Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ahh it´s been so long since my last post. So much has happened!
So every few weeks I go with my friends to the cafe, this place where people go to dance. I haven´t gone recently, but when we go it´s usually empty when we get there and people start getting there when we have to leave.
A week after the carnival I went to visit the family of another foreign exchange student who lives in Azua, who´s from Iceland. So I got there and it turned out the the exchange student had gone on an AFS trip for the weekend, so I was just there with the family, which was a little akward, but still fun. We woke up early Saturday morning and headed out to the beach! My first time to the beach after being here for so long!!! Haha. So it wasn´t exactly what I thought... It was a little bit dirty, trash, but the family said that it was cleaner than usual. After we swam a little (and after I got extremely burnt from the sun, thanks to me forgetting to put on sunblock) we ate in one of the restaurants on the beach. We got fresh fish, with fried plantains on the side (with ketchup of course), and it was cool because the fish came entirely whole, head, tail and everything, and we just had to pick out the meat. Then we headed back to their house and showered and took a nap, then we drove out to this mountain called Los Quemados, and drove up and up and up until we got to this little cabinish place where we would stay for the night. There were two big rooms with palm leaf roofs and lots of bunk beds, and there was a kitchen and a big outside dining place, and bathrooms, and it was awesome because it had running water and electricity. They had two solar paneles, so unlike most of the D.R. they have electricity 24-7.
Oh, so here in my city, San Juan, we have electricity all day now! It´s nice.
So back to the mountain.. We walked a little bit down the road and saw this nice garden that they had for the place...and they had lots of neat plants. I saw a papaya tree! It was awesome.. Here my friends and I like to get together and make papaya juice, and it´s really good with milk and cinnamon.
It is totally mango season here. In Alaska mangoes cost bucketloads, but here there are millions of trees along the sides of roads and you can find them nearly everywhere, and free. My host mom said that with the money that a mango costs in the U.S. someone could buy a mango tree here. Or maybe two. So we have a huge basket full of mangoes in my house and I eat two or three a day..... :D and we have a mango tree, too, and a cherry tree and a guanabana tree (please don´t ask me what that is in English) that´s this weird looking green fruit with spiney things, and it´s white on the inside and has seeds that look like black almonds. It´s the strangest thing, and the juice tastes a little bit weird I don´t really like it.
Oh, so those of you who have read my other blogs, the soap opera Doña Barbara is over!!!!!!
Haha, I kind of stopped watching it for a while but I watched the last few episodes. And Maricela, the 18 year old and Santos, the old guy, end up together after a few years, and Barbara dies 10 years after they get married, but she dies a good person. Lol.
Dad came to visit me!!!!!!!! It was way fun. He didn´t have much time here but we showed him around San Juan, and he got to experience the crazy driving factor of Santo Domingo, and what it´s like to drive with a low car on the streets of San Juan. (AHH)
I went to get him in Santo Domingo with Ramona, and he rented a car and came to San Juan. He stayed in one of the nicest hotels in the city, then the next day we walked around San Juan a little and ate pastelitoes, haha. Then I decided to show him what it was like to ride in a motoconcho, so we called two and headed for the stadium and walked around a little, then went back to my house. Then we went to my school and Dad met my friends and saw the classrooms and everything. Then we ate lunch, and went to Orquidea´s house to make papaya juice while Dad talked to Orqui´s dad. And then we had to take off to Santo Domingo again, we left at about 4 and got there about 7ish, and one of Ramona´s family friends showed us through the streets of Santo Domingo to a hotel close to the airport. The hotel was amazing! The room was huuuge and the lobby was outside and the restaurant had o.k. food. We woke up early to go to the airport and Dad left at 9ish and I took a super expensive taxi ride to the bus station (the airport is way far away from the station) , where I went back to San Juan.
The week after that was Semana Santa (Saint Week, or the week before Easter Sunday), our spring break here. Orquidea, Ramona, Rebeca, Kor Clary and I decided to make a deal with the Il Bocconcino restaurant and rent the pool for the week and open it. It was 50 pesos per person (less than 2 dollars) and we opened the cafeteria and everything, with help from some places around town that donated stuff. On Monday of that week, I got pretty sick in the middle of the night and felt like I was about to pass out. The next day my stomach hurt alot, so we went to the lab to see what was wrong, and it turned out that I had parasites! Two types. Ah, It´s so weird to think that there´s little animals eating away inside of your stomach, but you can´t see them or anything, and it doesn´t feel any different except for the fact that you feel bloated and you stomach hurts alot. So we went to the clinic and they gave me medicine, a pill to take every day after breakfast and dinner for five days, and they went away. Working in the pool was way fun, and I made lots of chocolate chip cookies to sell. We swam a few times too, in the morning before all the people could get there to make the pool dirty. The biggest day we had was Easter Sunday, about 150 people came, and it was crazy working the tables, and on top of all that we had to get up at 5 in the morning because we had two big groups coming in at 6 to eat breakfast then go in the pool. So Saturday we went to bed at 12, got up at 5, and worked nonstop until 9 at night, where we divided up all the money we made from the week then went home. We each made 5,150 pesos. School started Monday, but of course nobody went, and no one was expected to go, so we all went Tuesday, and our teachers were mad at us for not doing homework as always, hahaa.
