Sunday, September 27, 2009

Stacy and Doug's Apartment, Wok, Tangerine

So yesterday after I blogged I went to the ATM, and then with JP to the gym down the street that he is joining to help him sign up (totally unnecessary, he did it all himself anyway, his Spanish is getting really good). I wandered around on El Conde again trying to buy some dresses that I would be cooler in. It was scorchingly hot yesterday. I felt really thrifty by the time I got home, I had gotten 4 dresses for a little over $40. Even though you would think things like that would be super cheap here most clothes are imported so they are really expensive, I'm going to have to stock up when I get back. I came back from the after a couple of hours of wandering and read for awhile and hung out at our apartment. Bridgitte was allowed to move in yesterday at 5 so we moved her stuff down the hall into her new apartment.
At around 7 I headed towards where I used to live to go to a night out with Stacy, Melissa, Alex, and one of the other teachers I work with, Zara. We went to Stacy and Doug's house and had some beer while Doug politely listened to his head phones and sat on the deck to give us space. We left after an hour or so and went to dinner at a restaurant called Wok. Really delicious chinese food, pretty upscale restaurant. We chatted and tried to avoid talking about work. After dinner Melissa and Zara went back home and Stacy, Alex and I tried to find a dance club to go to.
You don't really appreciate how bad driving in the city is until you are with someone you know driving. Alex drove us last night. With cab drivers you don't really think about it, but Alex was having to dodge holes and had several narrow misses with other cars. Finding parking is also nearly impossible. The first club we tried to go to had boards over the doors, so we tried another which had kids around our (their) students' ages in line, so we tried another near where my old apartment was which had around 100 men in the same striped button-down shirt and gelled hair. This one was just right. Well actually, the music was pretty bad and the drinks were expensive (for here, $15 for two drinks) but we had fun. They played a remix of Will Smith "Miami" which brought back good Ecuador memories of Moni, and some other equally bad stuff, but we danced around for awhile and then called it quits and went home. Overall it was a good night.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday Morning in Zona Colonial

Hey all,

So yesterday we went back to school after our day off on Thursday, which confused most of my sixth graders into thinking it was Monday and many of them asked me for the homework for the week, which they received on Monday already. I had to explain to them that it was not Monday. Sad. After school I went to get a sandwich and coffee with Stacy at this place near school called Sonoma, which is delicious. JP met us there after his run and we went over to Stacy and Doug's apartment where they showed us pictures of when Doug went through the window of a Ford Explorer on his bike, this really weird but funny video on YouTube called Waxinpoo (has anyone seen this?) and fed us delicious burritos. Overall a very good trip to their apartment. After about 3 hours there we decided to go to La Sirena (Target/Walmarty store) to buy food since we were already having to take a taxi back to Zona Colonial and Stacy and Doug came with us to buy wine. An hour later we had a cart full of groceries, seeds, and contact paper for me to do projects, and we left and came back to our apartment. We were both really tired but Nick had called and asked if we wanted to go out. We decided to go out and have a drink, and ended up having one of the most fun nights that I have had since I've been here. We got back and set our groceries down, and then went for a walk on El Conde, which is a street that cars can't drive on one block from our house. It's the main street for wandering around in Zona Colonial. We met him there and he was with this girl named Camila who also lives around here. She was here doing an HIV/AIDS/Syphilis project for Harvard Medical. Hopefully we'll see her again because I really liked her. Anyway, the four of us went to this Reggae bar and when we got there some of Nick's other friends were there and they brought friends. For the first time since I got here I was in a crowd of people to talk to. I loved it. Two of the guys, Mike and Harris, were also working with HIV/AIDS through the Clinton Foundation, and they had some Norwegian couch surfers with them and a Dominican girl named Miriam. It was really nice to meet some new people. I feel sometimes like it's hard to do here. We had a few drinks and chatted at the Reggae bar, which was called El Espiral (Moni you would love this place, picture lots of dreads, live reggae and jewelry stands). I really liked it because it was divided into two rooms, one was indoors and had the bar and the jewelry stands, and the other was a courtyard with the live music. It was great because it was quiet enough in the bar room that you could hear each other talk, and in the courtyard it was all people dancing. Best of both worlds. After that we went to this bar called Parada 77 (I put these names in for my own memories and also so I can be discovered by Lonely Planet) which was a small dance club with lots of salsa, bachata, merengue and reggaeton. Awesome. JP and I danced for awhile but then got into an argument about what kind of dancing we were supposed to be doing (I though Salsa he though Merengue... gringos), and we stopped dancing. I think JP was right though and I just don't know how to dance Merengue. Right after that they started playing reggaeton and they played Atrevete and after that there was nowhere to go but down so JP and I went home and went to bed. We felt like we were being lame because it was still a big party but it was already 2 and we had gotten up at 5:50. Great night. I think today I am just going t lounge around and walk around the city, and then later tonight a bunch of the girls from school are going to go out to dinner and go dancing, which should be a good time. I am in the process of updating my photosites so check them out.

