my life songs

June 15, 2009, 8:36 pm
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i know that even though i write stuff on here all anyone really wants is to look at the pictures.  we really are just all kids at heart.

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me learning to drive a moto

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one of the guitar class kids, sili.  we had a guitar concert in may to finish off class.  so i’m taking the boys to a gocart place to celebrate.

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i no longer have to worry about dying in public transportation now that we have negrita


three strikes and i’m out
June 13, 2009, 1:39 pm
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i had a cockroach crawling on me again last night.  this is the second time.  seriously, if it happens one more time i’m moving out… maybe even back to los EE.UU.


to be fruitful
June 11, 2009, 9:45 pm
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i start this to say that i don’t discuss anyone’s personal life as a means of exploitation.  i only feel the need to talk about this because it is about someone i love and would imagine that if you’re reading this you care as well.  this blog serves as a place for me to talk about my life and to keep me connected with the people that care to know what God has been doing with me here in the dominican republic.

yoslena, poor, confused, illiterate, hard, rough, child… some of you know that i recently found out that she was pregnant.  she just had her 16th birthday.  i’d been trying to help her figure out the pregnancy thing and make sure that she was healthy.  it’s like a war… taking a girl from the batey, trying to show her that she can amount to something more than what is around her, looking for God’s beauty in it.  i admit this has been a year of defeat for me with yoslena.  each time i see her following in the footsteps of her grandmother, mother and older sister, and most other women she has to look up to, i feel as though i could have done more.  that i’ve failed.  all i hope is for better things for yoslena.

i found out today that through a series of events, which are still unclear to me, that yoslena had lost the baby at five months.  her older sister, yordi, had taken her to the hospital and they induced labor.  yoslena is okay… she still seems really weak and i believe is still feeling pain that is possibly due to her kidney stones.  ashley and i went to her house immediately when we found out.  we were greeted with lots of… “cara is coming to see yoslena, and cara, yoslena had the baby.”  more than anything i feel for her and what she has to go through with peoples’ comments.  she was sitting in her house, a heated pot of flies and sweat, so i invited her over for a bit so that she could rest at our house without having crowds of people around her.

i don’t know what i think.  my heart just continues to break for her.  the worst part about it is that i believe she lost the baby due to a friend of the “father” beating her up.  apparently he had hit and kicked her in the back.

all i can think of right now is that i desire fruit for her life.  ashley gave her an apple today.  it symbolizes something that could happen in her life.  yoslena can be fruitful.  God can make anything beautiful.  i just pray that He starts to prune away all of the bad in her life, all of the evil, all of the hurt, everything that tells her she isn’t worthy.  pray for her.

my two biggest fears, better titled “una cucaracha en la cara de cara”
June 11, 2009, 2:29 pm
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i awoke the other night to the feeling of something crawling on my face.  i’m serious.  this is the grossest thing ever.  let me preface this by saying that there are LOTS of bugs, spiders, frogs, worms, and other crawling things in the dominican republic, all of which i handle quite well, even large spiders with egg sacks.  i cannot, however, function like a normal human being when i see a cockroach.  entonces, in my sleepy stupor i realized that the thing i had swatted off of my face was quite possibly a cockroach.  so i flipped on the light only to find that it was STILL on my bed!  so i proceeded to do what any person in my situation might do:  jump off of the bed, scream, and jump around some more… sorry to my roommates, this was all happening at around 2 in the AM.  at this point i knew there was no way i could go back to sleep, so i located my glasses and went on a search for the baygon.  after about another fifteen minutes of looking for the dang thing again i finally sprayed it and it was KILLED!  i laid back down with pounding heart.

i awoke in the morning to tell my roommates the story, ashley and robin, who also have a great disliking for cockroaches.  i explained to robin that i could not imagine something worse happening to me in the middle of the night.  to which she responded, “aside from maybe someone coming in through your window, but that’s already happened to you too!  so you don’t have much to worry about.”  which is true… well the part about  someone trying to come in window anyway (remember?  the story about the robber.  if not i can tell you later.)  …i’m not so sure about me having nothing to worry about.

people say that fears are usually irrational and that when you face them you are no longer afraid.  for me this is not the case.  my fears have only become a reality.  i’m even more worried now about bugs crawling on me in the middle of the night and people trying to get me in my sleep.

all this to say i hope you could have a little laugh at my expense.  like miguel said, “una cucaracha en la cara de cara.”

negrita learns what it means to be dominican
June 4, 2009, 1:03 pm
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i have now been the co-owner of a ’91 toyota 4runner for almost two weeks.  we decided to name her negrita.  since negrita has been in my possession some dominicanisms have happened to her.

all of the neighbors were very interested in the fact that we had a car.  they were also very quick to tell me where i should be parking it and how i should be driving.  dominicans are never slow to give their opinion, so i was told i shouldn’t put the car in the street, even though they all park their cars anywhere they would like at whatever time.  we DO have a carport, it’s just kinda a pain to get the car in and out, so during the day i leave negrita in the street and deal with the neighbors comments.

negrita is a good car, but she needs a few repairs.  one of the things that has been top of my priority list to fix is the taillights.  aside from the obvious danger of having no taillights, it’s one of the things that police in this country like to hassle people for, especially gringos.  they’ll take bribes, or really just MAKE you pay them money when you have things such as taillights broken on your car.

ashley and i went for the first time on monday to see if we could get the taillights fixed.  to remain true to dominican code a simple task as such has taken three times as long as you would expect it to take in north america.  monday was our first attempt.  we are now at thursday and i am hopeful that today might actually be the day that we get the taillights installed.  three failed attempts is enough to make a person want to go home, but perseverance is something i’ve learned in this country.

moral of the story… things take forever here and people always like to tell you what to do.

June 4, 2009, 12:18 pm
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the season is changing.  most of the rain that comes this time of year has stopped.  the heat has come.  dominicans say, “el sol pica.”  (the sun burns.)  the sun here in the carribean has started to flame in a way that burns.  but this isn’t my first time at the rodeo.  this will be my second summer here in the DR, so i know what that heat is indicative of:  activity, people, groups, work, productivity, life, fun, growth, planning.  we spent last week resting, but it was kinda like the deep breath you take before leaping off a cliff into the water.  we started planning for the summer this week.  as i look at the schedule that we have ahead of us i see lots of work, but in the best way.  we have work teams from the churches in austin that support makarios ( just about every other week, and during our “off” weeks we will be running literacy camps for our preschoolers. there are also new people that will be arriving.  which is always my favorite season of change that comes here on this island.  jody, a new staffer, has arrived and commited to stay for a year with makarios.  saturday the two summer interns will be arriving.  having more people around always means that life here will gain a sense of normalcy, and people bring fresh perspective.  so that’s all very exciting.