I think this trip, while it was quite wonderful, actually took a lot out of me. I JUST NOW feel like I'm getting back to some kind of normal.
So, without further ado, here are some shots from Jarabacoa.
Jarabacoa is toward the middle of the country, in the lush mountains. It is a popular place to have a vacation home.
We stayed in these little villas. They were quite simple, three bedrooms, one bathroom, little kitchen and sitting room. I stayed with Henry and Nancy Utter (some of the coolest people you'll ever meet) and three hilarious middle-school boys. The other two villas had either all boys or all girls. I figured I'm pretty used to living with boys, so I'll share a bathroom with these guys.
(I'm just glad they didn't harass me as much as they harassed each other. Privacy is just another 7-letter word to them. Can you imagine being in the bathroom, taking care of business, and having someone knocking on the other side of the door for a good five minutes: "Dude, what are you doing in there? Dude, are you taking a dump? Dude, when are you going to be done?" Lord have mercy.)
I wish I had picture of my room. The only light was an overhead one, so at night I would lie in bed and read with my headlamp on. Pretty cool, I know.
One huge cultural difference with which we all struggled was the constant NOISE. No matter the hour, motos were zooming down the street, music blaring, roosters crowing, babies crying and trucks with LOUD advertisements slowing passing down the boulevard. One night in particular, the neighbors had a boisterous, LOUD party that lasted until about 4 am. I'm not sure any one of us slept at all that night. So crazy to think that that noise level is NORMAL for Dominicans.
Below is the patio where we ate our meals while we were at the villas. The warm, soft air felt heavenly, as we had left Boston in the middle of a snow storm! The kids went swimming but not us fuddy-duddy adults.
Our colleagues and classmates back at home had arranged that each of us would have a note of encouragement to open for each day of the trip. On our first day in Jarabacoa, the kids received these sweet hearts and verses from the children at Covenant School.
Tomorrow, I'll report on our first visit to the Doulos Discovery School.