It has been a few days since I have made a blog post - sorry about that. I'll give an overview of the last couple of days in another post. Right now I want to focus on my house and family I am living with in the Dominican Republic.
Below are some photos of my house/condo I live in. I must admit, the houses and buildings here are not what I am used to back in Utah. Not very many people live in houses with yards, but rather live in multi story apartment buildings or multi story condos. Also, people here do not have grass; they have concrete, dirt, rocks or sometimes other types of plants.
I am very fortunate to have the family I do here in Dominican Republic. My family is very kind and welcoming. I think every night this week there have been other family members over to the house. My mom, Fifi, has eight siblings. Some of them have been over every night and tonight since it was Mother's Day here, I think all of the siblings and a lot of their families were here. It was crazy to have so many people here! I try to listen to their conversations, but they speak SO fast it is hard to comprehend much. Like I said, today is Mother's Day and so we had a TON of food! Below is a picture of my plate with my host mom filled!
I thought I was maybe going to lose a little weight while I was here - thinking that I wouldn't be eating as much, sweating like crazy and walking a ton. Well, two of those are correct, but as far as eating I think my host mom feeds me more food than the families on my mission! I have a hard time finishing it all. (note: just a minute ago while writing this my mom just asked if I wanted more food right now... we literally ate about 2 hours ago. Haha) As far as sweating, I have never sweat so much in my life! I shower in the morning, which by the way is with cold water, and as soon as I get out and dry off I feel like I had just taken another shower! My clothes stick to me like none other and I can literally feel the sweat drip down my back! I know, you wanted to know that much detail, right? I also don't want to sound like I'm complaining because I actually don't mind it and I would so much rather have this kind of weather than freezing snow and ice in Utah winters! Haha. Below is a some pictures of the big family today eating and visiting.
Well, it has been a long 24 hours. I departed last night from Salt Lake City at about midnight. The plane ride to JFK seemed really long. I dosed off a time or two, but didn't really seem to get much sleep.
When we landed at JFK it was really foggy. So much that I couldn't see any of the skyline surrounding the airport. However, as we were flying towards the airport I was able to catch a glimpse of the Hudson Bay and some of New York City. For a brief second I saw the Freedom Tower and its mighty height and strength it brings to that city.
The next flight, only and hour after the first one landed, departed around 8 am. It too seemed like a long flight, however, I was able to get some sleep on that flight.
When I woke up I gazed out my window onto the ocean below. We were so high in the air that I'm sure the little white spots that would appear and then fade away were actually decent sized waves crashing and swaying on the ocean's surface.
As we got closer to the island, I could see its coastline of the north shores in the distance. I don't know why, but in a way it reminded me of Jurassic Park; and I was on my way to some mysterious island. Well, that isn't too far from the truth.
We landed, unloaded the plane, exchanged our U.S. dollars for Dominican Pesos, went through immigration and customs and finally met up with our trip coordinator who had already been here for a couple of days.
To make a long story short (about 6 hours short), we finally got everyone who flew in today (about 20 of us) into our taxis and off to our host families.
The taxi I was in had 6 other students, not counting me; Courtney, Katty, Jordan, John, Aaron and Lincoln. One by one we were dropped off at our host families, meeting them for the first time.
My family I am staying with is the Buenas family. The family consists of my host mother, her son and her sister. Oh, and don't forget the Chihuahua.
Fifi, my host mother's nickname, and her sister made me a delicious dinner consisting of rice, beans, vegetables, chicken, fried plantains and the best freshly made mango juice I have ever had!
Tomorrow morning I will go to the University for the first time, go through orientation, takes tour of campus, meet my Spanish instructor and get better aquatinted with the city.
I haven't had a chance to take any photographs yet (unless the 6 hour wait in the airport or inside of a taxi cab with homemade curtains on the windows) would have interested you, then I would have. Once I am able to walk to the ocean (which is only several blocks away from my house) I will get some good photos and post. Until then, I am going to bed! I am exhausted!!!