Thursday, April 28, 2011

Let's meet MIKEY!

So if you haven't already caught on, I have a dog. And he's adorable.

I got him about a month ago from the neighbors of another volunteer. He's been loved by me since he was a baby, and I always felt sorry for him because the owners did not treat him very well. His previous life consisted of living in a dark stairwell...all alone...never getting to see the light of day. :o( It broke my heart.

I always joked with the owners that I wanted to take him home with me, and they would always laugh (and kinda look at me suspiciously like they thought I was going to steal him).

Which I had considered, not gonna lie.

So finally one day I had my friend seriously ask them if I could buy him from them. They said yes! After the exchange of RD1000 ($27), I had a new member of my household! They were excited that they didn't have to deal with him anymore and went on a shopping spree, and I had a new child.

8-month-old Mikey (I kept the name they had given him) and I have had a lovely little time together for the past month. He now has all of his shots and has been fixed. Several people in my town tell me that he's feo (ugly), but I STRONGLY disagree. Nobody knows what kinds of dog he is, so we just tell people that he is a biralata bonita (pretty mutt/street dog). Other people tell me,"His face is cute, but his body is really ugly."

One day when I was walking him, a lady yelled, "What an ugly dog!"
I replied,"Stop! He's my son!"
"Well you have an ugly son then!"

So rude.

He's been a lot of work, but everyone has taken to him...eventually. I have heard the advice from other volunteers that it's good to get a dog in this country, and I agree. It's nice to have someone waiting at home (or going to work with you...what?? He LOVES being on the radio!) to cheer you up after a stressful day, and- even though the training is not going super well- he's been really good.

I'm going home in August (YAY! 1st time home in over a year!) and we are trying to figure out how to get Mikey back, too. I think he's going to like the states.

So there's Mikey for ya. My new pride and joy. Besides making me more responsible and patient, he's also making me a huge hypocrite: In the end, I'm going to be giving a Dominican male his VISA.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Semana Santa.

Hope anyone who is reading this had an amazing Easter weekend! Here in the DR we were able to celebrate this over a week-long period called Semana Santa, or Holy Week. And it was great. Although it definitely helped me with procrastinating work-related activities, I had a lot of fun with friends in my community and fellow volunteers. My week consisted of the following:

• Waterfalls
• Beaches
• Rios
• Good food
• Horse bola (reminder: bola = 1.(n)free ride 2.(v)to hitchhike)
• 4-wheeler bola
• Back-of-truck bola
• Motorcycle bola
• Bola with a bike
• More bolas
• Hiking with Mikey (more on him later)
• New cooking adventures in my site
• Visiting new families in my site
• Helping a lady study for her US citizenship exam
• Trying to recreate my mom’s clogged-artery causing Southern casseroles and joyfully succeeding
• Night out in Santiago with the visiting family of another volunteer
• Historical Museum of the Mirabal Sisters
• Over 3 hours on my bike
• Rewarding my hard work on the bike with lots of ice cream
• Modern Art Museum
• Surprise overnight adventure with my Dominican family: “Heather, where are all of your clothes? ….Because we’re not going back until tomorrow!” Classic.
• Mikey’s 1st campo visit
• More good food
• Little to no tangible work…fun fun for this week
• Good Spanish time
• Great English time
• Amazing friends in both languages
• And, of course, food.

Y ya. Ya is the Dominican way of saying “I’m done” or “That’s it.” So once again. Ya.

Hope you had a great week, as well, Mom & Dad. And thanks to anyone else who is still keeping up with this :o) Will try to get the Introduction to Mikey post up quickly!