Friday, February 1, 2008

Niños, Niños, Niños!

February 1st - It sure has been a while since my last post...

Short story: Life in the DR rolls on...and is getting better all the time.

I am feeling so much more a part of my community now - the difference between how I was feeling just a month ago to now is just amazing. I wake up in the morning now feeling great - full of energy, looking forward to getting up, getting out of the house, and visiting the folks in my community. One of the biggest reasons for my change of heart: KIDS! The niños and niñas (boys and girls) are the best friends of the Peace Corps Volunteer by far. They are curious, fearless, and become instant friends with anyone who (like the PCV) looks or acts differently.

To start with, the two kids who have helped me most have been Dayra (9)and Wilfer (2) who are part of my host family. These two supply me with endless laughs and surprises. Two such surprises are pictured above: One day, Wilfer comes clomping out of my room wearing my big hiking boots - with much hilarity. I just had to snap this picture of him with seemingly oversize feet. Another day, he and Dayra showed up to my door with their new "hats:" two banana (guineo) flower petals on their heads. Once again, a picture worth a post here on the blog.
With other kids in the community, I have also made strides in working with them and gaining trust in the community. Two weeks ago I started offering English classes on Saturday and Sunday afternoons (to anyone interested in attending) and to my surprise, the attendance was amazing: nearly the entire high school class of 50 were there on Saturday, and 25 kids, parents, and teens showed up on Sunday. The following week was equally packed and I was thrilled to see the high level of interest by the community.

As I am a health Volunteer, teaching English is not my priority, but since it is an activity that builds interest in my work, and earns me some trust in the community, it is something that I will continue as long as I can.

Como siempre... un abrazo muy fuerte desde la RD... -Tod.