I thought it was time to update you, verbally, on some snippets of the past few weeks. So here you go:
24th September – two weeks before…
The La Hoya girls had scooted off to Boca Chica on the Friday so on Saturday morning Izzy and I headed to the main road to catch the bus into Santo Domingo for the weekend. After the treacherous sweaty hike and 45 minutes watching buses pass in the other direction we managed to successfully hail a SD bus.
3 hours later we were greeted by our friend Binchuuaaaal (well that’s how its pronounced) who took us the ‘local way’ to the Colonial Zone in the city. The ‘local way’ involved catching several guaguas (let me just explain what a guagua is… a guagua ranges in size from a small, very broken down and definitely-failed-MOT-test car which pretends it is a public bus… to a fully air conditioned stage coach fit with horror movies and very loud Dominican music, if you’re especially lucky you will be serenaded by the locals on the bus). We then treated ourselves to a Bon and wandered around feeling very touristy, taking photos and admiring the street art.
When Binchuuaaaal was tired of pretending to be a tourist we took several more guaguas to the outskirts of the city to have rice and beans with his family. *side note: when i say family I don’t mean the usual eight siblings and parents, I mean uncles, aunts, cousins, 2nd cousins, grandparents, great grandparents… you get the point… we met them all.
2nd October – one week before…
Izzy turned 19! After a lazy morning of pancakes, opening presents (me watching Izzy open presents) and chatting to families Eve, Alice and Teressa joined us for lunch. Between us we managed to actually whip up a pretty tasty meal of cheesy tacos and fun sauces followed by pink and blue birthday cake, credits all go to Teressa for this one. In the evening we headed out into the village and were treated with espagetti (a Dominican favourite) and tubs of funky flavoured ice cream.
5th October – the week of…
Yes, you guessed it… Hurricane Matthew! Now, I am well aware that the Dominican Republic was not hit with the extreme category 4 force as Haiti was, but we did receive high winds and serious flooding. On Monday night the rain hit hard and by the evening the entire village was at least 5 inches underwater, some houses completely immersed in water, others just getting their toes wet. Izzy and I went out to assess the damage and were swept up in crowds of shrieking kids running around the village in an enormous water fight.
In the morning we all packed our bags and were evacuated in the COPA truck to La Hoya to dry off and connect to the Wifi, to let our families know we hadn’t drowned overnight.
The rain eased off throughout the rest of the week so we returned to Bombita to help sort out the village. Luckily the lake behind the village had not overflown (probably due to the last five years of drought), so the damage was not major. A free food truck arrived on Wednesday, thank you to all those who donated money towards helping the Dominican Republic, and the village managed to get back on its feet quite quickly.
With the Hurricane passed and the damage repaired, life went back to normal again.
Last weekend Izzy and I decided to have a home-weekend. We chilled out on the beach on Saturday, ate avocados, and walked around the sugar cane fields. The most bizarre and exciting moment was probably finding ourselves in the midst of a melon fight. This involved two teams of boys throwing mini melons at each other from across the river in the cane fields. Trust me, it can get very competitive…
Anyway, that is all for now.