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Published: August 23rd 2010
I am in the Dominican Republic, safe and sound, and very hot! I got here without any trouble! I was nervous because in the ISA pre-departure information it said that you should have a note from the doctor for prescriptions explaining the large amount, which I didn't get...but, it was NOT a problem at all. When we got to the DR, me and the four other girls on my flight, we paid for our tourist cards, then they took it right away and put it into a machine, and then we got our passports stamped, AWESOME, and then we waited for our luggage, and then we waited in a super long line to "go through customs," but to go through customs, we literally just handed them a sheet that we'd filled out on the plane, and then walked through some ropes and out the doors. Super easy. We got dropped off at our new homes here, there are like at least 6 other people who live in the same area as me which will be nice for walking places, and I met my family. The mom, dad, one brother and one sister are here now. In about a week, my brother will leave for fashion design school in La Romana. They are all SUPER nice. They kind of wait on me hand and foot. Today I took a nap, and when I woke up, on my nightstand there was iced tea and oreos. What more could a girl ask for!!!!! Bienvenida, my mom, will do my laundry once a week, I will pick the day, and CLEAN MY ROOM TWICE A WEEK!!!!! Wow. Every meal is cooked for me and served to me and I am getting plenty of fruits and veggies! New kinds of fruits and veggies, too. I tried one called "jagua" and I did NOT like that. I know we have this in the US, but I have never eaten it before, but I tried mango for the first time. I thought it was going to be a peach when I took the first bite! Nope. They give me TONS of food and then say, if you need more you just tell me! I have never needed more! Lots of rice but not just white rice. Today we had rice with carrots, the other day rice with some kind of legume in it...Lots of different variations! We've had a million orientations...all telling us the same thing. Watch your purse! Ignore the cat calls! Don't walk home alone at night! La la la. I understand it the fifth time, thank you!
I've already gotten lost once. I got invited by two other students to go to La Sirena market the on Friday, I think it was. We took a concho to get there, which looked super shady to me, but one of the kids knew what he was doing. Luckily! We walked back and on the way back we stopped at an internet cafe! YAY The other kids got done using it before I did and, me, thinking I could make my way back told them to just give me directions and that they didn't have to wait for me. Well, of course, I took a right instead of a left. I was already holding back tears after reading an email from my Phewfie, and then I was just lost and thought I would be forever so I was starting to cry about that, too, but I just tried really hard to be brave because Pat said, if you get lost you can't get upset because that will just make is worse! So, even though I wasn't sure it was a good idea, I asked an old lady sitting outside on her porch where Reparto Imperial was (the name of the apartment complex I live in, I thought...). She said you are in Imperial. Which street do you want. Well, like I knew that! I said one. She didn't know what i was talking about so she called a younger lady out to help me, but that lady was annoyed and just said I don't understand what you want. So, I walked away crying. Then, I turned around and went back to the place where I went right instead of left and this time I went in the opposite direction, even though it didn't FEEL right. Well, it was right. I was not far from home at all, and now I know that if I get lost, I say Reparto IMperial, Carlin XII. I will NOT be making that mistake again! YIKES!
Yesterday we went to Puerto Plata. We went to a place called Teleforico. Look it up. It was INCREDIBLE. We rode a cable car to the top, it was SUUUUUUUUPER steep. After that, we went to a place called Fort of San Juan...I think. It was an old jail and it was pretty cool too. Then, we went to lunch, just at La Sirena, which is really just a Dominican Wal-Mart. They have a food court though. So me and another girl Rose, who is also from Minneapolis, got the same thing, pasta. They gave us a TON, and neither of us ended up liking it very much and neither of us ate even half, so we were like, uhhhh, that was dumb of us! We totally could have shared. We were really embarrassed to throw so much away so we waited until no one was really by the trash, and we covered up our food as best we could, and then just left fast! Then, we spent the rest of the time at the beach! It was fun, people tried to sell us things a lot. There was one lady who was selling the hair braiding thing. One girl on our trip who is Black got asked if she wanted braids and she was literally speechless! It was funny! She was like, they NEVER ask the Black girls if they want braids! Just always the white girls! I don't know what to say, really!
Classes won't start til Thursday, and it's a little silly we think because they don't hold class on Fridays here, so we have one day of class before the weekend. We are going to Santo Domingo for two days next weekend, and I was reading about that today and there is a LOT to see there, so good thing we're there for more than just a day!
Someone keeps locking their car out here, and it has the horn thing to verify that it's locked and I keep jumping and getting super annoyed!
That's pretty much it now! Oh. We took placement exams on Friday too, and we find out the results and sign up for classes tomorrow. wooo!
Ok that's all!
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