Friday, February 26, 2010

turning 26

Oregon Youth Health Sexual Plan
That was to get the attention of the person who left me a comment on my last blog, in case you aren’t following still. Thanks for the great comment. I hope you continue to follow through my service since the sexual health initiative is one of my main projects here. Also, thanks for making Oregon great.
Moving on.

-My reproductive organs charla was pretty fantastic if you consider fantastic an hour’s worth of question and answer on crazy myths and beliefs like I do (seriously, it was awesome). And I do consider that great because today there are 15 more kids who know that you can still get pregnant in water, and that you won’t die if you go swimming on your period…unless you swim through a shark’s nest, but you might die without your period there. We do condoms next. I have a little smiling condom as an advertisement, hopefully it goes well.

-My nephew just discovered pockets. This is kind of a big deal, especially considering the rate of losing small things just went way up.

-In case I haven’t mentioned 6 or 7 times already, there are two “national” dances here. I use quotes because I guess they aren’t official but they’re so popular they’re really unofficially official. The Bachata and the Merengue. The Bachata is a slower, generally more romantic dance with a 4 or 8 count depending on the music. It is the hard one. Merengue is easier but faster and sweatier and you generally want to get showier because you’re moving faster. Seemingly every Dominican over the age of 12 knows how to do both of these dances and especially the men can’t help but dancing at every song. As a gringa these dances aren’t too awfully hard because all you have to do is follow—I’m not great, but I’m getting better at following. But our poor poor gringos. We have a sliding scale of ability there: can dance; thinks he can’t dance but actually can; thinks he can dance well but only marginally has rhythm but has fun; know they can’t dance but they’re trying and learning; improving; think they can dance but have negative amounts of rhythm and step on feet without noticing. Also guys, if you’re reading this, I’ll let you decipher who’s who, and just so you know, Salsa can’t be danced like Merengue OR Bachata, it can only be danced like Salsa, and it’s hard.

-For my 26th birthday I got two excellent parties, a fever—not for cowbell, and an inner ear infection. Regardless, it was definitely one of the best birthdays ever. Also, I was not surprised by my first ever surprise party but it didn’t make it any less fun. Interestingly you can figure out you’re having a surprise birthday party when you’re at the supermercado with the planners buying things that look to be for a party but you are assured that they are for “oh nothing.”

-Per the title of this blog: I have used a pit toilet. I still have not eaten a cow’s tongue. BUT I have eaten (vegans please move on, this is not for you) a cow’s hoof. Not in the fashion that dog’s eat cow’s hooves like bones, but the innards of a cow’s hoof. The gelatin-y part. It doesn’t taste bad, but it smells awful, the texture is weird, and once you’re finally told what it is, interestingly you might lose your appetite. I may have made the mistake on day 1 of telling them that I like pretty much anything except for eggplant and Bacalao (think sardines times a million more pounds of salt) but I reiterated last night that I will at the very least try everything I haven’t had at least once. We can now add cow foot to the “no” list.

-The condom charla went pretty great except that I was missing some of my favorite youth, but I did get the tigueres to show up which is sort of a feat in itself. And they all rather willingly put that condom on that plantain. So now I’m rather officially the town condom fairy. I told them that they have to use the trash cans that the last volunteer installed and not the street to throw them, and that I would not be the condom provider for party favors or balloons, only sex…not to encourage them or anything, but if you knew my teenagers you’d know that abstinence is a word that we might not need to bother learning and I want those condoms used correctly dammit.

-My English grammar gets worse every day (obviously). Unfortunately, my Spanish isn’t improving as fast as my English is deteriorating. My apologies.


  1. Hey - cool way to get my attention! It worked.

  2. you have got my full attention as well my dear. i picture you dancing and trying condoms on plantains and it makes me smile.

    and dear friend, i too, sadly have come down with a bad case of the "how the hell do you say that in regular english-itis" as well. and sadly enough if you remember, it is indeed my job here to teach them how to speak properly. do you think my language skills will make it through another 16 months...cross your fingers!

    hula hoops and horchada hangovers,
    your summit sister :)