Monday, October 27, 2008

another weekend in paradise

Buenos dias!

I hope everyone had a good weekend. Mine was pretty decent, although Friday there was a 24-hour apagon (power outage), leaving my laptop long dead by the time I hoped to watch a movie after dinner. But I’m just going to count my blessings, since at least the freaky power-flux thing that briefly happened around 9pm didn’t fry any of my electronics, although I was terrified that it had until the power came back Saturday morning for me to test things out. It was probably just the neighbors trying to get their DeLorean powered up.

Saturday morning I went to teach my English class, though only one student arrived and he adamantly did not want to have class if no one else was there. That’s fine, kid, but you should know that people pay a lot of money for one-on-one foreign language tutors in Nueva York. I spent the rest of the morning charging my cell phone at the school (because I was afraid the power at my house was still experiencing disturbance), reading, and observing preparations for this afternoon’s graduation ceremony.

(There’s been a flurry of phone calls amongst my fellow education volunteers and I about why are they having a graduation ceremony right now? They had one this summer, presumably for those who finished at the end of the school year. The fall semester is still in session, so these couldn’t be kids who are graduating at the middle of the year—unless they’re having the ceremony early? Arianna asked her Dominican friend and got the information “It’s for last year,” but couldn’t get any followup.)

Anyway, my school—which is in a fairly well-off Dominican town—had a pretty nice graduation ceremony. I wish I’d have had my camera to take pictures, but I lent it to the joven I’m taking to the IT youth conference (on which more later). They held it on the covered outdoor basketball court—the audience sat in the bleachers and the graduating students sat on plastic chairs (covered with white cloth & with big yellow bows tied around them) on the court. There was also a wedding-looking, white-draped, flower-laden mesa de honor (table of honor), where the principal, a few chosen teachers, and the official from the local Secretary of Education office sat. ALSO the ceremony started with a performance by a marching band (note: the school itself does not having a marching band; this was a group of adults and I do not know where they came from) and some colorguard-esque (but without flags) marching performance by some of the younger kids.

I can’t tell you how the ceremony concluded, because it was long and I got bored and took a phone call and then just left about two hours in. (Hey—lots of parents were excusing themselves to go get ice cream in the middle of the ceremony, so I don’t think leaving for a phone call is beyond the pale.)

Yesterday was filled with good intentions and not that much productivity—I meant to go to church, but didn’t quite get myself out of bed in time. I meant to mop my floor, but… that didn’t quite happen. I meant to go visit my crazy dona friend, but… never ended up leaving the house. I did, however, watch a lot of old West Wing episodes, so not a complete loss.

My biggest problem right now is that visiting people is still an obligation for me, not something I look forward to. It’s stressful to sit around and make small talk in Spanish, and I don’t really have people here I consider close friends. I know people like it when I visit them, and I know it’s a good way for me to practice my Spanish, but it basically feels like a chore, rather than a relaxing social activity. Once I actually start talking to people it’s not that bad, but it takes a lot of time to convince myself to get out of the house and over to visit someone. Anyway, so this makes me kind of a hermit. I just have to keep taking things paso a paso (step by step), I suppose!

On my agenda for today: at 2:30 I’m meeting with M., the student I’m taking to the Peace Corps IT Youth Conference, which is this Wednesday through Friday. Basically, all the IT volunteers get together and bring an interested student or two from their community, and the jovenes get to meet other jovenes and they go to a bunch of workshops about things like Photoshop and web design. It’s by nerds, for nerds. Also, there’s a video competition, so all the kids have to make a video about their communities to submit. M. and I have scheduled a bunch of meetings to work on our video, but he has only attended one of them. Hopefully he will attend this one, since the video is due in two days.

After that, I’m teaching English from 6-8. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll have a fair amount of luz tonight, because teaching by the light of cell phones is really a sub-par method.

1 comment:

speedo said...

Do your neighbors REALLY have a Delorean????