I've been in the Dominican Republic for almost an entire week! I think it's finally starting to set in that I'm really here... A couple more fried plantains ought to finalize it for me:)
The rest of the DR Semester '11 team is absolutely fabulous! I know that if nothing else, just being able to share this experience with them will make the semester worthwhile. We already have a quote book started and several inside jokes. One of my favorites is the song "Junior Birdsman." When I was in Spain this summer, we taught the kids at English camp this fantastic WWII relic. I just had to share it with my DR team, so the first day of orientation I started singing it, much to everyone's great delight. (sarcasm) With the help of Garrett, who was also in Spain this summer, I got the song firmly stuck in everyone's heads. Now it has become our theme song! I couldn't be more pleased:)
The food here is absolutely fantastic! Rice, beans, plantains, and avacados are staples at every lunch and dinner. If you don't know, plantains are potatoey vegitables that look like giant bananas. They are starchy, but have less flavor and are softer than potatoes. There seem to be about a million different ways to eat plantains. I like to say that we eat plantains like it's our job.
Speaking of plantains... two nights ago our host mom was gone and so we ate supper with our "house-grandma." She cooked us plantains in a brand new way. I can't say for sure, but I'm fairly certain they were boiled in some kind of vinegar and then buttered. Hannah was less than impressed, though I liked them better in this way than mashed like potatoes. When Mami left the room, Hannah asked me if I wanted the second half of her plantain. Though I didn't mind the dish, I didn 't really want a second helping, so I said no. Hannah would not take no for an answer, she was sure that I really DID want more plantain. So, when I got up to chase a stray cat, she slipped the veggie delight onto my plate. Upon my return to the table, I saw it sitting there, grabbed and tried to throw it back onto Hannah's plate before Mami came back in. FAIL. I missed her plate and the plantain landed with a loud "SPLAT!" on the floor right in front of Mami... oops. Hannah and I nervously giggled until Mami laughed at us... then it was all over. Hannah and I nearly exploded laughing at our joke. Thankfully, Mami has a great sense of humor and just assumed that we were being crazy Americans, and well- we were!