Thursday, April 2, 2009


Ah, the dangerous life of a Peace Corps volunteer! I’m currently nursing a pretty severe Peace Corps injury—I pulled a muscle in my shoulder while towel-drying my hair. Okay, it’s probably not life-threatening, but it still hurts.

Other than that, though, can’t complain—right now I’m sitting on the couch at the Hub, the hostel in Santiago, after a fun party last night. A couple other volunteers organized an “Art Interest Group” and kicked it off with a mini art-show/open mike night (okay, the mike was a water bottle). Plus we had a yummy potluck. I’ve been experimenting with my new olla de horno (stove pot—basically like a stovetop Dutch oven, so I can bake stuff even though I don’t have a traditional oven. I like it because it makes everything I make look like a Bundt cake) and I brought some cornbread and brownies. They both turned out pretty well, thanks to my constant vigilance. (You can’t set a temperature or anything, so you just have to set the flame mediumish and then check it every few minutes.)

Things in my site are okay. My computer youth group is still meeting and we’re learning Photoshop. I’m hoping to start some advanced computer classes in the next few weeks. Unfortunately, next week is Semana Santa—Holy Week, the week of Easter. In the US Easter usually merits a 3- or 4-day weekend; here, it is a 7+ day weekend. The entire week is a holiday, and then people are usually a little sluggish to trickle back to work after Easter. Anyway, so we’ll see about when I can get classes going.

A couple nights ago I had an awesomely awkward experience—it was around 9pm and I was sitting in my house, in the dark, watching the movie Sin City on my laptop. Suddenly, I hear “Hola, Renata!” and turn to see both my host parents’ faces pressed up against my open window. This is weird because a) people never come to visit my house, knowing full-well that I have only plastic chairs and no homemade juice to offer, b) people don’t go visiting so late at night, and c) men don’t usually go visiting. So—unexpected, basically. But I let them in and told them to sit down, and they’re like, “Wow, it’s dark in here!” I remind them that I don’t have an inversor, and that the power is out, like usual. I turn on my lantern and my host mom immediately notices the empty wine bottle on my table, left over from when Stacie was visiting last week. (I was thinking about re-using the bottle as a vase or something and never got around to doing anything with it, but I didn’t throw it away yet either.) So she goes, “Wow, you drank all that wine??” And I explain no, it’s from when Stacie was here… which still makes me seem like a horrible housekeeper, if not a drunk. Then my host dad drags over a plastic chair in front of the computer, which is still showing Sin City, which if you haven’t seen it is not like a pornographic film by any means, but the female characters tend to wear very little in the way of clothing. So he sits down, we both look at the screen and see a bunch of prostitutes in lingerie. I awkwardly say, “Um, the movie is in English” and flip my computer shut. (Last night I was retelling this story at the potluck, and I made a hand motion as I said “flip my computer shut” and I dropped my plate and broke it.) Then my host mom asked to use the bathroom—which, they live a block away, why didn’t she go before she left?—so I gave her my headlamp, which confused her. Then she spent an awkwardly long time in the bathroom, leading my host dad to speculate about why it was taking so long. Finally she comes back out and says, Renata, your toilet is broken. I say no, it’s just that there’s no water right now. (They have a working tinaco at their house that keeps them in running water all the time.)

Basically, my host parents came over to my house to experience Dominican shortages of public works, and to witness my sinful lifestyle. On the bright side, I’m hoping that word of this will spread and prevent any further late night visits, because God only knows what la americana might be up to in her house at night!

1 comment:

speedo said...

Hahaha that is wonderfully awkward.

could you possibly have seen the Watchmen movie? it's goood.

hope your shoulder is better