Week 2 proved to be the light at the end of the tunnel. We all were battling upset stomachs, struggling to learn the language, and learning about all of the bugs and the type of bites that left you looking as if you had contracted some sort of disease. This week was a shortened week as we only had 3 days in the clinic and then we would be off to an outdoor adventure resort called Rancho Baugiate in Jarabacoa where Jurassic Park was filmed. Hallelujah!
We had all become familiar with the transportation by now and had ventured out a few times to try out the restaurants and enjoy the culture. The downtown area of Santiago was very nice and the food was delicious. It felt good to shower thoroughly and put on something other than hiking clothes. The weather was pleasant in the evening and there was an unsually high amount of rainfall in April that made it nice to enjoy eachother's company on the patios. It was wonderful to be so disconnected from the outside world. No one had their cell phones and the attention was focused on conversation at the table. A sad realization about how
distracted we are as a culture with everything we can access at the drop of a hat and be tuned out from those around us.
On Thursday we headed out to the mountains where our canyoning and whitewater rafting adventure awaited us. We stayed in a large bunk room that was a at most a place to sleep. It was attached to an outdoor resort center where we enjoyed meals together and dance lessons from the locals. We feared the rapids with our guides viewing amazing waterfalls and the beautiful scenery while rushing down the river. We had no idea what was in store for us when we agreed to go "canyoning". We repelled down several large waterfalls, floated down a raging river, climbed over rocks, and finished it off with some cliff jumping. After 6 hours we were ready for a shower and some tasty Dominican food! It was a team building experience to say the least. After some much needed R&R we headed back to the Mission for the beginning of our third week in the DR.
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