Whales and a trip to the ER

I thought I’d drop a quick line letting you know about how life is going here in the DR. I’ve been here almost 3 weeks, which seems like craziness. I?m living in an apartment in Santa Domingo with the Viola Family. My father, Pedro,?is a tailor and works in Social Services. My mother also works, but I?m not sure where yet. My oldest sister, Sarah, moved to Spain 3 days after I arrived. The next oldest, Jonathan, 25, sells Antispyware. Gabriel, the next oldest, 22, is a design student and designs websites. Nathalie, the youngest, is 19 and is also studying and working with a local NGO.
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Mornings are usually spent at CEIC, a language school, and afternoons are usually spent at a university learning about the culture, economy, and ecology. This afternoon was a history speech focusing on the dictator Trujillo. But I wasn’t there. I was at the dentist, making sure that the fish bone in my tongue was really gone.
On Saturday I ate some fish, and somehow a small inch long bone got stuck underneath my tongue, like a splinter. However, since we were on the other side of the country, we waited until we got back on Monday night to do anything. At first it hurt a bit, but after a day or 2, nothing. So last night we went to the ER to get it checked out, but waited a bit too long, and decided to try again today. Our doctor referred us to a dentist, who couldn?t find anything. So anyone know if fish bones will dissolve in your mouth eventually? I have no idea…
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Last weekend was our first group trip. We first went to the Mirabel Museum, where we met the only Mirabel sister not killed by Trujillo back in 1960. Their story is in Julia Alvarez?s book, In the Time of the Butterflies. Great book.
Then we went to Samana, a beauiful peninsula, where we spent two days snorkeling, lounging on PLaya Rincon (one of the top 5 beaches in the world, supposedly) and we went on a whale watch. 11 humpbacks. 3 or 4 swam right under our medium sized boat. So close, so huge.
We also went to a community based Eco Resort in the mountains. Over 200 stairs down a steep mountain to get to rustic little cabanas. So beautiful, really.
I’m having a blast using public transportation, where 7 people get in a toyota corola. The food’s been great, and I’ve barely gotten sick.
So don’t worry, I’m still alive.
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I?d love to get mail (and thanks to those of you who have emailed or sent mail). My address here is
James Weber
Goshen College
Apartado 747-2
Santo Domingo
Dominican Republic
West Indies
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Also, to see satellite photos of where i?ve been, check out the map section.
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Thanks for reading,
James
Posted in D.R. 2007, old blog

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