Love you.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Hello Loyal Blog Followers,

So JP and I resolved our housing situation. We have moved in together! We are living in the Zona Colonial in this amazing apartment. It is two stories and has two ocean view balconies. Ridiculous. Not as enormous as the last apartment but it makes up for it in character. Sorry I didn't tell you all before, I felt that it would be best if our families didn't hear about it via blog. It ended up making the most sense to live together because of financial reasons, plus we like each other.

That announcement out of the way we had the day off of school today. It's really nice having all of my friends be at the same school sometimes particularly when we have days off. I woke up early, ate some delicious oatmeal and drank coffee (JP made both, I think I am going to like living together), took a shower, and then wandered around the city for awhile. I was lured into some souvenir shops and bought some postcards and some amber earrings. Amber is really big here, so is another stone called Larimar, which is a little lighter blue than turquoise. After wandering for awhile I bought some flowers for the apartment and some fruit and came home, and then left right away again to meet up with Stacy and Doug. The three of us wandered all over. We went to this place called La Cafetera where we had a ridiculously cheap and good breakfast. I guess a lot of musicians and artists hang out there too so I am going to go there all the time, it's right by my house. We went around to some more tourist spots (I really wanted to be super touristy for the day) and went to this huge market called Mercado Modelo. There I was enticed to buy more jewelry (a pair of larimar earrings and a larimar ring) and Stacy bought a painting. There were chickens in cages sitting in front of freshly cut chicken breasts, fruit and vegetable stands, stands with crafts, and a bunch of places with Haitian Voodoo things. I told Stacy and Doug that even though I don't believe in any of that stuff I wouldn't mess with it either. It looks really intense. Lots of good luck charms but scarier things as well like potions and voodoo dolls.

When we came back we had a beer and wandered for a bit more, and then Stacy and Doug went back to Paraiso to go home. I walked around for a bit and then I came back and JP and I went up to the next block to watch a religious procession. It ended up being impossible just to watch because of the number of people so we ended up being part of the procession and singing things like Ave Maria and yelling "Que Viva!" to things that a guy in the crowd said that we couldn't hear or understand. The holiday today was the saint day of La Virgen Las Mercedes. There was a huge statue of a virgin being paraded through the city lead by hundreds of people and the army and navy bands. We marched along with them for a few blocks and then ducked out of the crowd to make our way over to the fruit market and buy some bootlegged DVDs. Sacrilege? I think so. Anyway, we bought both and we just got home a minute ago. Our home! Together! It's great. Bridgitte is staying here too while she gets ready to move into another apartment in our building. We are going to be one big happy family around here. I love you all. I'll give you the address as soon as I know what it is. As far as I can tell the apartments don't have numbers.

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's been a long time, I shouldn't have left you

Hello blog followers,

Sorry that it has been so long since I have blogged, don't worry, everything is alright, although it concerns me that only my aunt and uncle (Kris and Chris) thought to ask. For future reference, if I don't blog it's a sure sign of trouble in paradise. That's right folks, prepare for a tale of woe, misery, and limited access to the internet. Okay, I'm still in the Caribbean so not really (the internet part is true though). Here are some of the major events since I last blogged.

