Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The big catholic church in the middle of town

(down) Orquidea and me after the wedding

christmas eve dinner! lots of food!

the aguinaldo at about 7 in the morning in my school

one of the two cafeterias in my school, in a time when it´s not full...imagine about 30 people standing around it, about half yelling ´morena! dame un tostada!´ and about five banging on the walls or throwing rocks on the roof...hahahahah. that happens alot.

my guitar!

the other side of my school

a kid from my class riding a mini motorcycle. everywhere you go here there´s sure to be a motorcycle or motorscooter, it´s rare for people to have cars

a normal street..the green place on the right is a colmado, which is a little store where you can buy food, phone cards, and much more, and they are everywhere! ok, i´m trying to gather pictures from around my town, of the parks and everything, but i dont have very many pics yet.

My street (my house is just to the right)

My house
Happy New Year! Wow, my time here is going so fast! On the 22nd of January I´ll have been here for 5 months already! that´s halfway. wow. ok, so i´ll start off where i left off...
So the weekend before examens i visited my friend KC in Azua, a town a little bigger than San Juan that´s pretty close to here and on the southern coast. We pretty much hung out in her house the whole weekend, it was fun, one night we went to the discotech with her aunt (whose pretty cool and knows english really well). It was ok i guess..extremely loud music (mostly bachata, merengue, and reggeton) and people dancing. Me and KC were like the only ones who didnt dance haha.
Examens weren´t easy..I didnt have to take my french exam (i dont know why, i guess i had a good enough grade not to but there was only one other kid in my class who didnt have to take it) and there was a group of kids who had good grades in biology, so our teacher (my host mom) made another test for us so that we wouldnt have to take the normal exam...agh. haha. and the test to get out of the normal test was just as hard as the normal test. haha. but noone who took the test had to take the other one. so exams here arent as closely monitored as they are in homer high...theres lots of people cheating off other people and whispering and passing notes...some people even took a picture of my friend julissa´s math test with their phones (that they were supposedly using as calculators) then copying it.. but thats not what happened in some classes..some teachers are really strict. oh, and we only had two examens every day, sometimes one, so we would take the exam in the morning, then afterwards we could leave the school at like 10:30 or whenever we got finished. we ended up going to Ilda´s, the bakery-sweetery, and eating cake and sweets alot. one time we went to the parque duarte, where there were lots of kids from lots of different schools, all in their different uniforms. it´s fun because every school has their diff. uniform and you can tell where someone goes to school just by looking at them.. one school has a peach colored skirt and white shirt for girls...some have plaid skirts..and some just pants. in my school we used to have skirts but they got banned because girls started wearing them really short..and there are alot of immature boys in our school..anyways, the examens ended on a thursday and that night my class had a chocolate (a get together in the street where they make hot chocolate and have a fire and stuff) and i went with Ramona and Sheila and Scarlett and Julissa (not Julissa from my class but Ramona´s cousin) and it was boring at first because it was supposed to start at 7, we got there at 8 and there was barely anyone there (hehe typical dominican timing :p ) then at 9 ish there was alot of people, and alot of them werent from our class, but seniors and the other junior class, and then 10:30 ish they started making hot chocolate, and it finally ended at 11:30ish. oh, hot chocolate is made differently here...people put lots of spices and cinnamon in it so it tastes different. it´s pretty good, but i miss the type we make in homer.
Then, that Saturday morning i woke up at 3:30 and went to my school with my host parents for an aguinaldo, which is this get together for the highschool kids, and everyone meets at 3:30 in the morning to pile into the backs of trucks, then they go driving through the town yelling and singing and waking people up and having fun (and some people drinking like always), haha, and agh, we got there at 4:00 and everyone had already left the school! so my friend Ramona and i didnt get to go. which pretty much sucked..we woke up at 3:30 for nothing :p and then when the trucks started arriving at the school, at about 6:30 ish, they made hot chocolate and had a bonfire. And there were alot of people there hanging out and talking so it was o.k., not extremely boring. then we left the school at about 7:30, went home, and i went to sleep.
Then came the vacation! Wow! i spent the first few days in my house sitting around and doing nothing, because there was nothing to do but watch tv or sleep. Then on christmas eve, family started arriving, and by about 6 there were about 40 people in my house, and everyone was either watching kids, helping prepare the dinner, watching tv, or trying to escape the house. and the adult guys were outside playing dominoes for a while. then, the dinner was finally ready at about 8:30, and we all went up to the roof, then lined up and ate, there was chicken, turkey, steak, pastelitoes, soda, lots of different types of pastas and salads, and lots more. and it was all really good, and it reminded me of thanksgiving at home, where all the family gets together and eats alot. haha, it was fun, and there were some cousins my age that i got to hang out with. After eating we did a gift exchange. Then almost everyone left at like 12 and went to Elias Piña, a small town closer to the Haitian border.
Christmas day I didnt do anything more than sit around and watch tv, because all the family had gone. Then, that weekend i went to Orquidea´s house to hang out and i ended up staying there until yesterday! It was fun, and Orquidea´s family is extremely nice and i´m really thankful that they invited me to their house for so long. It´s cool because her dad is from Italy, and we always talk about Alaska and Italy and stuff. Then on New Years Eve, I went to the park with Orquidea to see her friend Baldemar who is from here but lives in New York and knows English, and hung out there for a while but it was kinda boring so we went back to her house to get ready to go to her church. We went at about 10:30 and stayed until 12:30, and i felt a little awkward because i´m not religious, but it was a cool experience. During the countdown to midnight everyone was on their knees praying, then the preacher looked at his watch and said ït´s 2009! and everyone gets up and starts hugging eachother and saying ¨felicidades! feliz año nuevo!¨Afterwards we all went to Orquidea´s grandpa´s house and hung out there for a bit talking, oh, and the first thing i ate in 2009 was a piece of fried chicken, just so you all know :) . Then, at about 3 in the morning we all headed to Orquidea´s house, where we ate our dinner (because we didnt eat before), which was pizza and cookies and banana bread(which i had made with a recipe from home) and more cookies that Orquidea and her mom made, and fruit, and cider, and i´m not really sure but i think it was fruit´s called panettone in Spanish..and it was good. And we ate alot! Then we went to bed. Haha, almost the whole time i was in Orquidea´s house we went to bed at about 3 in the morning then woke up at 11:30 or 12. We went to the park in the night alot, because in the Christmas time here there´s always alot of people hanging out in the park listening to loud music (there are lots of cars here that have huge microphones in the way back, like you see on t.v., haha, that drive by with the way back door open and music extremely loud) Then this last Sunday there was a wedding reception in Orquidea´s restaurant outside around the pool, and i helped serving sodas and food and stuff, and helped prepare these little shishkabobs (is that how you spell that?) with fruit, then we stuck them into whole pineapples for decoration, haha. And the wedding lasted until about 1:30, and we got lots of good wedding cake :)
Then, today was the day that school was supposed to start, but, just like all my friends told me, nobody from my grade went except for me and Orquidea. Ha. So i ended up just being in school for about a half hour, then walking home. And I´m guessing it´s going to be the same tomorrow and the next day, because everyone´s planning on going to school on Monday.
Well, that about covers it! I hope everyone had a good holiday season, and Happy 2009!
Please comment! I miss everyone!


