Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dia de Independencia!

I'm a couple days late on getting around to this, school stuff has been kicking my butt and this get pushed aside.  Yesterday we had our school Independence Day celebration which took up the whole morning with all sorts of dancing and drama.  Each class had some sort of presentation, it could have been a drama about the founding fathers (Duarte, Sanchez, and Mella) or it could have been a dance to a Juan Luis Guerra song.
Today we didn't have school because today is Dia de Independencia (Google even dedicated their headline to it today) so I spent the morning running (it stops really being running when you cover over 2,000 feet of vertical under 10 miles), the beginning of the afternoon watching some Harry Potter, and now writing.
As busy as the last couple days have been, the next few are going to be even more crazy.  Tomorrow is business as usual at Doulos but for dinner there will be a couple of the guys from a work team that are coming to check out what it is like for our staff.  Friday will be normal at school as well, but immediately after school until Sunday afternoon I will be going to Young Life camp to help as a Work Crew boss at a Wyldlife Camp weekend.  In other words, life is going to be nonstop from tomorrow morning until Sunday.
I keep seeing posts on Facebook about the storm in KC and pictures of mountains in Sitka.  I really miss winter right now.  Its been really hot and dry here lately and I am ready for us to get some rain again so we can get the temperature as low as possible.  I may have to go higher up into the mountains soon in search of some respite.
As per usual I am need of fundraising help so anybody that reads this is welcome to click on THIS LINK or the other place over on the right and help me out.
I don't remember if I shared this on here before, but I found this little guy on my bathroom floor not to long ago.

Monday, February 18, 2013


There is a big difference between first semester and second in that second semester here sees an influx of work teams.  So far we have had 2 or 3 here since break which is as many if not more than the entire first semester.  This week I will be hosting a group of some students at my house for dinner as part of their experience is seeing how staff here live, let me tell you, it is riveting.  All in all the work teams just seem to come and go and don't really enter my life so this will be a new thing for me.  

Other than the work teams the new hobby here has been slacklining.  We even went as far to hike up to a waterfall looking for cool places to do it over the river, but found none.  
Keith (on the line) and Kerrie are both from Manhattan, KS and were my original connection here.  Kerrie and I worked at a camp in Oregon together and ran into each other the last night the "R Bar" was open in the Spring.

Over a quarter of the way through this semester, things are flying.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Birthdays and Racing

On Thursday I turned 30!  I was planning on having a couple beers and a very restful night, but some friends had been preparing a birthday dinner and hang out time instead, needless to say it was much better than what I planned.  Peppers stuffed with all sorts of cheesy goodness, guacamole, auyama (sort of like pumpkin or squash) tacos, solid deserts, and a few choice beers shared between all of us was enough to satisfy my belly for a long time.  I really couldn't have asked for a better low key birthday.  Even Friday at school was very restful as our freshman had gone to the capitol to see the Body Work exhibit.  All in all my time leading up to the weekend was very nice.  
Once the weekend came things took on a different feel.  Saturday myself and 3 friends hoped into a car and headed to Santo Domingo.  I had never been to the capitol but felt like I was doing okay without it.  Although I still think I am doing okay without it, I really did enjoy our time there.  We stayed in a friend of a friends apartment which was in a really neat part of town and enjoyed a night driving around town and some fine dining pizza.  The reason we went to the capitol was for a race on Sunday morning just North of town.  We woke up early and headed toward El Higuero were the race was and a beautiful morning followed.  The race was 17k a little under 10.5 miles, and was on old dirt roads, single track trails, creek beds filled with rocks, and many other surfaces.  It was a well put on race and a lot of fun.  Our group was all satisfied with our performances and we headed back to Jarabacoa happy and hungry.
Its Monday morning again and this week at school should be a really productive one with my Revolutionary Leaders expedition taking full flight and switching over from the Protestant Reformation to the Scientific Revolution.  This morning I even discussed what Jesus says about Zombies with my Freshman guys devotional group.

I forgot to mention its Carnaval
After conquering the course
Prerace team photo 
 The view from our apartment in Santo Domingo

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Birthday week!

This last week has me feeling like I am completely back into the normal routine of life here in the DR. Ever week has some different things going on, but it general things have been rather normal.  The highlights of the week were a surprise b-day for a friend, a day of seeing other ministries around Jaraboacoa, and an evening grilling out with friends (veggies of course).  
Yesterday we had a professional development day and spent half of it touring the other ministries here with the people involved in them.  Our first stop was the local YL camp (Pico Escondido) which I have had the opportunity to go to many times before.  After Pico we went to Caribbean Mountain Academy, which is a sort of reform center for children who have been sent by their parents because of a loss of control.  If you dig into CMA you will find lots of dirt from the past, but a lot has been done recently to fix the problems there and I am hopeful that it is only a place of healing now.  The third stop was at the Students International base.  SI has a lot of local ministries here but their main one is occupational, with the goal of educating, training, and finding work for people so they can support themselves.  We only visited their base but SI has different sites all over the city.  The fourth stop was the Ark and was by far my favorite of the day.  The Ark can be best described as an orphanage, but it is by no means what you would expect of an orphanage.  Kid's Alive runs the Ark and have implemented a system that is one of the coolest things I have seen.  At the Ark they have multiple building/homes that are the homes of the kids, but the kids do not live in the homes by themselves.  Each home has a host family (with their own biological children) that lives there and are the parents of all the kids in the home.  All of the kids also have the opportunity to go to a local private school run by Kids Alive called ANIJA until they graduate form there after 8th grade when they go to another local school.  The final stop of the day was at Doulos, which is our school!  During the tour of the school the people from other ministries watched this video...
Upcoming fun...
I turn 30 on Thursday!
Running a Trail Race near the capital on Sunday!