Dec 1: Life Returns

A new month, and a new me. I woke up so much better today. Clearly the antibiotics had got to work last night, and I had actually had a pretty good rest. After the tournament ended it was pretty quiet out, as if everyone had used up their energy. The little bit of music and other sounds were easy to sleep through compared to the nights before.

Nicole took Ariana to the local school today to introduce her to the teacher and some of her classmates. Well at least as best as you can introduce someone when you don’t speak their language! In fact, Tracey, the TEARS lady who lives two floors below us, has been a great help to us and accompanied her on the visit. Ariana enjoyed this, and then enjoyed an afternoon of hosting the local boys in our home. The boys realized that our girls liked the “cookies” they sell at the Colmados and quickly rounded up all their daily allowance to buy them as many cookies as they could. I call them cookies because our kids do, but in fact they are a heavy pastry, in the shape of a cookie, with a lite sugar coating. Have I mentioned how generous the people here are?

Tracey has been great to us. She has been the one introducing us to everyone, organizing the home cooking lessons, helping us with translation as necessary, connecting us with the school, answering our questions, and generally just being a great friend. She took the kids over in the evening to make pumpkin pie cookies and made herself two new best friends!

For lunch, Nicole did another training session in a Dominicans home a couple blocks away. They made another delicious chicken and rice dish. Personally, I have a real taste for rice and the sauces they put on them here. We learned afterward that the chickens foot is considered a delicacy here, so hopefully our hosts appreciated that we left it for them.

We do struggle with hearing and learning some of the local names. They are much different than what we are used to. The son at the home we went to was named, phonetically: Blathy. I know that looks easy for you, now that I’ve transcribed it, but it took us about 5 tries to discern what he was saying. We take some consolance in the fact that they can’t seem to say Brad, so they simply call me Braah.

By afternoon I was able to play with the girls a bit in the field, and joined the locals in some soccer. I didn’t fully understand how the game was being played. It seemed like a variation of 3-on-3 with one net where the losing team had to leave the field and maybe provide the next goaltender. I’m not really sure though as they seemed to be adjusting the rules so I never had to leave the field; everyone wanted to play with the “Americano”.

I also learned a new Spanish word: gol!

I then joined a soccer scrimmage in the evening for a local team I will play with, being run by the family below us (the ones who gave Nicole the first cooking lesson). My month away from exercising, the heat, the lack of sleep, and probably my body still being in a recover state made me feel pretty slow compared to what I was used to and I had to call it quits pretty quick.

Local Travel Route

Local Travel Route

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