*posted Sunday, February 28, 2010, at cercalavida.blogspot (my old blog)*
Sorry if this seems a bit rough, it's late, I'm tired, and I still have some homework to do.
So, right now I am listening to Rumba 98.5 FM, a merengue/salsa music station straight out of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Yesturday, the 27th of February was their Independence Day. I've been to the Dominican twice before during my February vacation weeks in 2007 and 2008. The whole month of February is their carnival time, and the real party begins on the 27th. Even for that whole week, the party continues. People drive by in the early morning hours with a truck bed of huge speakers blasting merengue music. So let me tell you, it was not a boring trip at all. In fact, I am absolutely in love with the DR and I dream of the day I will return. And it wasn't even the fun party atmosphere that enamored me, it was the people. I met so many wonderful people during my time there, the kids and their families that live in the barios around the clinic, the kids at the CCED school and everyone else we met at the clinic. My heart will forever be with the people of San Juan De La Maguana. I went there with a group of people from my church and we stayed at the guesthouse at the Clinica Christiana De La Salud Integral which is run by Solid Rock Missions. When we went, the caretakers/hosts of the guesthouse were Rod and Sandy Nofzinger. They were a wonderful older couple with such kind gentle spirits and hearts for God. In the last couple years they have retired from their mission work at the guesthouse, returning home to their family in the U.S., and a new younger couple has taken after them. My heart and prayers are with the new couple, the Zimmermans, as they get the hang of things and pour their hearts out to the people all for the glory of God. I miss the Nofzingers for sure, but I'm grateful to have met them and I'm happy for them that they are now able to return to their family in the U.S. Seeing as I will DEfinitely be returning to the DR, not sure how soon, I look forward to meeting the Zimmermans, but if I get bad timing, I wish them well and hope to meet them by chance in the coming years. They seem like a wonderful couple from what I get from the SRM biography page and their blogs. And they have the most adorable dog! :D
Anyhow. So this is the week of partying in the DR right now and me and my friend Merridith were determined to make something of it. So I wore my "I [heart] DR" shirt and we listened to this radio station as we hung out this afternoon. The original plan was to make empenadas for lunch, but we took too long at the mall so we got lunch there and when we got to my house it was a bit late and I had to get some homework done.
Let me insert a few things to give you an idea of how the people of San Juan De La Maguana celebrate independence week...
Here is a pick of the kids from the barrios in San Juan.
They dress up like "Hatians" apparently, and they try to look
as scary and intimidating as possible. They also have the
whips that they make themselves and crack the whips
as they walk through the streets all dressed up.
Its kind of like a Halloween party in the streets.
Here is a video that my friend Frank took during our 2008 trip.
Here the kids are cracking their whips right outside the clinic.
Well thats about it for today. Hope you have a wonderful week and happy independence week (PARTY TIME) to the Dominican Republic!!