Monday, November 30, 2009
Thanksgiving dinner went off without too many issues. The oven was a bit tricky so rather than being ready at 2pm, it was ready about 4pm. But not to worry, Rossy brought a rotisserie chicken, guandules, and rice to satisfy everyone just enough that they weren't quite hungry when the Thanksgiving feast was finally ready. We had a few "team players" (special thanks to Thalia, Luisa, and Alfredo for not crossing over to the dark side even though I'm sure you all really wanted too).
One thing I learned is that Dominicans are great about improvising. Although we didn't have a potato masher nor a can opener, they made the best of it. See Jessica mashing potatoes with a plastic cup and Alfredo opening a can with a knife (I was nervous about that one so I needed to step aside). Everyone had a great time, despite the heat in the kitchen, and all in all, I'd say it was a great experience my first time preparing the entire meal. Jill helped a little. (She's not here to say otherwise, so I can stick with that story).
The rest of the photos are just of everyone having a great time and enjoying each others company. That's what Thanksgiving's all about! I hope this gives you an idea of the people we see each day. Everyone is so great and have all been so kind to us. Also, I must say, it was the first time I've eaten Thanksgiving dinner and then put my feet in a pool to cool off. I could get used to that.
Milvia, Nasu, and Luis. All have opened their houses to us and we are so thankful. (I'm sure that was in the grace Jill said but I didn't understand)
Nassuel, Milvia, and Nasmil. Such great children and Milvia is a wonderful mother.
Thalia, Massiel, Rosa Lee, Chanel, Luisa, and Lisa. Such gorgeous girls!
Ada, Miss Oregon herself, and Rossy
Alfredo, our can opener
Chanel and me
I was crowned "runner-up" although, I'm pretty sure I won but I know Jill is still bitter about the 1st Annual Dessert Smackdown and the Halloween Pumpkin Carving Contest (I wonder how Jewley Bedazzled is doing?) so I'll give her something. Who won the 2nd Annual Dessert Smackdown by the way???
And that's about it for our Thanksgiving. I hope everyone had a great one as well! The blogs might be a little slow for the next week or so but we'll get back on track soon! Until next time....
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Here Marsia and I ran out in the rainstorm. It was pouring so hard we were wet in seconds. It felt so good! It had been hot and muggy lately and this was an excellent change. Click on the pic to expand!
While shopping in a little boutique, Marsia came across a figurine that reminded her a lot of Boo Yumm, her beloved cat that she is missing so much. She (Boo Yumm, not Marsia) has crossed eyes and this seemed to replicate her pretty well for the time being.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Their oldest daughter Rosa Lee is the lead singer in her group and her younger sister Luisa is a back up singer/dancer. I've included a link if you'd like to see a performance. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=US2FuGrBpNY The 3rd daughter Thalia is a real sweetie, and helped us find the video of Rosa Lee.Thalia
The 5 year old Chanel is a firecracker and made us sing "Little Bunny Foo Foo", 600 times, complete with all the hand gestures. Very smart little girl and very cute. Chanel appointed herself as Marsia's private Spanish teacher. Marsia learned all the body parts. Her conversations with the rest of the world is still a bit limited, but if someone wants to talk about eyebrows and bellybuttons... she's there.
Marsia had a unique experience with the girls when she had her first outing without me. They don't speak much English, so it was a real test. Rosa Lee had to go by the University to drop off some things and her car broke down along the way. A short trip to the University turned into an all day adventure. Marsia was exhausted when she finally came back.
Hope all of you are doing well. We're waiting for the boxes to start our real work here. Thank you Louie for helping send those out and for those who have donated their time and/or money to the cause. Having these couple of weeks under our belts will be very helpful. We are making connections and finding more and more mission work everyday.
Until next time......
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
We've had a steady diet of plantains, yucca root, taro root, avocado, rice and guandules. We ate sancocho for the first time yesterday, and Marsia liked it. Sancocho is the opposite of the Atkins diet plan. See a carb, throw it in the stew. Our sancocho had chicken, pork, yucca, plantain, sweet potato, carrot, taro root, squash and of course white rice and avocado. It really is quite yummy.
