Thursday, August 30, 2007

living large

In addition to the people in the house now, there has been one other. Andy is in his late thirties and came down once before with his family in June. He is here for a week to help with the construction of the school building in Tamarindo, sadly his week is nearly at its end. Last night after the guys got back from the work site and we picked Kate up from the airport, we went out to eat instead of cooking at home. We went to a fun place right off the malecon (sea wall) that had tex mex, believe it or not. Andy had wanted to treat us all to dinner, it was such a thoughtful gesture. Jennie and Miguel joined the group, as well as Vlady, the boy that they have recently taken in to help raise. We all had a great time, and it was so nice to get out of the house in the evening and dress up a little.

After our dinner out on the town, today was another fun adventure. We had an orientation for the new staff and talked through a lot of the things for the vision of the school, which will be called Colegio Makarios. The catch is, we had all of our meeting at the beach in Cabarete! It was such a beautiful day. The water was the awesome sky blue and the sand was white and vast, an ideal backdrop when talking about the Dominican Republic! Cristina came to that meeting as well, which was fun.

Tomorrow morning we are headed to Santiago to visit a preschool and talk with the director to get some ideas for our program. We are staying the weekend, I will let y'all know all that happens as it comes.

ya tenemos todo!

Yesterday afternoon we all went to pick Kate up for the airport. Our staff is now complete!! Woo-hoo!

Kate will be a teacher at the school house along with me and Cristina. The other staffers that are here for the year are Robin, who will be helping us out specifically because of her bilingual education experience and Weston, who will be teaching PE classes, among other things to the kids. And of course, there are Jennie and Miguel who live here. Cara and Elizabeth are two interns here for the fall to help out wherever.

We met Kate at the airport all wearing matching bright green hats, it was quite fun!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

back in the DR

A few weeks in the states and now I am back here in the DR. Let me update you on what all has been going on.

Right before I left the country, Robin and I made a slide show of pictures of the kids throughout the year for Pancho Mateo and Chichigua. They LOVED it!! Even the parents were squealing as each new picture popped up! We made popcorn the morning of, so it was like their own little movie theater in the village.

After saying some goodbyes, I flew into Houston the night of July 25th and spent 3 1/2 weeks in Houston and Austin. I was able to attend the wedding of two good friends, Michelle and Miah, catch up with friends and spend time with family, went to a few stores to stock up on things to take back, saw a couple of movies, and ate some good old Tex Mex.

I arrived back in the Dominican Republic on Monday night and was met by Teresa White and Robin in Santiago. Robin and I did a lot of catching up, after several big hugs of course! Since we were staying at the Whites in Santiago, I was also able to see the twins, Jacob and Isaac. I cannot believe how big they are getting and all of the things that they can now do!

Robin and I headed back to the north coast on Tuesday and met up with Phillip and Kurt, who are here helping out until mid September, as well as Weston, who will be here working for the year. We went to Tamarindo and I was able to see the progress of the education center. I was also greeted by the kiddos and got a huge running jump hug from Diori, a sweet and helpful seven year old that lives there. Miriam found out I was back as well and we met up and gave each other a big hug. (Miriam is one of the women whose house flooded in Tamarindo).

We walked over to Pancho Mateo since it is just across the river to show Weston the area and to reunite with the people there. It was so great to see all the familiar faces as we walked up and down each pathway of the village.

The new school is planned to open mid September if construction is finished at that time, meanwhile we are starting to plan for meetings and registrations for our potential students.

Last night, after several power outages and lack of internet, Robin and I introduced the card game “Nertz” to Phillip and Kurt, and had a blast. Things have been a little low key today, which has been nice, especially for Robin who has been extremely busy these past several weeks. The two of us took Weston to the grocery store and the fruit market, while Phillip and Kurt worked at the land, and now we are just doing some planning for when we meet with parents this week.

I will keep everyone posted as things progress, as of now, I am happy to be back and excited for the year that lies ahead.