I have my flight back already! I leave early morning on June 27th and get into Anchorage at about 1 AM the next day.
One Monday I went to the market in Elias Piña, with Orquidea, her mom Damaris, and Lisandro, a guy who worked for Damaris in the restaurant. Elias Piña is a town that´s really close to the Haitian border, and there are alot of Haitians who sell good stuff cheap. It was kindof crazy walking through the market, but fun. There were lots of little kids selling bags of garlic, and one of them, a little girl, followed us around the entire time, and Damaris was about to taker her to San Juan with her but the little girl was afraid and didn´t want to. That happens alot here, people find homeless or bad treated kids from Haiti and they take them in.
I ended up buying shoes there. It was cool because Damaris speaks French, and she was bartering for shoes in French with one of the venders there, because in Haiti they speak Creole (which is similar to French) and French.
A few weeks ago, I went with the Sophomore and Freshman classes to Bahìa de las Àguilas (Bay of the Eagles) to go swimming and see everything. The bay is in the southwest corner of the D.R., extremely close to Haiti. It was about a 6 hour bus ride, and we went through a big wet rainforest-y area to a dry desert-y area, and it was really beautiful. In the rainforestish part, the road was right on the coast, and really high up, and it seemed like we were in a movie, with the forest on one side and the highway and the palm trees and the sand below us. And it was mega hot. When we got there, we all hopped in boats and went around a few bends of the coast to get the the bay, which was so pretty and calm, with white sand and bluee water, and not too many people because it´s outside the touristy part of the D.R. We swam and hung out, and I was hanging out with my old host sister Elizabeth, and we were talking and looking in the sand for shells, and I have a bag full of beautiful white shells!!! I´m planning on making necklaces or something out of them.. Then, we saw some girls who had huuuge conch shells, gigantic, so we asked them where they found them and went to get some for ourselves. At first we didn´t see any, but after a bit of looking we found two perfectly clean and pretty pink conch shells, big ones, as if they had been waiting there for us to find them. After that we found more and more, and we ended up with 18 of them, a few of them small and most of them big. When I say big I mean like.. Shoe size. So that was awesome, and we split them up, and I´m taking my 9 back to Alaska :).
The next week I went with my class to another beach, but this time on the northeastern side of the island. It´s called Bayahibe, and wasn´t as pretty as the bay but it was nice. And before we went to the beach we stopped at Las Cuevas de las Maravillas (the marvel caves) and went down into them. It was amazing! The caves were huge, completely underground, and hade cave paintings and everything from back in the day. We weren´t allowed to touch the walls, because the grease from our hands can end up destroying them. And it had stalactites and stalagmites and everything, and our guide pointed out different shapes that they made, like skulls and people. And there were bats! Haha. It was extremely humid... The guide said that it was 19 degrees celcius, with 88% humidity. It wasn´t hot, but we were sweating! To get out we took a super slow elevator that they had built without ruining any of the walls, there was a natural hole in the cave. Then, we were going to see El Chavon, this famous school of art, but we passed it by miles and miles and ended up in Higuey, a town that´s way far away from El Chavon, so we just headed to the beach and decided to go there on the way back, but when we finally found it (after turning around about 5 times) it was closed. We had some experienced chauffers! Haha.
Ok, so this week and next week are my school´s final exams. Monday we had Math and Religion.. I didn´t have to take the math test because I had a good grade, and for religion we just had to turn in a big report on everything that we had done. Then in the afternoon, I went back to the school (after hanging out at Ramonas house and knocking down mangoes from a tree outside her house. I forgot to mention, green mangoes are good! when they´re not quite ripe and green on the inside, they´re still good!!! and people here eat green mangoes with vinagre and salt...!) and walking to my house in the rain (it´s been raining every afternoon here..i´ll be lucky if it doesnt rain on my walk home) and I took the chemistry test, for the people who had good grades. So I passed!! yay! and i didn´t have to go to school Tuesday because it was the normal chemistry test... And today i had Earth Science and Language. For the first, we wrote a bunch of reasons about why we have to take care of the environment and stuff like that...then the language test was extremely hard. Ha. And tomorrow it´s English and P.E. I doubt my teacher will make me take the English test..and my P.E. teacher told me that I don´t have to take his test because I have a good grade. ! So that´s about it..We´ll I´m sure there´s a ton of stuff that I forgot to mention, but oh well. And I couldn´t post pics because my camera doesn´t want to connect to this computer. Another time! Something like that always happens...ahh