Sunday, March 2, 2008

Here is the brief synopsis of Holly’s trip from my perspective. There will be gaps, etc. but hopefully this will provide enough info to jog my memory when I start forgetting the details of our experiences. 2/22 – Holly arrived in Santiago Friday afternoon. Karen Speciale and I picked her up at the airport and brought her up to Jarabacoa. (2 cities visited) Holly, Rachel and I had dinner together at El Rancho down by the Caribe Tours station (both Holls and I had chicken crepes and they were yummiliscious.) We watched Luther that night and went to sleep to prepare for our beach trip in the morning.

2/23 – We got a late start due to my ineptness at gathering things together quickly. I am not nearly as efficient down here as I am at home (though I procrastinate and run late regardless of my geographical location) so we missed the 10 am bus to La Vega. We took a Gua-gua (sp?) from Jarabacoa to La Vega. (More about that interesting form of Dominican Transportation later.) We arrived in La Vega just after noon.

We thought there would be a bus to Sosua within 20 minutes according to the schedule, but we waited over 2 hours. Had a few miscommunications with the bus ticket person and the eventual bus driver but fought our way onto the bus and arrived in Sosua about 3 hours later where we took a taxi to Cabarete and checked into our hotel. Cabarete is on the North coast of the DR about 45 minutes from Puerto Plata. We had dinner on the beach where we ran into a few other teachers from JCS (they were kind enough to reserve our hotel room and save us some stress – Thanks Katie!)

I did not take any pictures of the hotel room we were in the first two nights, but it was nice. 2/24 - The next morning we got up and ate breakfast at a bakery called "Dick" (no 's as proper English would seem to imply - errrr..... anyway....)
and then laid on the beach and soaked up rays. Very gratifying. Beautiful day.

That night we went and sat at a nice little bistro and had mojito's and hummus while writing in our journals and just enjoying the warmth of the evening breeze. I like this picture of holly:

Later we ate and Jose O'shay's where we met a guy named Mike who was enjoying a long weekend away from the snow and bustle of New York. Though neither Holly nor I had the presence of mind to take a picture of him, he did take this one of us at the end of the night.

2/25 - We got up and bummed around for a few hours that morning. Sat by the pool and read, etc. Very nice and relaxing. Then we headed off for Sosua to see the beach down there.

We took a gua-gua again - this time a much shorter ride and quite funny. Catching a gua-gua requires standing on the side of the road and looking expectantly at the over-packed 13 passenger vans that come barrelling down the road overflowing with people. On our 5 rides, 21 passengers was the highest denisity we experienced. We wandered around and ended up at (unbeknownst to us) the beach that many of my friends will be visiting in April at the Casa Marina Resort:

These pictures do not do the beach justice. The water was so clear. It was gorgeous.

2/26 - We came back to Jarabacoa on the bus, etc. (5 cities so far) and then went to a dinner at the house of the parents of one of my 6th graders.

2/27-2/28 - I was horrendously sick and do not remember anything really other than the fever and the vomitting. UGGGGG! But Holls went to school and hung out with the kidlets.

2/29 - We went on the school field trip to Santo Domingo and visited the National Museum of Natural History, The Mercy Gate and The House of Diego Columbus (Christopher's son.) All very fun. Here are excerpts:

3/1 - We went and watched some of my 6th and 7th graders at baseball practice:

Then we went into town and Holly went to a concery and I babysay for some friends.
Which brings us to today, 3/2, when I am blogging all of the fun and excitement. Today we went to church then I went to school this afternoon to do some work. Holly flies back tomorrow morning and I will miss her ALOT. It has been fun! Too bad about my camera though. Mourning will begin tomorrow in the morning as is appropriate. And I will teach classes for the first time in a week and try not to murder my childrens.
Hasta Luego!

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