Thursday, March 10, 2011

I'm here!

I don't have time for a large post, but I wanted to let everyone know that I'm finally here in the DR.  Internet is spotty, but it's pretty fast when you can find a place that works.  I got in on Monday and made it to training just in time to grab a plate of food and join the lesson on Cholera and diarrhea.  After we covered malaria and Dengue fever, I was about ready to return home, but they take good care of us and make sure we know how to avoid major diseases and get to the health clinic if we're sick.

Most volunteers live close to the training center, but I'm one of 4 who lives far enough away to need to commute by 'carro publico,' which is a standard Dominican form of public transportation.  It costs 20 pesos and they fit 3 people (including the driver) in the front and 4 in the back of a typical corolla, or something similar.  We've been in one that had a cardboard roof...they're usually not in great shape, but they run.

I'm living with a host family...a grandmother and grandfather who live alone at home (now with me).  My host mother likes to dote on me and feed me too much. 

Next week, I'll have to travel out to another province to stay with a current volunteer and see what it actually looks like in the field.  Later my group (Education/ICT) will be traveling together to work on a project in yet another city.  For now, we're all together learning the basics of life in the Peace Corps and in the Dominican Republic, and spending a lot of time on health, safety, and, of course, Spanish.  I've got a lot of work to do, but I've been able to get along in the language.  We have to be at least level 5/10 before we 'graduate,' and I surprised myself by getting to level 7 on my first test, so I've already passed part of my training.  I'll want to improve quite a bit, however, before I'm comfortable teaching classes in Spanish.

I'm borrowing a friend's internet connection, so I have to go, but I'll try to provide more details (and pictures) when I get the chance.

Hasta luego!


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