Thursday, May 6, 2010

heat and politics

Here’s a shout out to the Dirigo High School in Maine spring break crew. Hope you had a great time, I sure did.

-I underestimated the heat. There are, I’ve decided, two signifiers of intense heat and I’ve felt both of them in the span of one day. Number one: when you’re sitting still in the shade and you break a sweat. Number two: when you’re on the back of a motorcycle wearing a tank top and shorts going forty kilometers per hour and you feel like you’re driving through a convection oven.

-Shouting and talking over one another during political campaigns seems to be a universal pain in my rear. At least the colors here are different; it’s purple versus white instead of red versus blue.

-You know how when you find out where someone is from and you instantly rack your brain to see if you already know someone from there? And then when you realize that you do you ask the person if they know who you’re talking about, no matter how big the town/city/country? That happens a lot here. I was explaining to someone that I’ve never actually been to New York City and aside from not quite believing me they then asked :
-“Well even if that’s the case, do you know Joe Rodriguez? Because he lives there and he’s my cousin and I figured since you’re from the same place (i.e. the United States aka New York) you’d probably know him.”
- “I’m from the other side of the country. I’ve never been to New York. And there are 300 million people in my country. That’s like the Dominican Republic times 30.”
-“So you’re saying you don’t know him…”
Similarly a lot of people assume that I know the white people in town because hey, we all do look alike. But on the flipside of this, whenever I see white people in town I double take because I think I do know them. This might be from the aforementioned blog of me living in a rather extreme minority.

-Will someone please explain to me where 2009 went, and then explain where 2010 is going? I swear it hasn’t been a year since I was incredibly anxiously awaiting my placement for the Peace Corps.

-My dad came to visit and told me that I’m a lot braver than I used to be. That I sort of just jump into things here and assume the outcome will be good because assuming otherwise isn’t at all helpful. I almost cried. My dad thinks I’m brave.

-I remember when I applied for the Peace Corps that I refused to say that there was somewhere that I wouldn’t go but secretly really really didn’t want to go to Africa because I thought I couldn’t hack it. Then when I got here and visited the Batey I decided that I really really didn’t want to spend my two years in a Batey because I didn’t think I could hack it. Now I see pictures of people doing Peace Corps Africa and I’m kind of jealous. It’s not that I don’t think I’m helping here—I do believe I’m bringing something to the table—but man, talk about culture shock. It would be so amazing to be thrown into a culture that is almost unrecognizable to our own—this one still has its Telemundo, love of baseball, light beer and aeropostale t-shirts. This is probably the dad-bravery statement in action.


  1. I agree with your Dad - you're very brave!

  2. You are doing good in PR :)

  3. So I looked up "batey" as a result of reading this post, and was somewhat surprised...I don't know why, when this type of thing only left the U.S. about 70 to 75 years ago...where are the bateyes in relation to Punta Rusia? Oh, and you still need to send us a wish list for a care package!