Monday, April 4, 2005

Dominican Republic Trip: Day 5

Eunice and Jonatán went to school at 7:30, but they let Rosie and I have a little more time to get ready, and Pastor José got a taxi at about 9:30 to take us to the school. We met the director’s wife and some other ladies, and somebody took us over to the English class. We sat in and observed this class until it was over. They were going over the answers to a test they had taken. We met both English teachers, named Daniel (from Virginia) and Tracy (from Pennsylvania). For the rest of the day, we took two students at a time to tutor and converse in English. We read to the younger students and did English exercises with the older students. We met Manuel, the librarian, too, and talked with him for a while. He had been to the United States for heart surgery, and spoke good English. About our age, he was very easygoing and friendly.

A hen with her chicks on school grounds

Mangoes growing

We rode a bus home with Eunice and Jonathan, getting there about 3:00. Tati had our noon meal all ready and we sat down to eat. This is the main meal, with a lighter supper at about 8:00. After lunch we did the dishes (they’re finally letting us help!) and took our siesta.

That evening Rosie and I went with Eunice to a church service for young people. Again, I was impressed with the spirit of sincere worship that they seemed to have. “Se fue la luz” (the power went out) several times, leaving us in complete darkness in the church. They did have a generator, though, so we had power right away as soon as somebody got it turned on.

It’s nice because Eulalia has a battery system hooked up to her house that charges when there is electricity and then provides power when “se va la luz” (the power goes out).

Pastor José, who used to work for the electric company here, said that the problem is not with the production of electricity but with the distribution. In order to fix the system, he said they would have to completely shut down the existing system and start again. Of course this would be expensive and difficult. I saw in one of the poor neighborhoods how people tie in about 50 wires to one spot by a pole. It’s amazing how much I take for granted things like the stable electricity in the United States.

Keep Reading: Dominican Republic Trip, Day 6
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