sophie

Grandma said...

Hi Hailey! I'll try this again. So glad you are settling in so quickly. Just enjoy being rubia, they are just enjoying you!! Sounds like a good thing your French teacher is also the English teacher. Let us know what new foods you try. Lots of Love, Grandma

ant b said...

so, is there an actual rainy season there when you might not have school for a while?? :-) are you out in the country? do you walk to school, ride a bike, bus, etc.? what was the bus ride like? do you have your own room? what's this about a dog?? it all sounds very different from life in homer (and new york, for that matter). take photos of you in your new environment, it will help us 'picture' you there... Thanks for doing this blog! love, a.b.

gopster said...

H! Boo
Am at a conference in Wrangell today and so happy to see your post. Hope to see you get an internet connection so we can visit you in real time.
It is rainy and cool here (duh) in southeast alaska. 5f they had rain days off here, some years they could only have a week of school.
We are waiting for the election results to see if we throw the bums out. Love, goppy

ahorseofcourse said...

Hi Hailey the brave, the blonde, the tri-lingual, hurricane surviving (you did survive, right?), stereotype busting (just being there!), one and only Hailey! I think I will dye my hair blonde(r), call myself Celine and head to the island - you won't be embarrassed, will you?! CT is just not the same as the DR. I think i need a change... :-) I remember the homesick thing so well when I went to college, Grandma can tell you about lots of tearful phone calls! And the "send money" calls - a girl just can't eat Ramen noodles forever... Have you met the host family that you will stay with the rest of the time? I wonder why they didn't just place you there in the first place? Although on the "experience" level, i guess it will be interesting to be part of a different family! Things are hopping along here, Jared started 5th grade which here is a Middle School already (gasp!), Aidan is in 4th and Ro-baby is in first! Crazy. And Hannah Pie is taking Pre-K by storm. Grandma is currently with Aunt B, and she and Kodiak are coming here tomorrow and we are going to a fair on Labor Day! Fall is great around here - lots of fairs with all the animals and the yummy food and the rides too - do they have anything like that there? I'll bet there are festivals and such. What is it like where you are? Tropical? Desert? Did you know there are 300 different types of butterflies in the DR? And leatherback turtles that can grow over 6 ft? Have you seen any of the different wildlife yet? Speaking of wildlife, we have a new horse, and I am having a terrible time naming him. I would love some help! Lots of love, and thanks for doing the blog! Stay safe, and know that you are in everyone's heart!
Aunt Ellen

Stray said...

Big news here - Alaska's Governor, Sarah Palin has been selected to run as Presidential candidate John McCain's running mate. Vice President Palin - hmmm, can you picture that? It was announced yesterday and Alaska turned inside out and upside down over the news. To read more you can visit www.adn.com
Love you tons... oh and all those dust bunnies we put in my fire place miss you tooooo~*

Nali said...

Hailey! sounds like tons of fun and i can't believe that you are taking french in spanish :O ¿como se what? lol... that's kind of weird that you have like two families in the D.R.! sounds cool. today in physics we got into groups to make mouse trap cars and i can't believe that people don't know how to set a mousetrap! I was in a group with iris fletcher and kaitlin cashman and i had to show them how to set a mouse trap...no wonder they were so confused of how a mouse trap could make a car move. i couldn't believe it. Also if we had rainy days off we would have had the last three days off (i wish). I'm glad that you are having a great time. miss ya, love denali

Grandma said...

Hi Hailey! Oboy you are busy! Sounds really interesting and different and you have acclimated already.Are you in a sport at school now? Seen any wildlife? (animals that is) Does it get cool in the evenings? The trip to climb the nountain will be exciting!!Thanks for the pictures! The trees are just starting to turn a little here. I have my house for sale and have lookers but no serious buyers yet. Are you with the second Host family now? Take care. Love, Grandma