I don't know if I told you all before or not but I decided to move out of my lovely apartment near school and into the Zona Colonial where I spend most of my time. JP has been living here for a little over a week now. He was staying in an apartahotel called Serena (if you're interested in coming down for a visit and you have really simple taste you should check it out it's ridiculously cheap). I have been spending most of my time down there because JP was there and Bridgitte was literally a block from him. We've been doing a lot of wandering around and drinking liters of beer on Bridgitte's massive balcony (sadly she is also moving). I came down one night and JP was cooking dinner with the man who guards the street who seems very nice and terrifying at the same time. Mostly because he is really friendly but has a huge scar from having his cheek cut. I didn't really go to my apartment at all this week except to change clothes, and then this weekend JP and I decided to travel to the beach. Lucky for us Sarah, Sean, and Bridgitte were also interested in the idea. We went to a beach about 2 hours from Santo Domingo called Bayahibe. It's low season right now so there weren't a lot of people except for some coming in on boat tours from bigger towns. It was a little town with some nice beach and a lot of fishing boats. Far fewer prostitutes than last week also which was refreshing, we did, however, see some male "escorts" escorting some overweight European women. Nice. We just relaxed there, we stayed in a hotel called Villa Iguana which was off the main path and was really nice for around $40 a night, not bad. We just played cards (I learned a new game called Golf) and ate and laid on the beach. It was just what I needed after a stressful week of looking for housing. 

Okay, I'll admit, it wasn't exactly a tale of misery and woe. The real reason that I haven't been blogging is that I haven't been to my apartment in awhile and JP's hotel didn't have internet. Email me anyway though! Love you all! I promise to give you better blog posts in the future.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Thursday through Sunday


I went to school as normal, and then afterwards I went into Zona Colonial with Bridgitte to look at apartments. It was Bridgitte's birthday so we were really hoping to find something for her as a great birthday present. She has been looking all over town for an apartment with a big balcony, and she found this apartment that is basically a balcony with rooms. She loved it and decided to take it. She moved in over the weekend. After that she, JP, and I went out for a few drinks at this restaurant by the ocean and then for a few more at a colmado. I think Bridgitte had a really good birthday and when she came home she found a present outside her door that JP had left for her. It was a basket of delicious foodstuffs. That boy is so thoughtful.

JP took a job at the school! He is going to be a permanent substitute, and he is going to be filling in for a third grade teacher for 3 months while she is out on maternity leave. For now he will just be subbing for different teachers around the school. He signed the contract on Friday and immediately began work. We had a half day of school for the kids, so they were wilder than normal for a Friday, but we had a good class in Language Arts and then in our shortened Social Studies class we discussed 9/11 and the impact that it had on them and their families which went better than I ever could have expected. After the kids left all the staff stayed to work, and I didn't get as much as I wanted to done because I spent a good deal of my time talking to my roommates, so I think that I will be staying later than I would like this week. After school I rushed home to pack a bag, talked to Alex, and got in a taxi to go to the beach. This whole week we were planning on going to this city called Constanza, but then Friday afternoon we realized that the bus left at 3 and we got out of work at 2:45, so we just went to the bus station to pick something when we got there. We packed beach clothes. Things like this make me love life. We got to the bus station and aided by Lonely Planet and the information desk we decided to go to a city called Sosua. We got on the bus at around 6 and took off for the beach. We stopped somewhere to pick up more passengers and JP, Doug, and Stacy got off to buy food and use the bathroom and the bus pulled away and almost left them but finally heard me and another guy on the bus shouting to the driver. When we got to the city we overpaid for a cab ride, booked a room, promptly found bugs in the bed, unchecked out, searched for a new hotel, got lost, overpaid for another cab ride which took us back to where we started, finally got to the hotel we were looking for and realized that it was no longer operational. By this time it was about 11:30 at night. We wandered down the road and found another hotel, but it was too expensive. We found another one that was just right (get the goldilocks reference?) and we stayed there finally. Once we got settled in our rooms we went out by the pool and played cards for a little while, and went to get some food (curry sausage at a German restaurant at 1 a.m. very weird but delicious). While we were out we started to notice an inordinate number of scantily clad women. After watching them for awhile we started to realize that these women were finding men that they seemed not to know, sitting at their tables, laughing overly hard at their jokes with their heads thrown back, haggling over prices, and then leaving with them. These women were prostitutes! And not only were there prostitutes out that night, but we were the only people who were neither prostitutes or men looking for prostitutes. There were so many prostitutes that we were getting weird looks for being so out of place. This was going on at every bar all along the main road of the town. It was so strange I didn't even know what to think, so after sausage and a good hour or so of people watching we went home to bed. 


