Feliz Año Nuevo to all of mis paisanos back home!
First off, in addition to wishing everyone a very Happy 2008, I also wanted to thank all of you who posted comments to my last entry, expressing your concern and encouragement. I won't lie: Peace Corps life is tough, and there are times when it would be easy to call it quits and go back home. However, the tough times have been (thankfully) rare, and for the most part I am having a great time, so please don't worry about me.
In fact, much has changed since that very tough day I had back in early December: I am keeping busy, completing my diagnostic interviews and quarterly report later this month, getting ready to present the results to my community partners and PC colleagues back here in the capital, soliciting funds for specific projects, and beginning the process of moving out of my host family's house and renting a house of my own in my community (photos to come soon!) Lots going on now that the holidays are over, so I am happy to be busy.
New Year's Eve in the DR was fun, but low-key. New Year's (like most holidays) is a time to spend with family - and that's exactly what I did to ring in 2008: A traditional meal with the extended family in the "big" town of Ocoa, watching local kids play with sparklers in the street, waiting for the stroke of midnight by the local radio station's countdown, hugs and felicidades all around, and then joining the crush of people in the town square for dancing, socializing, and a fireworks display overhead. Rolled into bed about 2:30am on New Year's Day...
More later... Un abrazo desde la R.D.... -Tod.