Friday, November 28, 2008

banana tree

did you know..
(according to "word reference") the word for banana in:
french: banane
italian: banano
german: banane
polish: banan
portugues: banana
greek: μπανάνα

i will stop BUT point is.. banana in spanish (the way i learned it..) is plátano. plátano. ok i can do that.. not heeeere.. i learn over and over that dominican/caribbean spanish is a little different:

we have a guineo tree in our front yard. guineo (gee-nay-oh).

anyway, we took pictures.
miguel, diego, jennie
anne and garrett
shallan, me, melissa
robin, me

oh yes, we also took roommate pictures because
1. we are crazy
2. we had flowers and robin had my camera
3. we needed our true, miserable feelings about each other on record. :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

giving thanks

for thanksgiving this year we had everyone over to the makarios house.. all of our family here was invited and it ended up being like 30ish people i think. kara ("poof"- finally got to meet her!) and cara's mom, barb (finally got to meet her too!!), were in from the states. we had the DR staff there, including odilcia (the amazing woman who cleans the school and house), odilcia's kids, cristina, claudio and their kids.. the house was packed with people all over and it was so good to be surrounded all day by such amazing people. (yes, mom, i did miss you guys.. and i was so happy i got to talk to you! thank you for calling. love.)

kara diggin' in.. and jonathan is ready!!

i met my FOOD TWIN.. kara and i were excited about the veggies..

makarios staff photo :)

the most gigantic bowl of macaroni and cheese i have ever seen in my entire life.. thank you, anne!

cara and momma barb

the kids all sat on our cushion things on the floor. they didn't know what to do with all the "american" food.. didn't eat too much of it actually because they preferred the rice/lentil dish cristina and odilcia had made together. they did, however eat their fair share of pies.

happy thanksgiving.

G for galleta

at the end of a crazy busy week, i had in my lesson plans that part of the G lesson would include cookies (tactile learning, right?). the chilluns deserve a treat for putting up with crazy profe ashley all the time.. :)

i was completely exhausted all week and i got home late the night i was going to make them but planned to stay up late to do it anyway.. shallan and i walked into the kitchen to find the cookies done and packed up for school with a little note. melissa was in bed but she had spent her afternoon making no-bake G cookies for my class so i wouldn't have to! could i ask for better roommates?? i was so surprised i really did tear up. shallan and i sat and looked at each other for like 5 minutes, not knowing what to do with ourselves. yes, they looked awesome and she saved me hours. love mel.. (and shallan too bc she'd already agreed to help when we got home).

aaand the next day we learned G:

this is proably "ganzo (duck)" or "gallina (chicken)

profe ashley is super excited about the suprise..

ruth chowin' down on her cookie

i think jeson liked the letter G

*photos by shallan. and THANK YOU, mel.

G por galleta, G-G-G!

who will you root for?

i decided last-minute (day-of) to go with a group from our church, templo biblico, on a day trip to santiago for a baseball game. we all loaded up in a van and off we went..
plaaaay ball!

ears-ringing-for-hours kind of LOUD fans.. yeah, águilas (eagles)!!
yes, it was actually really painful.. but, hey, it kept every single second super exciting! i would like to thank the drum behind our heads for the partial deafness that night.
i sat next to an angel.. (love you, shal)
the game got pretty intense.. jonathan might be rethinking rooting for licey ;)
dominican baseball is LOUD, exciting, and everyone goes NUTS for every single play. definitely not chill and hang-outish. it was a really good day. oh, and we even got to eat some pollo victorina and splash for dinner!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


neifi lookin' stylish from head to toe: pony tail, denim jacket, light jeans.. even hot pink water shoes?

weekend destination: santiagoooo

freeeeeedom! if i had to sum the santiago trip into a word, well, that would be it. robin, cara, jonathan, and i took off in a caribe bus to santiago after work on a friday in mid-november. we stayed with the whites all weekend which is really a treat in itself. what i didn’t know was that it would turn out to be absolutely what we all needed. oh God and His timing..

friday night with jim and teresa we were able to just play with their puppies, eat, and chill out.. good thing because the next day was PACKED.

saturday we went out to the old makarios farm. robin and cara wanted to visit ruben.. and teresa was like “you guys should take the car.” WHAT?! a car? a car we can drive? and go wherever we feel?? freedom. so we over-excitedly drove out to the farm.. to find ruben had gone into town. we hung out anyway, played cards, hiked around the land, explored jim and teresa’s new land.. ruben hadn’t come back by the afternoon and we were STARVING so we decided to go to the ol' “pollo victorina!” ate so much..

(walking around the land with ruben's daughters)

THEN we went to the grocery store- a real grocery store that has everything you want/need.. ahh. love me some grocery store time. after that adventure we went to a real mall. uh huh. shopped around a bit and then jonathan, cara, and i saw a moooovie while robin got her nails done. oh, and these places were all air-conditioned by the way- score!

