Monday, April 7, 2008

me duelen las piernas

This weekend, my Dona and I both suffered pain in our lower extremities; she had a sore foot and I have sore thighs. Here, for your edification, are two vignettes regarding our pain.

1.) It is a hard life I lead here in the Dominican Republic, and each day I am forced to spend hours in rocking chairs, whether in my own house or visiting others. I believe I have over-extended my thigh muscles by excessive rocking chair rocking. It sounds ridiculous, but I am reasonably certain that the source of my pain is, in fact, the copious number of hours I spend per day vigorously rocking in a rocking chair. Please feel free to laugh, but keep in mind that it hurts really, really bad and also that yesterday I fell down while walking twice, because it’s really hard to walk with stiff thigh muscles. (It doesn’t help that the Dominican road-repair budget is, I believe, $3 a year.) After some deep stretches and swimming today, my legs are feeling better, but still sore. For now, I’ve stopped rocking cold turkey, but I hope to work my way back up to some quality rocking time soon.

2.) My Dona is, as I have mentioned, an excellent cook. And Dominican culture is very open to visitors and guests for dinner. So, thus far I’ve had 3 friends over for dinner, and on Friday my friends Asahi and Keane came over and were chilling with my host brother Michael and I. Michael took a deep liking to my friends and invited them over for dinner the next day. I tried to postpone the invitation, knowing that I had had a friend over for dinner the previous day and not wanting to abuse my Dona’s hospitality. Michael, however, insisted that Asahi and Keane come for dinner the next night, and that his mother would not mind more dinner guests at all because she is always happy to share her food. Since Michael actually lives here, I acquiesced. The next morning at breakfast, I told my Dona that Michael had invited my friends over for dinner, and would that be okay? She said of course, no problem. However, that afternoon she asked if my friends could come over another night, because her foot hurt. I of course that that was perfectly fine and that I was sorry her foot hurt. She went on to say that she believed her foot hurt because it was so cold yesterday (it rained and dipped down to maybe 70 degrees) and that a “short walk” would help it. She asked me to accompany her. I was planning to meet my friend Cecilia in half an hour, but I figured a short walk with a sore-footed woman would probably have me back in time. Wrong! We went on an hour-long, fairly vigorous hike across a field, up a couple steep hills, and over a few creeks (one of which involved a flying leap to cross). Hmm.

I eventually reunited with my friends and told them my story, and now we’ve all adopted “My foot hurts” as an excuse to get out of anything we don’t want to do. I urge you all to try it out in your own lives! I would give you some tips, but my foot hurts.

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