Dad said...

Thanks for the new post Hailey!
I like the colorful colors on the buildings. And the inset stones by the entrance to your house are nice. Do you see any earth plasters there, or is it mostly cement?
Looks like a nice food spread! Why do you eat on the roof?
I'm glad you had so much time at Orquida's home, it sounds like that is like a second family for you there.
The boys are playing a game on the computer, learning letters: "kuuu", "Cat".. fun.
That's funny that the kids basically decide when to go to school! Is it frustrating for your host mom/teacher?



Stray Spirit said...

Ha!ley Ha!ley Ha!ley,

Wow - that was the best post ever! You - despite moments of boredom had a really interesting break from school~* I am glad you are spending so much time with different people - yay!
Should we send you some rocks from the beaches in Homer so you can throw some on the roof of the taco stand at your school? Alaskan rocks might get you faster service - lol
You and Orquida look so beautiful in that sideways picture you posted - what a fun night.
After talking about the roads in your town with you it was cool to see some photos =D
I was also intrigued by all the wires going to each of those poles - different world there!
Bummer you missed out on the 3am truck ride thru town - but if you had stayed home the loud trucks would have woken you up anyway with their horns and hollers =D
Can't wait to read your next one~*


my word verification below for posting is "panti" that is funny!

Grandma said...

