İHola familia y amigos! (Hello family and friends!)
I type to you today from my laptop which happens to be crawling with teeny-tiny ants and spiders. I guess they thought it was a great place to lay eggs… and now call their home as thousands (I’m not even exaggerating) have recently hatched. It’s quite gross really and I’m using it now because I think I killed about a couple thousand of them… finally. So as I sit here and type, every minute or so I grab the napkin sitting next to me and squish a few more ants or spiders that spastically crawl about.
So far in our time here “routine” has not been a word we could use to describe our lives. Developing a schedule is pointless as we rarely ever accomplish even half of what we were expecting to get finished. If someone planned to live here my word of advice would be “flexibility”. If you can’t be flexible you would never survive. We thought we were flexible until we moved here, only to find we still have a lot to learn. The culture is so laid back. The Dominican number one priority are relationships. When I drop off a vehicle at the mechanics, I don’t just explain the problem, hand the guy the keys and walk off. I sit down, chat for about 30-45minutes (usually this time is me getting a language lesson).
Another change for us is that we must always have cash on hand. We never know what the day-to-day is going to bring and we must have cash. Debit card, credit card… yeah right! No one has the machine to run cards.
Last Thursday Josh and I needed some groceries and needed to pay rent but someone was at the house working on it. So I offered to go so Josh could stay home with the worker. It was the first time it really struck me that one-stop-shopping is not available to us up here in Jarabacoa. So, I first had to go to one supermarket which didn’t have what I needed. So I walked around the corner to the other supermarket where I did find my needed items. Then I walked the few blocks to go to the fruit market. From there I made my final stop at the meat market to buy the meat I needed for the next few days. Another reality I have learned (thanks to disgusting smells) is that food does not last long here… even in the fridge. So frequent shopping has also become a regular part of our lives.
We just wrapped up several weeks of Spanish lessons, and now have to rely on our own determination and motivation to continue learning. We do really enjoy the language and like learning about it however, so that is a great start. We just recently purchased a bi-lingual Bible, and a children’s Bible… which had been suggested as a great way to learn Spanish. I have been reading it, and really enjoying it to!
Okay, well off to work again… this is just the beginning of several more longish blogs to come!