Sunday, December 27, 2009

simply having a wonderful christmastime

I hope everyone had a delightful Christmas! Mine was very nice, although it got off to a rough start. It was raining really hard in the days up to Christmas, so my apartment kept flooding. We coped, however--I kept mopping, and Duarte learned how to wait on the bed until I got up, and then to jump onto my hips to get rides across the apartment so he didn´t have to get his little feet wet. He is the smartest, cutest kitty ever! Objectively speaking. Then on the 23rd, I went to drop Duarte off at my friend Judith´s house while I went on a Christmas excursion. I had a backpack and a giant totebag, plus Duarte´s cat carrier. I got on the back of a motorcycle taxi, since it was a little far to walk. Plus, it was raining. I´m fairly comfortable on motorcycles, but with my enormous bag in between me and the moto guy, every time we went up a hill I was pretty sure I was going to fall off the bag and die. Plus, about halfway there, Duarte figured out how to stick his head out of a tiny gap in the cat carrier and I became terrified that he would leap off the moto, so I had to use one hand to try to shove Duarte back in the bag and the other to cling to the moto guy´s shoulder AND try to hold my big tote bag. Also, did I mention that I didn´t really know how to get to Judith´s apartment? I had some super vague directions and assumed that we could get to the neighborhood and just ask around, but since it was raining, no one was out on the street to ask. So we circled around for a ridiculously long and terrifying time. But, in a Christmas miracle, we found Judith´s place and all arrived intact. Hooray!

Free of my clever escape artist kitten, I went onto Santiago to meet with my friends Jen and Karina. We spent $3000 pesos (about $100 US--goes far in the DR) on groceries and went back to prepare a fabulous Christmas dinner! Actually we just ate Chex Mix that day. Christmas eve, we went over to Karina´s neighbor´s for a Dominican celebration, which included some of the fanciest of Dominican foods arranged in a pleasing salad: cut up apples, marshmellows, grapes, whole nuts, and candy fruit slices. Another Christmas eve highlight was me trying to avoid her neighbor´s son, who dated the last Peace Corps volunteer who lived here. He told me, "You remind me of {the last volunteer}... I like bigger girls." It was awesome.

Christmas Day we woke up and had some classy beverages--mimosas AND coffee with Bailey's! (Don't judge us, we´re spending Christmas in another country.) Our friends Jenna, Chris, Joel, and Brittany decided to come at the last minute, which was exciting! But also we had to figure out how to double the amount of food we were making. Which we did, and we had the following awesome dinner:
Deviled eggs
Hummus with carrot sticks
Mashed potatoes
Sweet potato casserole
Green bean casserole

Sadly, during the last course I got a migraine and had to go lie down. But I still wanted to hang out, so I just curled up on the couch with a pillow over my face and occasionally yelled out borderline-delirious comments. I recall being very worked up Britney Spears' latest song "3". (My stance, then and now, is that it is an awesome song and Britney is so comnig back.) Also, since I had the pillow over my face, I had no idea where anyone was and got kind of confused. Oh well!

Anyway, even though I missed my family and American friends (and Duarte), it was still a great Christmas. Now I'm getting ready to head back to Cabarete with Jen for some beach time... I mean, there are perks to a Dominican Christmas.

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