Monday, October 29, 2012

Frogs and the quarter

Last week was quarter grades and had the ability to be a very hectic week.  Fortunately the week went fairly smooth, although there are always things that could have been done better.  The week also ended with some stormy weather that was part of Hurricane Sandy and technically we were supposed to be closed on Friday due to the Secretary of Education closing all schools in the country.  In the end we had school and the weather wasn't that bad.
By Sunday the weather was beautiful again and a group of friends and I hiked up a river to a big waterfall.  The most exciting part of this trip for me happened while climbing on the edge of a large rock face.  While traversing the side of the rock I reached up to grab another hold, when I touched the rock I freaked out about how slimy and soft it was.  I then took a look at what I had touched and there was a big beautiful frog.  The frog blended in with the rock and even looking right at it you could have missed it.  I of course picked up the frog and it basically suction cupped all of its little fingers right to my hand so I had to peel it off when I wanted to let it go.
This is the closes thing I could find to a frog here that looked like the one I picked up, the one I saw had some bright green on it that looked like moss.
Frogs have become a normal thing to me here, twice I have found them in my bathroom and more often than that I find dead ones by our back door, this is thanks to the cat.
Rhythm has entered my life and weeks have started to blend together.  Its crazy that one quarter is already gone, that means 1/8 of my initial teaching commitment is done.  Weird.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Honestly there really has not been a lot going on here besides school lately.  I find it a bit sad to say that the most excitement I have had this week was playing monopolio (that's right we play a bootlegged Spanish version complete with spelling errors) in our city center park/square.  I must admit that I lost, although I was sure I would win for quite some time.  At the same time we were playing there were break dancers practicing in the gazebo you see in the picture (we were on the upper part by the big tree,) which made the experience even more fun.
Quarter grades are due this week, crazy to think I am already 1/8th of the way through my commitment.  Still seems like I have barely been here and it just over 2 months to Christmas as well.  I've been hearing all sorts of craziness about Navidad here, things like carolers that use pots and pans outside your windows at 3:am, and the fact that the date in which Navidad decorations are okay to put up is October 15th.  We are talking almost 3 months with Christmas stuff up here.

This is not my picture... its from google images.

I have gotten to the point were I miss all of my friends and family in Sitka and Kansas City, but things are good here.  It is good for me to be outside of my comfort zone, I find in these times I discover so much about myself.  

Monday, October 15, 2012

A March and a Funeral

So this past week has been one of highs and lows.  Last week we had a lot of things going on at school, one of which was a march that the Junior class had planned to raise awareness on the issue of littering.  This is something they have been exploring since last year when doing an expedition about the trash in the rivers and the pollution that is causes on the coast.  Outside of this I accompanied a group that went to one of the other schools to tell them about the danger of littering and how they can use reusable bags.  All of this was headed up by their former science teacher who is still at the school teaching a math class.

The low part of everything came Saturday night when a student from one of the other private schools hear wrecked his moto and died.  The student had spent a little bit of time as a student at Doulos and many of our students here had grown up with him.  The reason I knew him was that he was really involved with the local soccer club which is located at Doulos.  I had the fortune of getting to know him over the last couple months as we played soccer together every Friday.  It would have been crazy to imagine on Friday as I was playing soccer with him that on Sunday I would be at his funeral.  

In other news...
I booked my ticket back to KC for Christmas recently and in two months from now I will be on a plane.  Excited for the next two months here and the opportunity to spend the holidays with friends and family.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Borders and Late night drives.

This past week was somewhat of a blur and this coming week is sure to be a bit crazy also.  On Thursday myself and my senior class along with a few other adult staff from the school got in a van/bus and headed to Dajabon on the border of Haiti.  The purpose of the trip was to be part of the Border of Lights celebrations and connect it to a unit I am doing on the Palestinian Israeli conflict.  It was a long day leaving the school at 9am and returning around 1am.  Lots of pictures were taken and I think they will tell the story of the days events better than I can.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Weekend and a Change of Plans

This past weekend was perhaps one of my best weekends here so far.  Last week was getting a little hectic having just come down from the mountain and having a couple other trips coming up while trying to figure out the whole expedition thing as well as processing the next 2 weeks of Outdoor Education.  On Friday everyone decided that it probably wasn't the best time to attack 27 waterfalls and we might need to do something different instead.  What ended up happening on Saturday is that there was a torrential downpour for most of the day and I was able to finish the first book of the CS Lewis space trilogy, as well as watch a movie, and even catch some soccer games.  I left Saturday more recharged than I have been in a long while.  
This week is back to crazy again as yesterday I blew the tube in my tire and then left my moto at a friends house near the moto shop.  Part of today will be spent pushing my moto to the shop and waiting for it to be fixed.  This week will also be a rather different kind of week as I am going to Haiti on Thursday.  The whole situation is rather unusual as well given that we will leave early on Thursday morning, drive for 7 hours, be part of the "Border of Lights" and then turn around and drive home.  The expectation is that I will be back at school on Friday; the catch is that will be getting home from the trip between 2am and 4am.  The Seniors who will be on the trip with me are given a day off, so my goal is to make to school by 10am when I have class with my Juniors.  My brain will be a little mushy by then I am sure, so hopefully I can plan something easy for myself that does not inspire rebellion.
If you are at all in interested in checking out what the "Border of Lights" is go to  And here is a link to an article about the Parsley Massacre,