(santi claus at the mall!)

review: ruben's house/old mak farm, pollo victorina, grocery store, mall, movie (at the mall)..

ok we get in the car and call teresa who tells us we can definitely keep adventuring.. where to next? the monument. we parked by a carnival and walked up the hill to the monument. from the hill you can see all over santiago. it was dark and the lights really were beautiful. we spied the lights of a baseball game in town sooo we “navigated” (pointing with our fingers) the way we should drive to get there..

(standing at the top of the hill at the monument)

after a few shouts out the car window for directions.. we made it! plaaay ball. this was my first real dominican baseball game- FUN. i pretty much lost control of my excitement.. oh it was wonderful. most exciting baseball game ever.

(cara, robin, me, and jonathan at the gaaame!)

sooo after all of that, we figured we should get back to the whites’. perfect day. we spent sunday relaxing with jim and teresa and ventured to the store for teresa, isaak along for the ride. it was definitely one of those weekends i’d like to do over and over. thank God for His timing and knowing exactly what we’d need.

(jonathan and isaak at the store)

get yo hur did..

need a new do? you give some of our friends here the ok and, man, they will go to TOWN on your hair.
one afternoon i’d lost cara and shallan for awhile in chichigua.. walked up on this:

cara had jeson's whole family getting into it!

i am not the biggest fan of people messing with my hair.. i just imagine hand grease all up in my hair and i don’t get all jazzed about the idea.. however, i guess there are always exceptions. i’d told maria, one of my art class students, that her hair always looked cute in the net thingies she wears but mentioned i could never pull it off. we would soon find out.
the next class she walks in with a bag behind her back.. a bag with a net she’d gotten me, a comb, bobby pins. how sweet was that? so of course i let her brush, pull, and pin my hair in a big swirl and stick a net on it..


i would love to introduce those of you who haven’t been here to chichigua. about half of my students come from chichigua, a batey in the cane fields. chichigua began as a home for haitian workers in the cane fields surrounding it. not too many who live in chichigua work much in the cane now.

we (mak people) LOVE going to spend hours and days in chichigua. it is probably the smallest of the villages we serve; everyone knows everyone else’s business and you can walk through the whole place in 5-10 minutes. it is open and everyone is so welcoming. whether you know spanish, kreyole or neither, you are always welcome to just sit. the kids looove to run and play and are super creative about what they do all day. i can’t explain the beauty, generosity, and a little hope in and among the tin, dirt, and hurting.

maybe a few pictures can make up for my lack of words to explain the complexity and contrasts of this place that so many of my kids and my family calls home..

can you tell they're brothers?
amauri's mom and sister
beautiful bernito
estiven outside of his house
hangin' out on the water tank
i am a HUGE fan of bernito in his overalls
franchesca's house
the gym

so there's a peak. you should come visit..

new careers?

i am thinking shallan and i might need to go to design school.

"glasses: all colors and shapes to fit your face.."

they went with one of our Bible stories/verses.. i'm thinking of the many things now beyond pipe cleaners. oh the possibilities. and man, the kids look good.

Monday, November 24, 2008

play-doh goooop

this semester one thing we have been working on in preschool is learning our letters. i will forever sing "A es por agua-a,a,a. E elefante- e,e,e. I es por isla- i,i,i.." ..and hopefully they will too. i mean, i still remember how mom helped me with my letters: "A is for apple- a,a,a.." yep, got the song from you, momma, and made it all spanish-like.

to keep letters exciting, we've paraded around in E-elefante masks, painted A's with agua, gone on letter hunts around the room, hopped like rabbits and ran like horses for C (conejos and caballos), eaten cookies (galletas) in the shape of G, etc. did i mention i LOVE preschool?

what could be more fun than play-doh letters for practice? slimy, gooey, melted play-doh from being in the heat so long. imagine play-doh. then multiply the stickiness by 5 and add 10 points to the level of difficulty it is to get it off your hands. then you have our play-doh. FUN.

this is how it went (ish..):
1. get to work making those letters- yeah little ashley! (really. she's only 3 here and she is rockin' that play-doh E)
2. get a little dirty in the process maybe.. 3. wah-la!! here we have it, ladies and gentlemen! (amauri was super proud of his A :)

and that's how it goes. in my head of course.. you know, sitting around coming up with lesson plans for the day, this is more or less what it looked like. you always have to expect, though, that nothing will turn out like you expect it to. aaand that is another reason i love preschool. check marileidi out with her letter ?? in play-doh:

maybe she is an artist. no need to make a letter.. thinking outside of the box? maybe??

Sunday, November 23, 2008

i need new socks

i need new socks.. i wear my lame sandals to school and in walks gustavo lookin' all suave one day in his little outfit. i bet if i were 4 i would totally have a crush on him. what a stud.

could you be any cooler?

quite the little model, huh?

perfect combination of style and sophistication.

sesame street and matching socks.. dang.