Wednesday, November 26, 2008

nice view of mountains
a hummingbird!

haha, people kissing juan pablo duarte

at the peakkkk
the valley

the almost fairy tale valley!

a view of the valley that we stayed in

walking to the valley


nice view of the mountains

us at the peak! me, a guy from italy, maizie another girl from the us, and up top a girl from germany, till, and a girl from iceland

helloo again! ok, so some people have asked me how many pesos in a it´s about 34.5, but it rises and falls every day..somedays 35..some days 34.. and i dont know if they ended up finding the person who took the 2 mil. pesos..and on the trip there werent very many animals other than birds and insects and the pigs that we ate..we saw wild humming birds, which was really cool. the humming sound that they make with their wings sounds cool and some people heard it and thought it was a wild pig, so they would freak out..and then it would just be the bird.
so this last weekend i went to santo domingo with ramona, which was cool because usually afs doesnt let people travel without family, but i got permission to go with ramona and stay for one night in her sister´s house, and her mom is visiting from Santomas and we went shopping with her and her cousin. it was fun because in santo domingo they have big malls and lots of stores:) except it´s not cheaper here..i was looking for converse, and in one of the only stores that had a good variety they were like 60 dollars! agh. but in other stores they sell them cheaper..not cheap, but cheaper than 60 dollars. what else..the guitar class that i´m in is fun, and i´m learning guitar in spanish! which is a little different than learning in english, because here instead of notes like A, B, C, D, E, F, G, they use do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, and si.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

me at the peak

the sunrise

a pretty bridge

about half of the trails were like this..not even trails but just water drainage spots :)

ok, so i left off in pico i guess i can describe things more detailedly. ha. on the first day we got up early and started walking, and every student got a bag of sweets and juice to carry and eat while walking, and we walked for a while through forest and it was really cool, lots of different trees and random vines and fruit trees, like oranges and lemons, and they smelt really good, and we went up and down alot..then sometimes we would stop and get water out of rivers or something, or stop to take pics, and we weren´t all in one big group, we could go at our own pace as long as we had a partner, and everyone got whistles in case someone got lost. the first night we got to the camp at about 3, after going down this really steep mountain slope for about two hours, (which we knew we would have to go back up the next day..agh) and we ate soup to warm us up until dinner, because yes it was colder than normal carribbean weather. then we hung out until dinner then went to bed. the next day we went to the peak! and it was pretty cool because i was in the first group to get there, so there were only a few of us up there so it wasnt too crowded, and the highest point is on a big pile of rocks with a statue of the head of juan pablo duarte and a dominican flag and a cross, so it was pretty awesome, and there was an incredible view of all the mountains all around, and the clouds in the mountains, and it was nice and sunny out, a perfect time to be there! then we started back down, running most of the way on the one big downhill that came down from the peak, then up the crazy steep mountain side, then we crossed a bunch of other mountains and valleys to get to this one valley where we would stay for threee nights, and we got there at about 3 again, and went to the river and ate and hung out, and that was pretty relaxing after walking alot...oh, the first day we walked 18 kilometers..second day 19..last day about a total of about 52 kilometers..which is like 31 or something miles. the first night in the valley was crazy (or so i heard) haha because i was sleeping because i was exhausted! but a bunch of people brought rum and beer..and the next morning the director lady was really pissed (she had reason to be) and woke everyone up at like 9 and called a group meeting and told everyone that if they dont want to pack up and go home that anyone who has any more alcohol has to bring it out, and then she dumped it out on the ground, haha, so that was pretty intense. the rest of the day was good though, we hung out and went to the river and jumped off rocks and stuff. the next day we went into a valley to play frisbee with these pro teams that were there, and it was sweet this valley was seriously like a fairy tale..lush green with horses and mountains and yeah. thennn someone apparently had stolen 2 million pesos from one of the volunteers, so they had to search all our bags and give us this big long talk about how dissappointing of a group we were..first the alcohol then this. ahh. then the next day they had the roasting pigs, and theeennn that night, there was a group of girls running around and one of them ran into something or something like that, and the got this big gash on her eyebrow, so they were all frazzled and everyone had to sleep in the clothes they were gonna wear the next day to be able to get her the hospital before 7 tge next day. ok, so moving on cuz im gonna run out of time!
i´ve joined a softball team and they´re pretty cool and nice, and i´m in a guitar class with ramona and julissa every monday and tuesday, so thats pretty fun.

