Monday, April 11, 2005

Dominican Republic Trip: Day 12

This was our last day in San Juan. In the morning we said goodbye to Eunice and Jonathan, and they left for school. We were going to take the bus back to Santo Domingo at 2:00, so we wouldn’t be seeing them again.

Rosie and I were writing in our journals (that constant task that never seemed to get caught up) when Tati came to our room and said, “We have a problem.” She took me into the kitchen, showed me the stove, and said, ‘The gas is all out so I won’t be able to cook a meal for you before you go.” She looked so disappointed, and I knew she had a special meal planned, so I told her how sorry I was. “But it’s okay,” I added. “We can eat sandwiches.” That didn’t seem to satisfy her much, but she said, “Okay,” and I went to write in my journal again. Later, Rosie and I were out on the front porch, and Pastor José came out to apologize for the same thing. He was SO embarrased about it, and there didn’t seem to be any way to comfort him about it, though we tried to assure him we didn’t mind. Just then, a truck pulled up to deliver two tanks of gas! The problem was solved and we wouldn’t be eating sandwiches.

Rosie and I watched and took notes as Tati prepared the meal, and I filled up a whole page at the back of my notebook on recipes and typical foods. We planned to make some of this stuff when we got home for the rest of the family to try.

After lunch the inevitable hour came—that of saying goodbye to Tati and leaving on the bus. I wanted to cry, because these people had become so special in my life, and I didn’t know when I would see them again. We embraced and said farewell and then had to rush off in the taxi to the bus station.

On the bus, I took a whole camera-full of pictures out the window, and before long we were back in the hustle and bustle of Santo Domingo. I felt like I was noticing more things and reading more signs this time, and the city didn’t seem so huge and confusing and crowded as it did before.

A pastor picked us up from the bus station and took us back to Pina’s house. Poor Pina! She was going through chemotherapy and all her hair had fallen out. Notwithstanding, she had made a delicious dinner for us, and after eating, Rosie and I went to bed relatively early, since we had missed our nap.

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