Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tropical Christmas

Here in the DR, the 24th is a bigger holiday than the 25th, and it's celebrated Thanksgiving-style: a massive meal with the extended family! My day started with brunch at a nearby volunteer's house. We had American food (pancakes!) and spoke English and I got to meet a couple of newly arrived volunteers. It's strange that I'm already a 'sophomore'.

For the real meal later on, I had too many invitations (not a bad problem to have)! I started out at the house of my project partner. The food was delicious, and there was more of it than I have most days. Exactly how holiday meals are supposed to work!
From there I dropped by to say hi to some friends and went on to my former host family. Again, the food was delicious, and again there was a lot of it. I made it about 80% through this plate before I had to quit. And then the food coma set in...
I stopped by just to see one more family before heading home, and they borrowed my camera and got a bunch of good pictures of their beautifully laid out table:

Christmas was a fairly normal Sunday for me. I went into the city for church and had McDonalds for lunch. In the afternoon I Skyped with some friends and family, and my house was crashed by a bunch of kids (fortunately while I was talking to a friend who speaks Spanish, so they were able to chat for a bit). In the evening I made grilled cheese sandwiches again for one of the families I didn't get to visit the night before. And they had saved me a plate, so while they had grilled cheese, I had another heaping plate of holiday food.
Dominicans don't typically exchange gifts on Christmas (Jan 6 is the day celebrating the three kings who brought gifts to baby Jesus, so that's when the kids get presents). Instead, Christmas is a time to show off nice new clothes. Unfortunately, my camera always seemed to be either out of charge or not with me, so I only have one (blurry) picture of a girl in her fancy new dress with grilled cheese in each hand!

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