We all slept in on Saturday morning and then went down to the beach. We stopped at the non-operational hotel which was a functioning restaurant overlooking the water and had a delicious breakfast. We went down to the water and booked a little snorkeling tour (Stacy and I had bought snorkeling equipment on the way down to the beach) and rented an umbrella. We swam around for about a half an hour in the most amazingly clear water that I have ever seen and then got into a glass-bottomed boat and went out to a small coral reef. We got in the water and swam around for an hour looking at beautiful fish and coral while our guide fed the fish in order to encourage them to swarm around us. This was admittedly a little inauthentic but very cool and much appreciated. After that we went back to the beach and splashed around for awhile and laid under our umbrella. When the sun set we sat on the deck of the same restaurant where we ate breakfast, The Waterfront, and had drinks and appetizers. It was a pretty perfect afternoon. We went home after that, took showers, and then went to eat dinner at a restaurant across the street where we spent the vast majority of the time trying to figure out if our waitresses were prostitutes and if the overly friendly chef was a pimp. For some reason they were speaking to us in English so I do not think they realized we could understand the heated prostitute/pimp argument they got into 20 feet from our table which confirmed our suspicions. After dinner we went back for awhile, chatted by our pool, met a guy from North Carolina who was working in the Virgin Islands and no doubt in Sosua for the sex trade, saw and old man and a scantily clad young woman come back to the hotel and then  leave again 45 minutes later, and decided maybe it was time to leave. We went out to a bar where we almost immediately received our bill, a surefire sign here that they wish you would leave, people-watched for awhile, and then went back home to bed. Before we did Doug, Stacy and I decided to walk down to the beach. We stood there for a minute, realized the beach at night in this city was probably not a good idea, and then turned around and almost tripped over a sleeping homeless man that we hadn't seen on the way in. We decided that the day had been eventful enough and we decided to turn in for the night.


In the morning we went to the beach and swam for awhile, I read the Agatha Christie book that I stole from the hotel, and then we ate a delicious breakfast (more prostitute people watching) and checked out of the hotel. The bus ride back was about 4 1/2 hours, and when we got back we went to the store, JP came to my house to pick up some stuff, and he went back to his. This was one of the more eventful and interesting weekends of my life. On one hand it was a really tranquil weekend at one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been with great company, and on the other it was a social research project on prostitution. Seemingly an incompatible mix it made for a great weekend. 

Thursday, September 10, 2009

JP Moved Out Yesterday

So yesterday in school my first two hours were hideous, and then my third hour came in super prepared, they all had their materials, and they got right to work. They made my morning. I gave them all a present of a homework pass. 

After school I came home for awhile, chatted with Alex, and JP gathered his stuff to move out (worst). So when we were ready we got a cab to Ciudad Nueva (close to Zona Colonial) and unloaded a backpack and a suitcase and moved JP into a little apartment there. It's a studio, and it's a lot more like what I imagined living conditions would be in the Dominican Republic. It is clean, and it has everything he needs (water, light, refrigerator, tv, fans) but it is a little bit dingy. The refrigerator is kind of rusty and there is a plug in stove-top to cook food on, there is no hot water, and the bathroom doesn't have a door, so it's definitely a little more rustic than the apartment that I am staying in, but I actually really like it there. It feels so much more Dominican to me (not because it's dingy). 

There is a lot more going on on the street, and yesterday we walked up and were next to the motorcycle that was bringing the water we had just bought from the colmado, and as we were unloading it this guy I have seen around there a couple of times just walks up and starts helping us get things off the motorcycle to take in. So far, that has been how people are here. When we bought the water we asked a guy on the street if they sold the big bottles of water in the colmado behind him. He not only answered our question, but went inside, checked, and then ordered the bottle for us. He didn't work there he was just sitting outside reading the newspaper. So far the people that I have met really go out of their way to do nice things for others, even if they don't know them. It is really refreshing. Like Stacy, for example, lost her luggage on the way here, and two separate people at school brought her bags of their own clothes to school the next day so she would have something to wear. It's so ridiculously nice. 

