Saturday, August 1, 2009

Misión cumplida...y entonces?

So after all of my bitching and complaining, loving my site, hating my site, leaving my site, all of that-we had the inauguration and it was great. We inaugurated the aqueduct which gives water to 47 individual tapstands, the solar powered community center which is now host to a spanish and english class multiple times a week, and the solar lightbulb project which lit up the whole road, putting lights in 40 homes. It was an amazing feeling to realize all that we have done. And we spent over a million pesos to do it! It was a great close to my service here, and the small group who really understood my struggle showed their gratitude more than I could have expected. They presented me with two plaques, sent to be engraved over 2 hours away, and after the second plaque presentation they lifted me up on their shoulders! In true Dominican style they didnt take me anywhere though, hah, they just wanted to lift me up for the pictures, then put me right back down. But it was really cool. And I definitely saw some people shedding tears. I think what hit me more than anything was when the motorcycle-taxi guy, who had helped me go back and forth between multiple hardware stores in search of materials, came up to me just balling after seeing the community center. I didn't know him very well, but he is a much more educated Dominican than the majority of my community members, who kind-of understands what Peace Corps is trying to do in poor communities. I just hugged him and he put his head into my shoulder and cried(Dominicans aren't super tall guys). That was enough for me. That made it a good day.

The rest of the day was filled with swimming in the river, frias, and bien frias. And I finally got my revenge on the chicken that has eaten my cat's food for the past year. I cut his head off with a machete and we ate it for dinner! And Llave ate its foot(the delicacy here). I sucked on the foot a little bit, and some buddies also tasted the cooked deliciousness. Then we had some late night dancing, a very late night skinny-dip in the river, and then a nude late-night return to my house. Hey, when you have just finished a nine-month long project and its pitch black outside, you gotta walk right through your village naked. I'm pretty sure it says that somewhere in the Peace Corps manual.
(Evan chomping down on the chicken foot)
And a bunch of Peace Corps buddies showed up to support me and the project. All in all it was a great day, and it feels great to be done!

So now Im tying up loose ends with other small projects, trying to take advantage of free time to go see and do some things I missed out on, and wrapping my head around the next step in my life-School!

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