Hola padres, amigos, y hermanos! Today we had another 7:30 wakeup call! Today, the girls slept through both bells, continuing with our trend of walking in fashionably late to breakfast. Finally after today, we have all showered. It was a struggle, but we got through it together. No hot water and navy showers! Truly an experience! The weather gods are still not with us. It has rained all day. We are hoping it clears by tomorrow morning so that we can go on the sunrise hike and to the school to teach English.
Our day started off with a showing of Alvin and the Chipmunks, in Spanish with English subtitles. The kids from the orphanage came over to our eating area to watch the movie. Then we all went into the “Comedor” and played games with the kids- cards, coloring, board games, and bowling. We were the first volunteers to play bowling with them, and the kids all loved it. During that time, we also started to use the “Foto Dog,” which is a new photo diplomacy program called “Dog Meets World.” The goal of the program is provide individual photos of kids in developing countries. Therefore, we were able to instantly print out pictures of the orphans today we took on our cameras. The pictures brought smiles to all of the kids faces! A little bit later, the bell rang for lunch. For lunch we had authentic Dominican food, rice and beans, and fried eggplant, which we all loved! Then we sorted donations in the “Omeson.”
Siesta lasted till 2:30 however none of us really slept; instead we all played with the kids. Although sweaty from basketball and muddy from the many falls, we won! It was a few of the guys from Maryland Hillel and one from William and Mary versus the older kids of the orphanage. It was amazing how a simple game of basketball brought all of us together. Instead of planning an activity for the kids at 3, we decided to just continue playing since it was finally clear, for the most part!
Ding dong – time for dinner. We all gathered around the table for some southern food. We had fried chicken, corn, mashed potatoes, cabbage, and pineapple. After we finished dinner, we sat around in the comedor to listen to a brief history talk about the Dominican Republic from one of our leaders. The talk finished with the movie, “In the time of the Butterflies.”
However, we experienced an unexpected intermission during the movie! We all had to call home due to the earthquake that occurred in neighboring Haiti. Only a few people here felt it, so we did not see it as a big deal. After the hour it took for all of us to phone home, we finished the movie and our group followed with reflections in which we talked about the impact of the earthquake as well as service in different countries. We finished that part off with Matzah Ball Soup and Mondango (also known as Roses and Thorns! Mondango is a soup full of animal intestines- our lowlight of the day). It turned out to be a very late night, with all of us getting to bed around 11:30, after a fun filled and exhausting day! Adios y’all!
P.S. the Matzah Ball of the day occurred during the movie we watched with the kids in the morning! A sneaky and adorable 5 year old boy quickly pulled the chair out from Marissa as she began to sat down! It was hilarious!