Monday, August 25, 2008

bring it on, tropical storm gustav

Hey blog. Right now Keith is at the airport waiting to get home... the Internet says his flight is delayed, what with the tropical storm and all, so I don't know when he'll get to leave. Sigh!

But we had a really great week while he was here. My Peace Corps friends Anne and Tim got married on Tuesday, so we hung around for the reception, which was really cute. The PC office staff got together and got a little cake for them and some sparkling cider, and there were some really cute toasts.

Then we headed off on a 5-hour bus ride to Sosua, a beach town on the northern coast of the DR. The beaches were beautiful, although we were unpleasantly surprised by how aggressive the souvenir shop guys were--almost all of them spoke English, or at least enough to say "You are shopping? Come to my store!" And if we told them we'd come back later, they're remember it and harrass us on the way back. But still, the beaches were gorgeous (I'll post pictures when Keith sends them my way, since I'm still sans-camera) and I didn't even get sunburned, thanks to vigorous--some might say obsessively so-- application of sunblock.

We also visited the Jewish Community Museum of Sosua, which was small but interesting. It completely covered up the fact that Trujillo was a terrible dictator, but what can you expect? And it is true that, for whatever reason, he did help save some Jewish refugees, which is undeniably a good thing to do.

Anyway, after some fun, sun, and World War II history, we returned to my site for a few days. I introduced Keith around my town, where he was told both that he looked like my brother and that he looked fatter in photos than in real life (which I guess is nicer to hear than the opposite). He also helped me teach my English class, since he is an excellent speaker of English.

Then we went back to the capital where I gave him a quick tour of the Zona Colonial of Santo Domingo, aka "Here are some old buildings and I don't really remember what they were for but they look pretty, right?" We got rained on a little during the tour, a prelude to today's tropical storm. Keith's flight was delayed (though I see now that it has left, whew), and I've been put on Standfast by Peace Corps, which just means that I can't travel until we get cleared by the PC higher-ups. This is pretty much fine with me, since now I'm getting per diem to stay in the capital and hang out with some of my also-stranded friends. It is raining a lot, though. Basically everything is fine here for now. The storm might get upgraded to a hurricane and then vamos a ver... (You can track Gustav on the NOAA website, if you're so inclined.) Peace Corps volunteers kind of secretly hope for hurricanes, because then we get consolidated to a safe city and PC pays for us to stay in a nice hotel! But they're also terribly destructive to the people we're working with, so we don't really hope that hard. Because we are not horrible people.

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