Hey Hailey! Thanks for giving us details! Glad you are eating new foods and liking them, your pictures are amazing and you look wonderful! Do the teachers know the kids won't be in school until Monday and stay home too? Guitar lessons and playing softball...way to go! It's cold here and snowing some every day. Kody loves it! I've been busy getting the house in order, 'cause it's being shown again tomorrow. Glad you're having so many wonderful adventures. Love, Grandma

Anonymous said...

haha and agh! who's having fun and hardly ever bored except for a little bit and then maybe on a slow vacation day and then has to watch tv or sleep which makes me maybe jealous haha. except then there's this big party that always starts late and has lots of good food except then if one have to get up real early they can be real surly argh. All the while you are missing out on -15 degrees week after week whoooee, but we are wishing for warmer like now when it is +5 degrees and maybe by tuesday it will be 40 degrees which will basically suck argh as we really don't want rain but want snow. except everyone will be running around in shorts, especially your sister,and panting from the heat, which would be funny haha, because right now her dorm room is so cold she can't sleep there. I got a hydrogen powered car for xmas with a solar cell to power the molecule splitting. Now i just need some distilled water which i keep leaving off my grocery list. I want to have the first hydrogen car in Homer, even if its only 10" long. Sometimes you just have to stand someplace, like on your street, and just look and look and listen and smell for a real long time because there are so many details remember because where you are deserves to be remembered and if you remember enough you can always go back and paint the picture with sound or words and don't forget to smell everything along with see and hear.
luv ya

Stray Spirit said...

Gop is FUNNY!

Denali said...

hey hailey!! good to hear about your exciting adventures in the DR. No dancing for hailey? como se what? lol... sounds like you are having quite the adventures! you missed out on the school flooding yesterday. Well anyway this is what happened, the school district turned the heat down over christmas break and when we got back to school it was freezing and everyone was wearing their coats to class for like the whole week. Yesterday (friday) we finally got to wearing only sweatshirts, the normalish wear. Then at like 4:30ish the water main broke on the second floor and the water was gushing out of the side of the school...or so they say, i didn't actually see it. it was above the office and they had the fire alarm going off so that people would get out of the school. We figured that this because the pipes froze and then finally thawed out. We were waxing our skis for skiing and when i was heading back in all of the basketball players and people in the swimming pool were out in the parking lot. In their lack of least we had some warmer gear because the football hut where we wax our skis is always quite chilly. they had the whole school evacuated and didn't let us get back in the school since it was all flooded and they were worried that if the water was up by the electrical stuff that the whole school might become electrified or something. So we all had to leave and couldn't get any of our stuff from the locker rooms or even the ski room. luckily dylan had his keys to his truck in his pocket...unlike others whose keys were locked in the school somewhere and couldn't get into their cars. it was crazy and to bad it happened on friday, it would have been better if we could've missed some school...unlike you guys who seem to always be gone for school. Because of this problem we didn't get to go to our ski meet in Seward :(. dang. and darn i can't do my hw :) hehe. it is so good to here from you and i am glad that you are having a good time making shishkabobs and banana bread!! your house looks really cool, its like artistic and stuff. well have a bunch fun:) love, denali

Anonymous said...

Hi Hailey! I am sad i must have not gotten the word verification right, since i wrote a comment to you the other day and it isnt showing!! and it was a really long one! anyhow, hope you are well and i will phone and email you soon! love, ma
and i love the photos-you look beautiful. and i want to see what that food looks like closer up. and i would like Orquida and her family and of course the Bautistas to come over to our house for dinner or a movie or just to meet them. in person that is.
did you get that gall-dern box yet???

Anonymous said...

Hi, Hailey,
The little boys and I have been thinking of you. They sure haven't forgotten you. It's raining now (like Gop said it would) and the DR sounds like more fun than ever! Keep squeezing in as much fun as you can. Just reading your post is fun, and I'm sure you haven't covered even a fraction of all the interesting things you are doing, and people you are meeting, and new ways of doing things.
We will be near you in March, going to Orlando. It's funny to think you'll be a 1 hour plane ride away, even though we won't see you. It's just like that phrase "so close but so far away"
love you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Hailey,
Sounds like you are having a fun time! I notice that everyone is in shorts and tank tops...Lucky you! We are all in boots, coats, hats, and gloves and carrying shovels everywhere we go! Lots of snow this month already around here... I'd love to be in a nice warm climate right now! What is the art scene like down there? Do you take an art class? I love the colorful buildings, too. It's interesting to hear about your school. How long are classes, and how long is your school day? I also love the pictures you post from your hikes. Looks like a beautiful place! Happy New Year!
Love, Aunt Candy