Can you tell us about your friends there, and what you like to do with them in your free time?
There is a saying among missionaries, "you don't get to pick your friends, your friends are chosen for you". I think this saying created because when you work so closely in ministry away from what is normal and familiar, you draw close to those around you, and in our case that is the other missionaries that we work with. If all this is true, then God has been very good to us because we absolutely love the people we work with and we have made friends with everyone, some more closely than others which, I think is to be assumed.
We have made good friends with another couple on staff here; their names are Ryan and Caroline. (Ryan is the leader and pioneer of the microfinance site and Caroline works in one of the social work sites.) We get together when we have time and play games typically. A few nights ago we got together and had a "cook out" - and for you west coast people this is what we call a BBQ. Ryan and Josh play ping-pong almost everyday... and currently Josh is the champion.
I have a cooking/baking buddy that I hang out with often, her name is Chastity and she is one of the MK's here (missionary kids). We usually bake something delicious, talk, look through cooking magazines like Bon Appetite, and watch movies. Our goal is to never make the same thing twice, an idea I got from my grandma. This new baking mission has pushed us to try many different and fun recipes.
Last - but definitely not least - is Lowell and Cheryl. Lowell is the director of the Dominican Republic branch of SI and his wife Cheryl does so many different things that it would take paragraphs to explain - she plays a huge role here. We love to go to their house and just hang out... our conversation never ends, when we leave their house we're still talking as we walk out. We all play games together and have dinner together a lot. Whether we're working or just hanging out, we're constantly joking around and having a really good time together. Because the 4 of us are all on the leadership team, our schedules and situations all mesh together. We can discuss things with them that we can't with any other person, and we usually have the same free time - or lack of free time.
We have several other people that we enjoy getting together with, but it happens less frequently and isn't as intentional as it is with Lowell & Cheryl, Ryan & Caroline and Chastity. There are a group of people that we play ultimate frisbee with. Over the fall/winter we played every Sunday, but since our schedule hasn't been consistent we haven't been able to get it going routinely since Christmas break.