Sunday, May 30, 2010

labor day

many places of work here in the good ol' DR have parties or get-togethers for their employees for labor day. it's not always just a day off but time to hang out with people you work with.

sooo makarios people hung out together at la roca in the river. you KNOW that means there was some gooood sancocho made by some of the makarios dominican men. of course there was plenty of swimming and jumping off the giant rock. fun..

some of the makarios dudes

me and kendall

so many people at the river!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


ahhh basketball season. professional basketball game in puerto plata, anyone?? (and by professional i mean "professional")- i guess i should explain. they're technically professional; it just looks quite different than the nba..

mm.. yes please.

kendall and i met some of the guys at the game. it was nothing less than awesome. one thing i love about being here is that when it comes to sports (well, i'm mainly referring to some baseball games i've been to and some pick up basketball games), dominicans are EXCITED. it is an event.. and every moment is exciting and LOUD. it doesn't really matter what is going on; there is always something to yell or cheer about. so much fun..

in action

wilson, jody, caquito, chris

me and kendall

Sunday, May 23, 2010


ABBI CAME TO VISIT. yeah she did! oh my gosh i can't even begin to explain how great it was to have her here. abbi and i have been friends for almost 15 years. she's one of those people you can only hope you'll meet once. i am so fortunate to call her my best friend. ok, if i don't start talking about her visit now, i will be rambling for pages about her awesomeness..

the time she was here FLEW by. she was here 5 nights total.. we took motos to la tienda, spent time hanging out at rachel's, ate dinner at tropi with friends, went a couple beaches, had people over for chili night, went to a dominican basketball game, ate sancocho at the river, visited villages, played with my kids, went to school, walked the malecon, took public, went to church, ate rice/beans, talked, chilled.. y mucho mas.

it means the world to share a little part of what my life is now and has been for two years. i'm just. so. thankful. i really don't have words. i am honored you took time to come here, abs. i love you so much.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

sancocho.. yes please.

ahhh days at the river are so GOOD!
basic agenda: make sancocho, swim, hang out, wait for sancocho, EAT.. this particular trip was especially awesome because ABBI CAME! oh i can't even begin to explain how good it was to have her here in country for a little while. really. beyond thankful.

me and ABBI! love you.

rubia pouring some of the veggies in the amazing sancocho (did i explain this? it's a soup - sooo good)

everyone hanging out while the soup cooks

rubia, jefferson, wilson, jody, brenda, robin

sass. roomies (minus kendall)

johan jumping from the tree

yep. good day.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

double wedding

two beautiful sisters that rachel has been friends with a long time, dudu and chichi, were both getting MARRIED! ..of course that means a DOUBLE WEDDING- woo!

rachel helped them plan, find dresses, decorate and organize.. AND she was in the wedding (as the godmother). basically, she is 1) an incredible friend and 2) a stud. it was a beautiful wedding.

now, let me make something clear.. a haitian wedding ceremony here is totally different than a 20 minute deal we have in los estados. weddings are long (i'm talking hours) and start whenever the bride (or brides in this case) is ready, even if that means hours after the announced start time. there are a TON of people that show up and EVERYONE that has a camera takes pictures the entire time. the couple(s) sit at the front of the church while there is basically a church service (sermon and songs). there are mulitple performers and when it is time to do vows and such at the end there is a mob- a MOB- that crams in the front for the kiss. cara describes it well-it's like a rock concert. people pushing, snapping pictures, yelling, making them kiss again..

we got out to villa early to help prepare for the wedding. rachel asked me to be the "photographer" so i was taking pictures the whole time..


dudu looks kind of sad here but i promise she was super pumped. :) her sister chichi is in the back getting ready

walking from the house to the church

and the brides enter..

sitting during the ceremony

the lovely choir


pastor jonny (dudu and chichi's dad) praying

and the cake people watching the reception..

i think rach, cara, and i ended up being out there from 2ish to after 10pm. good day.

it was sweet and i am so happy for the newlyweds!

congratulations. :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

B+ for wilner

sweet wilner.. wilner lives in chichigua and we have been blessed to watch this little dude grow, play, and pout. in december, robin and holly took him to get his blood tested and confirmed that he is HIV positive. a couple months later, with another doctor, they learned he needed a blood transfusion.

[ok, i have to pause for a minute and note that robin and holly have taken wilner numerous times to the doctor for tests and medicine, pouring themselves into these time-consuming processes for him. they have faithfully loved him and been consistent people he can trust to take him.. and get him ice cream after having needles in his arm. i say this because i don't want to jump so far in the story without giving a little peek into what those months looked like. now to resume..]

what kind of blood does he have? B+. our whole staff started reporting blood types back to robin. guess what type i am? yep.. B+. the weekend we were going to give the blood for the transfusion, holly happened to have a friend, bonnie, coming who also had B+ blood. welcome to the country, bonnie. come to a clinic in the third world and let us stick a needle in you..

robin, holly, bonnie, lauren (our physicians assistant at school), and i took a day to go to puerto plata for the donating process. first, bonnie and i had our blood tested and then did what we do here all the time: wait.

turns out my dang iron levels were a little below the ok level (bah) BUT praise the LORD- bonnie COULD donate! wilner could have the transfusion!
check out that GIANT needle in bonnie's arm. the donating was ridiculously fast. i mean, look at that thing. no wonder she felt light-headed after losing blood so fast.

bonnie being a champ. that was one giant bag of blood they ever so professionally rested on the chair..

i've heard they don't let females donate blood here because they think women will become iron-deficient (yeah...) so it was incredible they allowed this. ALSO, praise the Lord bonnie was in town for those specific of days!

wilner had the transfusion and is doing well.. still as funny as ever. thank you, Lord!

Monday, May 3, 2010

computer club

i think it is hilarious to watch my students play school during free time or activity time because i get to see what school looks like to them.. and what i look like to them (woah). i've actually laughed out loud while they've read stories to each other and passed out "homework." i especially love when they take someone to the esquina de descansar (corner of rest.. "chill out corner") or the office. they're great kids but, yes, they know exactly what it looks like to be sent to the corner and office..

this particular day, they were on their "computers" (our class books) and talking about what they were doing: watching michael jackson.

i may or may not occasionally download his videos and have michael jackson days.. :) i'm pretty sure i have the coolest kids ever.