Anyway, I really like JP's new apartment, and I think I will be spending a lot of time there. It feels more real there if that makes any sense, where I am living I feel like I'm living in a bank or a mall or something, it's kind of a sterile neighborhood. Well, as sterile as a neighborhood with dead dogs and begging children on the street could be. I'll try to remember to take pictures of the apartment and my classroom and post them so you guys can see. Love you all!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Solo Adventure in Town, Big Bummer

Today at school was one of those days. The kids were going wild, and by the end of the day I didn't have the energy to keep up with them. I doled out a few punishments and was relieved when lunch time came and I didn't have any more classes for the day. 

I came home, got some money, left the apartment, bought a phone card because I had run out of minutes, and took the cab downtown to the Gazque area, which is the part of the city that Bridgitte is going to live in. Then I got a phone call from this guy who owns an Apartahotel in Zona Colonial where he rents out really cheap rooms long term. JP wasn't sure when he was going to be able to move into his apartment so I went to see if he could rent a room until then. This place is super close to the ocean, like half a block, and they rent out studio apartments for ridiculously cheap prices to foreigners. I think he is going to take a room there for awhile, because it looks like his apartment will not be ready as soon as we thought. 

When I came back to the apartment we ate dinner and then Mitch, the guy who wanted to rent JP a room in his place, came to pick us up and we went over there to check it out. When we got there though, something didn't seem right. That something turned out to be that all of the bedrooms are filled, and JP can move in when someone moves out, but no one is sure when that will be. Tight. 

Anyway, the day turned out to be kind of a bummer in the end because we thought that JP was going to be moving to this fabulous apartment a few blocks from here, but now he is going to be moving pretty far away. Don't worry all, we still like each other. Love you guys, email me soon!

Monday, September 7, 2009


That's "yo" as in "what's up" not as in "I" in Spanish. I got home awhile ago from school for the day, and I realized that I forgot to blog yesterday. Sin of all sins. Are those called cardinal sins? I'm a bad Catholic. Anyway, I have spent the last hour (I wish I were exaggerating) trying to buy skype minutes and then call people on a very weak internet connection (by weak I mean weak and stolen from neighbors). No one answered their phones, probably because it looks like a crazy telemarketer number, but really it's a crazy ex-telemarketer's number. Get it? Hollaifyahearme Tuli, Shannon and Ann (sound that one out guys). So school went really well today, the sixth graders are starting to be manageable for me, and we have been doing really cool stuff lately. This week in Language Arts we are talking about eating bugs, which is fun with 11 year olds. I realized the other day that I could be their mothers. Weird. They are little free-thinking people. Granted, I would be a very young mother, having had them at the age of 12, but nonetheless, it's possible. It's been a pretty uneventful day so far, I did have a discussion with Melissa and Alex on the merits of castrating sexual predators, a cause I stand behind, but I think I may have really alarmed Melissa with my radical, and borderline violent and vengeful, political views.   

Yesterday morning JP, Bridgitte and I went wandering around from this place called Ciudad Nueva near the colonial zone to where Bridgitte is going to live next year. It was a very long, very hot walk, and we stopped at a colmado for a beer on the way. It was the first time I have done that, and we sat in lawn chairs that said "Presidente" which is the biggest beer here on them. I felt very Dominican because I see Dominicans do that all the time and I want to be in the club. Granted, we were basically all by ourselves at this colmado (reminder, colmado is kind of like a partystore but it is open to the outside and people sit there and drink) so we were definitely not part of any club but I think it's a baby-step in the right direction. 

After that we went to this place called Plaza de la Cultura, but everything seemed to be closed, so we took a cab home. I watched the better part of "Changeling" with Angelina Jolie, and then went out for Sushi for Sarah's birthday. We went to this restaurant called Aka where I have been before and it is really really good. Best miso soup ever, I think I have told you that before. Anyway, it was nice to get out and we didn't even talk about school which was even better. We came back, I finished Changeling (so good) and then watched half of The Reader. I think I am going to start watching half of movies at a time because it makes the end so much more interesting.  Anyway, good two days, sorry to keep you all in the dark for so long about what I did yesterday, I'm sure many of you had trouble sleeping last night. 

