The picture above is a sample shot of my new hobby... photography. I'm not good yet, I'm still learning. However this flower just bloomed the other day in my yard, and I felt it was worthy of being a model for my "trial pix" portfolio.
Someone once told me to keep a journal of all the differences that I experience between my new culture in the DR and American life. I worked at it for about 3 days before succumbing to busyness which led to forgetfulness which then led to misplacing that "journal" which in my world really means "piece of paper." I've never thought of that lonely, college ruled piece of paper until last week when a college student pursing missions asked me about some of the differences, great and small, that I have encountered in my time living abroad. I sat there for a few moments trying to recall them. My mind ventured to that list I had once upon a time created. I stressed my brain hoping that some image would appear in my head containing words with which to answer his question... but no success. That journal will forever be lost.
Throughout the rest of that evening I looked back over my two years here working to replay any and every funny, strange, difficult, and confused moment I have had. I laughed quietly to myself as fond memories flashed through my mind's eye... our first encounters with cockroaches, consecutive days of limited cold water for shower taking and washing dishes, my first time having a conversation in Spanish and knowing ALL the words that were said to me. The night that Diamond - our first dog as a couple - passed away. Our first day in our new office... no bug spray needed!
From there my mind swept to how I feel like I belong here... how I don't feel different, I feel Dominican. I don't compare the two cultures anymore. The US is one place with it's own identity, and the Dominican is it's own place with it's own identity.
With that said, I have some items in my house here that up until my life here, I never had. Here we have an abunance of different types of bug killer underneath the kitchen sink (killer for cockroaches, wasps, ants, mosquitoes, etc). In the bathroom we have at least 6 bottles of sun screen on hand (SPF 15 for Josh, 30 & 50 for me). We don't have any electrical units which need constant electricity (besides our fridge) because up until 2 months ago we've never had a generator. When it's cold out, we wear everything we own because we don't have heaters. We also have a fly-swater per room so when the careless wasp, bee, flying beetle, or grass hopper flies in, we can take care of it quickly without have to run around looking for the swatter.