Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pico Duarte and some future stuff.

This past weekend was spent deep in the mountains of the Dominican Republic.  Much of the men staff at Doulos gathered together in the parking lot of the school at 4am on Saturday and boarded our Guay Guay for a bumping ride ending in La Cienaga.  After some final preparations and mule loading we headed towards the Valle del Tetero, a journey consisting of 3500 feet of climbing over 9.5 miles.  Four hours after leaving La Cienaga I arrived in the beautiful valley and the relaxation began.

After a wonderful day of soaking in mountain springs and enjoying each others company we woke up  early the next morning and headed to our next campsite at Comparticion.  After roughly 5000 feet of climbing over another 9.5 miles we reached our site and had some wonderful lunch.  The thought process here became a little cloudy and we decided to hike another 2000 feet over 6 miles in order to summit Pico Duarte and return back to our camp.  

After returning to Comparticion for the evening we did some more soaking in a frigid stream and enjoyed the night air of the mountains.  

Early the next morning we covered the 11 miles back down the mountain and we all have been trying to recover ever since.  The trip was awesome and I can't wait to get up in the mountains again.
Coming excitement:
27 Charcos on Saturday

"Border of Lights" - As part of a unit my seniors our doing they are heading to the border of Haiti to be part of a festival/walk to remember the Parsley Massacre.  Depending on how things work out, this time next week I will be preparing to be in Haiti for a few hours on October 5th.

Figuring out what it means to do an Expedition well with my juniors.  Starting in two weeks we are going to be investigating cultural conflicts, WW2, and many things beyond this.  Somehow it all connects with plastic bags also.

This is a lot of stuff right now, pray that I don't burn out or blow up.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


So life is almost at that place where routines are the dominant force of daily activities.  It is nice to have these things set up, but it is also good to not be completely comfortable yet as it helps me wrestle with issues I encounter here instead of just skimming over them.  School is in full swing although the need to be flexible is a constant here as things are always slightly in flux  Yesterday I found out that the Sophomores and Juniors would be going to the Capitol for a college fair field trip, this is one of those good times where I am left with most of the day to plan out the coming weeks.  I am not always this lucky, yesterday when I got home from school we didn't have power for a few hours, that would be the norm.  An exciting thing that is happening to my daily schedule is the fact that I decided to start volunteering with YoungLife, this should add some fun spice to my life.

Some exciting events of the near future...

This weekend: Climbing Pico Duarte and hanging out in the Valle de Tetero with all of the gringo men staff at Doulos.  This will be three days of adventure and hanging out in some of the most beautiful mountain scenes in the county.  We will also tag the summit of Pico Duarte which is the largest mountain in the Caribbean and larger than any mountain west of the Mississippi River.

Next weekend:  Hiking 27 waterfalls with some friends from Doulos and YL here.  27 waterfalls is a crazy area a couple hours away from Jarabacoa that is full of waterfalls that are both beautiful and fun to jump off of.  I am excited to go here because it is not something I would have naturally sought after on my own, but looks like a lot of fun.

Hopefully the links I added will work and you can click on them to see some of the fun places I will be going.

Oh yeah I also made the decision to stay in my home stay for the next year which will be great for my Spanish and continual learning of what it looks like to live life as a Dominican.  We are getting wifi in the next couple days which was the deal maker for me.

Monday, September 10, 2012

So life is moving along at a steady pace as we are already over 2 and  half weeks into the school year.  Now is the time when the thrill of the exciting start to the year has worn off and the realization of the daily struggles is apparent.  This weekend was spent going on waterfall adventures and celebrating a friends birthday with a giant game of kickball in one of the local baseball stadiums.  I think I had a bit to much fun this weekend as I have a bit of a sore throat and am not rested at all, maybe this is what causes me to be a bit more somber in my attitude towards being back in a routine.  Life in general is good, when I told my host I was feeling a little sick she made me some tea that made me feel a bit better before I went to sleep.
Another journey I embarked upon recently was the reading of "The Brothers Karamazov" of which I am greatly intrigued by it so far.  I don't know if I would recommend it yet, but I'll let you know soon.
So I said I made a video of my home and here it is.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Good to know.

So I basically know all of my roles at Doulos now and it is kind of exciting to be cemented into them now.  This semester I am teaching Junior and Senior Social Studies, a selected devotional, and a Freshman devotional.  As well as those classes I have also become the Guide for the Senior class which is more or less like a class Sponsor.  I am excited to get to the know the Seniors really well and explore what it means for them to be in the final year of school, and I am honored that I get to celebrate all they have accomplished with them.  Some things we will be thinking about are if they want to do a prom of sorts, what a graduation party might look like, and how are we going to pay for these things.  
On a sort of different note YoungLife had a chance to checkout what exactly it is here in La Republica Dominicana.  Myself and a few others made the 5 mile drive to Pico Escondido which is the amazing camp that services the DR.  Entering into life here has been a big change and I am processing what it would look like to be involved with a ministry such as YL.  The weekend itself was a blast and we got to do their giant swing, go swimming, and have a good time spending time with each other.  
Really close to the house I am living in is a fancy hotel that you can stay at for $75 a night.  I went and took some pictures there so you can see how beautiful things right around the corner are.  I also made a video of my house, but its taking forever to upload so it will be up another day.