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Tropical storm, shmopical storm

Hey all,

So this whole weekend was supposed to be this big tropical storm, and all it did was rain for awhile yesterday. We probably could have gone to the beach and had a lovely time. Actually, to be fair, it was only a tropical depression, but still, when you stay home for the weekend you at least expect a cool storm to watch. Anyway, today Bridgitte, JP and I went to this city near Santo Domingo called San Cristobal. It was pretty cool, and I was really happy that we went because it was off the tourist path and reminded me what I like about Latin America once again. There was a market there that was not a handicrafts market, but a fruit and clothing market for Dominicans, and it stretched for blocks and blocks. To be honest, I felt a little like an intruder there because it was so obviously not geared toward tourists, but I am really glad that we got a chance to see and experience it. The only thing I bought there was a bootlegged CD, as if to prove that I am, in fact, a tourist. 

We ate lunch at this really fancy looking restaurant overlooking the plaza which looked very expensive and turned out to be about $5 per plate, which is amazingly cheap by any standards and much cheaper than Santo Domingo. We took a little bus there and back which I haven't done all that much and I was glad to not be taking a taxi. We got dropped off back in the city in Chinatown, which I always forget is here, walked around for a second, and walked through Zona Colonial. We got a little lost and ended up asking a bunch of people on the street for directions, and they were so so nice and helpful. JP thought they were as nice and polite as in the midwest but I thought they were nicer. 

After that we had a drink at a little restaurant by the Malecon and took a taxi back home. JP and I went in the pool and in a little while we are going to watch some stolen movies online. It was a really good day and I am really glad that we got a chance to see San Cristobal. I think I would like to go back there again and check out some of the museums and things like that. 

Most importantly of all, our girl, Monica Hamlett, is finally fulfilling her dream of living on a beach and selling her jewelry on a blanket. The beach is called Los Angeles and the blanket is called the internet. Check it out, she makes really beautiful stuff. Tell your friends. Check out her website. I already bought this one below. The top one is for you. 

Tropically Depressed

Tropical Depression Erika (spelled wrong in a previous post) has rained on our parade. Get it? It's a pun. Because it's a tropical depression and that means lots of rain. Oh you got it right from the beginning? Sorry. ANYWAY, so we were planning, for the second time, to go to a city called Cabarete which is in the north part of the country and is apparently a really cool beach town. However, because of the inclement weather we decided to stay in Santo Domingo for the night, and maybe go on a little adventure tomorrow. We may either go to a city called San Cristobal, which I guess has a lot of historic sites and was also where Trujillo, the ex-Dominican dictator, was born. Another option is to go to the interior of the country and see some waterfalls or cave paintings or something like that and stay the night. I'm not sure which we'll do this weekend but I guess we have plenty of time to get around to all the cool spots. It is Bridgitte's birthday next week and she wants to go to San Cristobal, so I think J.P. and I might go there for the day with her and check it out. 

School went really well today, I had a really good social studies lesson where the kids had to pretend that they were dropped down into a landscape with nothing and they had to figure out how they would survive and make a poster. It was pretty cool, we are going to finish it up on Monday. I am starting to feel very sorry for J.P though, because when things go badly for me at school I talk on and on about it, and when things go well I talk on and on about it. I guess that he'll be a teacher too before you know it (at the language institute) and then at least we can swap stories. 

Okay so I abandoned my last post to talk to J.P. and Melissa, and then Doug and Stacy came over and we wandered down the street and got a drink with them. We had a hilarious conversation about Doug's first grade class (Doug, forgive me for publishing this). Apparently the other day one of Doug's first graders had a 5 peso coin and he was showing another first grader, and the other pulled out a 10 peso coin, and another pulled out a 50 peso coin and they were all showing each other their money and being impressed. Doug thought that it was ridiculous, and knew that he should tell them to put their money away, but realized that he had about 2,500 pesos in his pocket, so he did an "Oh yeah kids, well what do you think about this" (He, of course, did not actually say that) and pulled out his money and flashed it at them. He said that after he did pretty much every kid in the class got out their money to show and he had to send them all over to their backpacks to put it away. He said that the next day there was a noticeable rise in first graders bringing money to school and showing each other, and he had to make them all put it in their lockers, and he didn't tell his assistant anything had happened the day before. Hilarious. 

