Hey everyone. Well, the dream has finally been realized. quixfox.com is up and running, thanks mostly to the time, patience, and dinero of my loving mother, Meredith Fox. But really, thanks mom.
As the title suggests, I had a pretty hectic weekend. We newbie volunteers had our 3 month In Service Training in the Capital. We all presented our Community Diagnostics and worked on some project plans with our project partners. It was two FULL days of programming, and was a little tiring to say the least, but I think all of us agreed that it was worthwhile, if not more for our project partners than for us. I think more than anything, we talked about our experiences and realized how crazy it is that we've been working for over 3 months, and been in the country 6 months. It does go quickly...
After 2 nights at the retreat center, I spent a 3rd night at the hostel in the capital hanging out with other volunteers and venting in English to people that are dealing with the same kinds of issues. It was a nice getaway and exactly what we (I) needed. Beer might have been involved.
The next morning, 2 volunteers and I set off for Samana, the lush peninsula jutting from the north-northeast region of the island. We stopped in Sabana del Mar and took an hour long ferry across the Samana Bay. We didn't see any whales, but several Dominicans did become ill during the trip. We met up with a group of other volunteers for a quick meeting and (free) Chinese food. We spent the night in the pueblo of Samana, ending the night at a car wash. Yep, the car wash. Dominican car washes don't wash cars at night, but they do offer dancing, pool, and drinking to those interested. The night in the hotel in Samana was comfortable, and short.
We woke up Sunday, ate a quick breakfast, and headed to the tip of the Samana peninsula to visit one of the most beautiful coastlines in the country (and I'd guess it wouldn't rank too poorly on a world-wide list either). Pictures forthcoming. Planning to head home at 4, we arrived at the bus station at 3:40 to find every bus full for the rest of the day. Not having the money or desire to stay another night in Samana, we caught a guagua (mini-bus, public transport) to Sanchez, another to Nagua, and another to Pimentel to spend the night at Neal's house. It was another two guaguas back to Veragua the next morning. I was exhausted, but finally where I belonged.
Home sweet home.