We went to the market yesterday and there was a mob of people pushing, shoving, yelling.... all trying to get a place in line for their license plate tags. I thought it was a riot at first, but Milvia explained that it was just the last day to purchase their tags. It was crazy. We suggested to Milvia that it may be a good idea to have people purchase their tags on separate days/months... she wasn't certain how that would work.
We've continued our walking in the Parque Italia, nearby. We noticed a large group doing salsa or merengue aerobics.... I suggested to Marsia that we try. Maybe when we've got another week of this regime under our belt, we will. Look for our pics next week doing our thang.
Last night we had movie night with Nassuel and Nasmil, here at the house, while Milvia and Nasu went to church. We made popcorn and had a good time with the kids. Marsia is helping them improve their English, and this really makes Nasu happy.
Today we're going to spend the night with Rosie and Luis and their family. It should be fun. I'm sure we will have some interesting stories for you all tomorrow.
Louie called and said that he is ready to send boxes of items for the Dominican families in need, to Florida for me to pick up when I work there the first week of December. He's trying to keep the wieght and cost down as much as possible. (THANKS ANGEL AND HILLARY FOR HELPING WITH THE PACKING) If any of you would like to help by sponsoring a box please call Louie at 541-601-7441 or send $10-$20 to Louie Ramirez, 48 S. Barneburg Rd Medford, Or. 97504. EVERY bit helps.
Our cell # in the Dominican is: 829-776-9805. Either Marsia or I will answer.. Gotta Run, Jill
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
This lovely specimen blocked our beach view most of the time. We couldn't tell where his head hair ended and his back hair began. You can't tell but he arrived at the beach wearing this number with socks pulled up and tennis shoes. I wonder what his cab driver was thinking.....
10.) First time I've seen so much dirty/provocative dancing on the beach in the middle of the day.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Our first day here at Nasu's house was filled with organizing our belongings, but ONLY after we had our walk with Milvia and stretches using poles and tubes. This occurred promptly at 7:00am DR time or 3:00am Oregon time - if anyone is counting.... (that surely gives us extra star points). Milvia is a drill sargeant and shows little mercy. Can you tell one of us is a little tired?
I was laughing all the time I was organizing, as Angel had stuck little post it notes in all my things, I still find them, several days later. I have them in a little pile.... I'm not sure what I'm going to create with them, but I'll think of something....
Nasu's kids, Nassuel and Nasmil have taken charge of Marsia's Spanish classes. She has learned caballo and chinola. Caballo is horse (a staple in anyone's vocabulary), and chinola is of course her favorite drink as of late. For those of you who would like the recipe for chinola juice: Take chinola, scoop out the inside and blend. Strain the seeds, add water and some sugar and there you go! Jugo de chinola. If your local market doesn't have chinola, you'll have to improvise.
Marsia had her first visit to La Sirena store, where you can find most anything, from '70's helmet hairdryers to Octopus. These are top of the line items, not antiques. We exchanged some $ and found that we get 36 pesos per $1US dollar. I was going to buy some tortillas, but they were like $275 pesos which is a lot, like almost, like $8 or so for 8. Crazy. I don't know...... but I think there may be a market here for some good Mexican food.
Then, we topped the day off with a very interesting party at Milvia's Pastor's house. After a bit
of individual testimony we were served a plate that was HEAPING with cornmeal mash and beef, (we think). Neither of us could, or should have eaten it, as our plates were by far the heaviest of the 100 people served. We spent most of our time trying to find the most perfect way to make use of our food, without offending anyone. Milvia came to my rescue and gave my partially eaten meal to her sister. Marsia was on her own. She's a big girl, afterall.
At the party I met a very nice woman named Esther, who is a doctor in a small village near Neiba, where Milvia is from. (about 3 hours from Sto. Domingo). She wants to work with us in getting items to the most needy. We are hopeful that this friendship will blossom and we will make some great connections in that part of the island.
Mivia made fish for Marsia, and I know this is going to be hard to believe.... she loved it. LOVED it. She at it all up. Milvia is such a great cook. Marsia was thankful that Nassuel had tipped his mom off to serve it without the head or eyes.
Marsia learned to wash dishes the Dominican way, store water and milk a cat. Basic survival skills here in the DR.
Ok, enough for today. Can't wait to catch you all up on our day at the beach later, so much to tell. Que dios los bendiga a todos.
Jill for Marsia