Monday, November 24, 2008

the peak!

the halloween party

school trip in santo domingo ' the ocean!!!

on the bus

the bus

ramona and a friend with his dog

my host fam´s dog!

Wow! It´s been so long since my last post! I left off in the week that i switched to my new host family. So lots of stuff has summary: Felix went home to Germany (ah, i was about to write Allemania..Germany in Spanish) I went to a crazy school movie, I went on a crazy school trip to Santo Domingo, I went to the campo (the country), i went to a crazy Halloween party, I went to the highest peak in the Carribbean, I joined a softball team, I went to Santo Domingo (the capital) with Ramona, and I´m learning alot of Spanish, and school has been good.

Ok, so I´m not sure exactly why Felix went home.. I was in Caribe Tours one day waiting for my friends (haha, waiting as just kidding) and Felix and Till were there, Felix with all of his stuff packed up, and he was waiting to get on the bus to Santo Domingo because AFS had called him and told him to go, so he thought he was going to change cities or families or something, and he was happy and everything..but when he got to Santo Domingo they told him he would go home the next tuesday. Agh. So that sucks.

The school movie was reallllly different from movies here...The seniors in my school were hosting it, and it was in this old cinema..and it was a horror movie, i dont remember what it was called, something about mirrors being able to kill people..and every time something even remotely scary happened, EVeryone in the theatre would start to scream and yell and whistle and stuff like that...for a long time..and it was extremely loud! But fun none the less...i just had to get used to it. But then the projector broke, and everyone went outside and was listening to music and dancing, and another part of the culture here is that theres no drinking of course there were people drinking. Whenever theres a party or movie or something that goes late here on the weekends, my host parents let me stay the night at Ramona´s house because its alot closer, which is house is really far from where most of my friends live.

Ok, so on the school trip to Santo Domingo, we had to get up at three in the morning to be at the school at four to get on the bus, and the bus ride was intense...people were loud and crazy and yelling out the windows at random stuff and having fun..much different than a bus ride at four in the morning in homer..haha.. in santo domingo we went to a college for computers and we got a tour..then we went to a computer-informatica fair that was huge but kinda boring because it was all stuff about computers and technology and in spanish..the bus ride on the way back was just as crazy and we got back to san juan at about 8.30.

One sunday i went to the country with Nini, the girl who lives in my house, to visit her boyfriend´s family. we rode a motoconcho out and visited and ate and went to a river for a few minutes, and everything was really pretty, then we went out to the real country and drank fresh coconut milk right out of a coconut that one of the people with us had climbed a tree and picked..i dont like coconut but i do like coconut milk! haha. then we went back to san juan in this taxi bus thing. so that was pretty fun.

haha, so people here dont usually celebrate halloween, but they did have a school party..not many people dressed up, but they decorated the place all was in this basement of this rented house it got really hot..but it was fun. yes i danced. agh people dance crazy here. haha.

ok, so the pico duarte trip for afs was amazing! ahhh. i left on a wednesday morning in the bus at 6 in the morning, got to santo domingo and rode a taxi to the house where everyone was meeting, and unfortunately left my cell phone in the taxi, the we went in three buses to the mountains and got to this little town where we ate and slept for the night, then woke up at four thirty in the morning to start walking! and we walked and walked and walked (well some people rode mules and they got to leave earlier) and walked until three in the afternoon where we stayed in this cam,ping spot for the rest of the day, and we ate soup and food and had a campfire, but had to go to bed at 8 because we got up at 4:30 again, to walk more, and on that day we went to the peak, and it was so beautiful! we were also really lucky because usually it rains alot allll the time in pico duarte, but for us it only rained once in the afternoon after we had finished hiking...and i have sooo many awesome pics of the peak. but unfortunately my camera ran out of batteries when we got to the valley where we stayed for three nights and swam in a river and jumped off high rocks into the river and played frisbee and hung out..and on the second to last day they were cooking pigs, but not in an know in movies when people get captured by native tribes and the tribes tie them to a stick and cook them over a fire? it was like that..we woke up in the morning and there were four raw pigs skewered on sticks roasting over the fires..and they were there alll day, it was really strange for me and other people but thats the common way to do it. ah, so i´m about to run out of time on the computer so i´ll have to finish another day.