Disclaimer: The Original travel journal entry is written in italics. Addenda and clarified thoughts are written in regular print.
Today is our last work day for the school. I’m determined to get the house finished but just remembered that we are running low on white paint. Hopefully we can get some more. (We didn’t).
My plan is to finish the house by lunch, have lunch, then go to the satellite school where there is going to be arts and crafts. I haven’t worked with the children and I’d like to do that.
There doesn’t seem to be a clear agenda or plan for today which could be disasterous.
We finished painting the house! (Aiden, Nikki, Aurelie and I. Fiona, Delia, Anna and Amy were working at the school, and the school children requested Anderson to be allowed to play with them!) It looks wonderful and the family seems very pleased with it. I checked on the kitten, too, and his eye looks much better. I gave him another dose and gave the bottle to the woman of the house, who we learned was Danel’s mother.
I have much joy in the job. I felt like I was painting God’s house and wanted it to be as nice as it could be. My OCD kicked in to make sure missing spots were covered and messy spots were cleaned up. I’m very happy with everything and have so much satisfaction!
Lunch was yellow rice and corn, fried chicken and potato salad with pimento (I didn’t have any). After lunch, I helped the lunch ladies with the dishes and general cleanup. After lunch we cleaned up trash around the school. The Dominican people tend to dump their trash or just leave it. I don’t know if it’s a cultural thing, a lack of service or an economic issue. Probably all three.
We were going to go to the satellite school for crafts and give out the shoes that were donated by another parish. However, the only road to the satellite location was blocked. Apparently, there was rioting going on so we turned around and returned to the school. The rioting had something to do with electricity – or lack thereof. Our driver, Carlos, went through one blockade made of branches and small tree limbs, but continuing down the road we saw another blockade of rocks, with a tree trunk blockage that was smoldering further down the road. We asked Jr what would have happened if we kept on the road, and he said we would like have had stones thrown at us. Apparently, rioting is commonplace and though I’m glad we turned back, I would have liked to have seen the satellite school and children again. But there is always Sunday.
I ended up spending most of the rest of the afternoon at Delia’s English class. Delia is a teacher by trade and was wonderful with the kids. I’m glad I was able to see that part of the mission.
Today was hotter and more humid than the other days – or I’m just worn out.
They started dinner earlier than I thought (6.30). By the time I got there at 6.30, the eggs were gone and there was only plantains and the meat steak. I thought the dish that had the eggs in it was a dish that had fried cheese and voiced my disappointment that it was gone. (The fried cheese was my favorite). Andy T must have heard me and saw that Anderson had two eggs, so he asked Anderson if I could have one and Anderson said yes. Anderson is the youngest member of the group (10) but is a powerhouse worker and great kid in general. He, Anna and Aurelie have impressed me the most, but all the kids worked hard on their given jobs.
After dinner A², Mark, Amy and I sat and discussed our trip over beers. (I choose not to reveal what we discussed only because at the time of this writing (4 July), there hasn’t been, to my knowledge, a meeting about our experiences with Father Chris. This is the only omission to my travel journal).
Tomorrow is our free day. We’re going to a beach that is two hours away and will be there for a few hours, then I think we’re going to a market and the dinner will be a variety of food trucks. Apparently credit cards will be welcome for lunch and the market (I think) but probably not the food trucks. I have 500 pesos left and no American money, not even in my wallet, as I had to pay back Delia for the chocolate plantation tour. If Nikki can get to an ATM she said she’d float me $40 but we’ll see if she even has the opportunity to get to one. I’m not worried about the lack of funds. It’s not like I can’t afford to not miss a meal.