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!