Dec 8

It was an early start today as the kids woke up at 6:30am. This didn’t help Ariana’s confidence for school, and we really struggled to get (force) her to go today. It really tears our heart out to see her stuggling so much. She let out a horrific scream as her teacher grabbed her and we walked away. Fortunately, from what we’ve heard, she does fine once we’re gone. If this wasn’t similar behaviour, albiet a little more extreme, than back in Calgary we would be a lot more worried. For now though we are choking back our own tears and trying to be positive and encouraging for her.

When I picked her up at noon she was all smiles. She said she had a “good” day and had only cried a little. We had encouraged her this morning by saying there would be an English speaking helper in the class, but it turns out she was sick. Ariana said she did fine without her though. In fact, almost all her comments about school were positive so we are slightly encouraged. We’ll see tomorrow.

Guess what else you can by at the Colmada just outside our house? Prepaid phone cards. Who would have guessed? It sure makes recharging our phone easy!

This afternoon we ventured into town on our own, although we called a taxi who we knew spoke English. Our Spanish isn’t enough to have a real conversation, but we seem to get by at shops. We ran into our neighbors below at one store, and another TEARS member a little later. Although La Vega is roughly 100,000 people that sure gave it a small town feel. In the end we were glad to have a few extra necessities (toilet paper, clothes hangers, dish drain pan) and Nicole was happy to finally get a good round of groceries to stock our cupboards.

Here are some sample prices (including taxes):

  • 12 oz of cheap Pancake Syrup: $73 DOP = $2.60 CDN
  • 1 lb Prego Spaghetti Sauce: $105 DOP = $3.74 CDN
  • 425g Cocoa: $134 DOP = $4.77 CDN
  • 2L Orange Juice: $81 DOP = $2.88 CDN
  • 0.69 lbs of Cheese: $92 DOP = $3.27 CDN <– Special treat
  • 2 lbs of White Sugar: $28 DOP = $1.00 CDN (nice!)
  • 510g of Peanut Butter: $172 DOP = $6.12 CDN <– Wedding and funerals only
  • 5 lbs of White Flour: $106 DOP = $3.77 CDN

Overall the prices are reasonable as long as we stay away from the American foods.

Ariana’s quote of the day: “Mom, I think the Haitians are the Israelites”, why? “because they work all day and don’t get a break”.

And guess what? There was no music this morning for the first time since we got here! Of course it’s back now. Last night I was up till almost one and the music never let up.

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