Friday, September 5, 2008

Hello everyone! Okay, so i left off on Tuesday with my first day off from school. We had the next day off, and Thursday I went to school again. I figured out that I have more classes, and that the schedule is different every day. All the classes I have are math, spanish, P.E., computer, french, biology, history, orientation, art, civic, and religion. Wow. On Thursday I was just about as lost in class as I was on Monday, but thats ok. After school on Thursday, I rode the bus to Santo Domingo with my host sister for an AFS welcoming party. We got to the party an hour and a half late, and it was at this big fancy club place. It was fun and I got to meet some other people who are here from other countries on a foreign exchange with AFS. That night, I stayed with the five other girls from the U.S. who are here. We slept at one of the girls houses in Santo Domingo, and stayed up late talking. It was nice to talk to people in English :) The next day we got up early and all of the people from around the world who are here in the Dominican Republic with AFS went on buses to the colonial part of Santo Domingo, where there were castles and old buildings and monuments and it was pretty cool. I took lots of pictures, but I didnt take my camera today so Ill have to post pictures later. Anyways, after we walked around colonial Santo Domingo for a few hours, we went to this camp. It wasnt exactly a camp, but thats what they called it. It was about 45 minutes out of Santo Domingo, and it was this nice resort-ish place with a pool and a volleyball net and lots of trampolines. We gathered into groups and had meetings about safety tips and stuff like that. It was pretty fun, because all of the AFS advisors are in their 20s so it was pretty relaxed, very different from AFS in the U.S. because they let us do pretty much whatever we wanted. We hung out and ate good food and played volleyball alot. The next day we all went back to Santo Domingo, and then back to our host families. I was supposed to get picked up by my host sister, but AFS told me she called and asked them if I could stay with K.C., another AFSer, in Azua with her family. Azua is about an hour out of San Juan. So we rode the bus to Azua and went to K.C.s house. All this time I didnt really know what was happening, or why I was going, because nobody really knew. The AFS program director told me that it had something to do with my family being sick, so that didnt help and just made me worry more. Anyways, we went to get pizza at this pizzeria, and it was corn and chicken pizza. It sounds kinda weird, but it was actually really good. After that, we went to KCs house and changed then went to the park. By then it was already like 10 P.M. We walked around the park once, where there were a few people and loud music playing, then we moved on to this outdoor party thing with lots of booths for food and beer and soda, and tons of people. We danced a little, and some people showed me how to Bachata and Merengue (I cant really tell the difference). After that we went home and slept. The next day we just hung out because it was Sunday, and didnt do that much. But KC plays softball, so we decided to find a ball and throw some. A friend of one of the girls who lives in KCs house had a lefty mitt, and we found a softball. Then, there were two little boys who wanted to play with us, so we set up a little game in the street with random stuff for bases and a piece of wood for a bat. It was fun :)
That night we went to the park again, and then to the same party that was still going on. This time we didnt dance, because there was this random pageant thing going on, where they were crowning the new Queen of Azua...It was random. And then they had fireworks. Hahaha. It wasnt very smart of them...they had them right in the middle of all the people.
The next day, I was really anxious to know what was going on, because i had talked to AFS the day before and they didnt know either, so I talked to Andrea, an AFS advisor, and she called my sister and my sister said that she would pick me up at four oclock. She found our house at like 5 and then we took the bus to San Juan. That was on Monday, and apparently there was some kind of party at the school that I missed or something.
The next day I went to school and we only had classes for about an hour and then all the students left because there were teacher meetings. I walked around town with my friends Yomalsy and Julissa and we tried to find a cafe with internet, but the internet was down everywhere (that happens alot here). So we stopped in a bakery and got cake and then walked around some more and then went back to the school, and then went home. The next two days we didnt have school because of the rain, apparently there was a type 1 tropical storm nearby named Ike, and the whole country was on red alert. But the storm didnt hit us, all we got was some rain. For those two days I didnt do much other than hang out with people and do homework and read a little. Oh, and my uniform is being made..the school has uniforms but they dont hand them out..you have to go out and buy them somewhere...
And I got my sport uniform. My school, CEILU, has a softball team and a volleyball team..and a basket ball team too, i think. Im hoping to join the softball team :)
Oh, and the food here is really good! There is lots of rice and beans and fruit..one time i had a lot of really good mango for breakfast...it was amazing! They have lots of mangoes here..and platanos (plantains) which look like big green bananas but dont taste anything like them. And the music is really good too. They listen to alot of rap and alot of latin pop music..and its pretty good. They like Daddy Yankee alot. And theres always loud music playing somewhere. Like..on my street someone will randomly turn up there music really really loud so that you can hear it everywhere..and theres always the same like ten songs playing all the time :) its funny but it can get a little annoying if you want it to be quiet. Lots of things here are different from what we have in the U.S. The electricity goes out on average three times a day..for a few hours. And not all of the toilets flush all the time. (luckily the one in my house does) In the bus station, if you want to use the toilet (this is really gross, sorry) they are all clogged with everything...yeah..and smell really bad. Oh, and theres random really skinny dogs walking around in the streets and its really sad :( and it seems like lots of people are afraid of dogs..
Anyways, right now its Friday and really nice and sunny and blue skies. Theres a really nice view of the mountains from my school. Today we didnt have school because only like..one eighth of the students came. My host sister told me that here theres always an excuse not to go to school...haha. But we came anyways. We go most days that there isnt school just to make sure that there arent classes.
So, I got some comments asking about my house.. Its small but cozy. I have my own room, which is really nice, and the living room has a couch two chairs and a small t.v. When you first go in my house there{s a little sitting place, like a porch, which almost all houses have. Then, you go inside and theres the living room and then you go straight down a hallway and theres three bedrooms off to the right and then the bathroom off to the right, and then the kitchen. There{s no pets, but in my other house there is a dog named Campion and a cat..whose name i dont know.
Okay, well, I dont know what more to say! I think i covered most of it.. Hope everything is going well for everyone! Thanks for all the comments, sorry if i dont get back to you..i hope the blogs can answer questions.
:)

