Thursday, March 13, 2008

hola de la vega!

Hello! Arianna and I have successfully made it to our volunteer visit site in the province of La Vega (in the center of the country). We had a few rough spots, like when I tried to buy my bus ticket, I said I needed a ticket to La Vega and asked if the ticket vendor could give change from a 1000 peso bill. This is a big deal here in the DR, most stores refuse to change a 500 peso bill if you´re spending less than say, 450 pesos. But I figured the bus station was a good place to break it, and I was right. The guy gave me a bunch of change and started printing a ticket. But then he did not give me that ticket and stared at me. Eventually, he revealed that he had simply given me 1000 pesos worth of change, and had not taken any money to pay for my ticket. What? Who does that?

But anyway, I figured it out and gave some money back to him and got on the bus. We had somesort of vague directions, which involved getting off the bus before the main destination and taking a carro publico for a while. But we missed our bus stop (there aren´t really organized bus stops here for the most part, you have to recognize where you´re going and ask to be let off, which we didn´t). I went up to try to ask the driver for help and ended up getting advice from the entire front half of the bus, especially two very nice ladies who personally ushered us off the bus and found a carro for us--they said that if they negotiated the car price it would be much cheaper than if us extranjeras did it.

Then, in our carro, we had trouble describing exactly where we were supposed to get off, and had to do an exciting U-turn. In the final leg of our trip, the next car driver had no idea where we were going (we knew the address and that it was near the school) and kept yelling questions regarding our destination at passerby. Once again, we went past our actual destination and had to turn around. But now we´re here! Our volunteer is on duty in the computer lab for another half hour, so we´re waiting around and using some Interwebs.

I´m excited to get to see what it´s like being a volunteer in the field, and to have sometimeout of Santo Domingo. And a li´l break from my host sisters, who are adorable, but whose thirst for games of Uno is unquenchable.

Elizabeth: Bien, muy cerca (close)! It´d be more like, Todos los dias, mi dona me da galletas desaltina con el desayuno.

Everyone: thanks for your supportive emails/comments! It´s nice to stay in touch with everyone!

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