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Japer got a job!

Hey everybody,

So today I went to school, had my classes (who behaved much better than two days ago), got fruit from Sergio at lunch (I think he is a little mad that I haven't been coming more often lately), met up with Melissa and got coffee, came back to school, did my planning for my SUPER COOL Social Studies project tomorrow (there is a chance that I am going to be the only one who thinks it's super cool), went shopping for some supplies for my classroom with my own money (bummer), and came home. 

When I got here Japer told me that he got a job! He is going to be working at a language institute where the technology teacher from school works also. He is going to be giving English classes. It is about a block or two from here and very close to where his new apartment will be as well. Did I tell you guys that he found an apartment? Well, he found an apartment with two other guys and he went out to lunch with one of them (aw) and they really liked each other. The apartment comes with central air that he doesn't have to pay for, a full-time maid that he doesn't have to pay for, and at least one roommate that he likes. Pretty good deal. Job and an apartment for J.P, things are moving along nicely. He also is speaking a lot of Spanish and doing really well. 

After I came home I cooked some dinner which consisted of rice, beans, and beef. The beef tasted like Ecuadorian beef (not a compliment, a close relative of shoe leather), but the rest of it was pretty good. Supposedly there is a possible bus strike this weekend as well as "Tropical Depression Erica" so it is not looking good for the beach. Our numbers for the trip are dwindling fast. I think J.P. and I might go anyway, but I'm not sure. On that suspenseful note, I am going to bed. Keep checking my blog to see what happens to me. 

Love you guys.  

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ms. Dark- Disciplinarian

Today I wore my business attire to school instead of my uniform (white polo and khakis). This is what I do when I know that I am going to lecture the kids about their behavior (a.k.a. yell at the kids). For some reason, I can't imagine them taking me seriously lecturing them in a polo shirt. Anyway, with any luck by the end of the year they will be nervous if they see me come in dressed nicely. So I told the kids about the State of the Union address in the U.S, and I told them that I was going to give them a State of Our Classroom address. I told them about all the things they are doing well so far and all the things that they are not doing so well. It was a good little lecture and they behaved better for 1 hour, and then when they came back later they were misbehaving again, so they ended up doing silent book work. It actually was a pretty good day at school though. I felt as though the kids learned something about social studies because they were more focused than normal. 

After school I went with some other teachers to get a drink and something to eat, and J.P. met us there. We talked about our trip this coming weekend and gruesome injury stories that everyone had (I didn't have any I just sat there and grimaced). I don't know how we got on that topic but some of the teachers had some really funny stories. After that J.P. and I went to the grocery store, came home, and now we are sitting around (not just J.P. and I, but everyone in my apartment) on our respective computers. I thought I would blog to you all and pretend to be working like everyone else. Anyway, love you all. Write me some emails!


Yesterday was J.P. and my three year anniversary. His parents actually have the same one I think, so Happy Anniversary Severins if you are reading. Anyway, we celebrated it with such romantic endeavors as meeting for coffee after school so that I could talk about frustrations, getting frozen yogurt at the Walmarty place, and having a handstand competition in our apartment complex's pool, which we had to enter by climbing over the fence. While we were in the pool we saw our friend the squirrel-sized rat for the second time. It was actually probably our best anniversary yet, particularly the handstand competition. Unfortunately, I had so much work yesterday that I had to bring some of it home and go in early this morning, so I didn't get to enjoy it to the fullest, but I think we might go on some sort of trip together next weekend. Those of you who have been to the D.R, do you have any suggestions? This weekend is Sarah and Bridgitte's birthday so we are all taking a trip to Cabarete to celebrate. It should be really fun. Cabarete is the surfer beach that I thought we were going to a few weeks ago, when we ended up in Las Terrenas. We'll see where we end up this week. Love you all! Keep the emails coming!