5 comments:

Dad said...

Hi Hailey!
Great to hear from you! Glad you had a chance to throw a ball around and play some street ball. That would be cool to play on the school teams! Can't believe you have 11 classes- wow! Maybe you won't even have to go to school your senior year with all those credits :)
I'm glad the sun is shining - looks like the next couple hurricanes Ike and Josephine will miss you, and then the hurricane season will be almost over.
Blaise and Sam say HI!
Love,
Dad

hc said...

wow, sounds like you will be busy with school, if you want to be! what did you find out your sister left for? i hope you get to play softball! I will write more later. nice to hear from you. love ma

Stray said...

Ha!ley,

Hi Boo~* I've been thinking about you and your adventures! I am in Portland right now and I got an email from your mom saying you posted again... and couldn't wait to read it :) And I wasn't disappointed - you gave me a lot of detail and stuff to envision! I love that you are filling your days with all sorts of amazing sights, smells, experiences. Enjoy, smooch~* He!d!

Anonymous said...

Hey Bug! It was great to talk to you the other day! (or yesterday lol) Now that I know your number I'll have to get a phone card to call you! It sounds amazing there, and its awesome they have softball your going to rock!!!!! Do you think you'll play volley ball too? That would be fun. I haven't really gotten into any sports here but there usually always people playing volley ball out in front of my dorms that I can just go jump in on. I was thinking about writing for the paper or doing a radio show with isaac.. maybe ;P Its great you have a lot of free time (with no school stinker) to walk around with your friends and explore your town. Lately its been raining, so me and Leah haven't been running as much as we wanted, but there is a solid loop here (2.5 miles) that is a great run! My classes are going good too, and I love my psych class, especially since i have an awesome professor who makes it fun! Other than that a few of my professors kind of drag on in somewhat of a monotone. But yeah anyways, lol, i have to go and get ready for class, awesome blog, and i can't wait to read another one!
I love you lil sis, Sophie
oh and ps send me you mailing address so i can send you fun stuff!! MISS YOU!!!

Anonymous said...

hey, hailey, it's fun to read about your awesome adventures in the d.r.! we just finished chair placement and were thinking about playing some rockband.... but it's slightly depressing without you!

but it sounds like life is really interesting for you down there... lots different from homer, huh? the tropical weather sounds pretty nice (when it's not hurricaine-ing). And i bet softball will be fun for you - i'm sure they'll all be impressed with your mad skills. speaking of which, are you getting to play percussion at all?

your spanish is going to be awesome when you get back... it'll be fun to talk to you! and i hope you continue to have an amazing time.

-Kaitlin