Si Dios Quiere

It’s the tagline of every Doña and otherwise God-fearing person in the DR: Si Dios Quiere. Literally translated it means “if God is willing,” but it’s also a handy way to get out of doing things you would rather avoid… “Sure I’ll take your dogs for a walk, si Dios quiere.” The people here are so independent of time, that they even use the phrase when setting a time and place to meet up. While the tardiness can get old, I highly doubt this phrase ever will. It’s an elegant way of saying you might not come good on what you promised while still not claiming any culpability.

While the honeymoon phase may be past, I still find myself in awe at the beauty of this country and the people who have come to serve alongside me. It’s an amazing feeling being surrounded my so many like-minded individuals… It’s like having someone pre-select 32 best friends for you. The only caveat is that this is the last week of training here in Santo Domingo. Beginning next week, we will be separated into our sectors: Community Economic Development and Education. My group (CED) will be heading to a smaller town called Peralvillo where we will be focusing on the specific skills and training we will need to be effective volunteers. From what I gather, this community-based training will be much more intense and detailed than what we have experienced thus far. It is 5 weeks of presentations, hands-on projects and lectures. At any rate, I’m thrilled to see a new part of the country and meet my second (of three) Dominican host families. It will be a great test of how we are progressing, and we may even still have Internet and running water… si Dios quiere.

This last week has been quite a challenge. They tell you in training that the word diarrhea makes you giggle until it actually happens. Welp, it happened. Often. Some contaminated Chinese food that was catered in to our training site affected several of us. The worst seems to be over, but what made it really interesting was that this weekend, I had to travel waaayyy up in the mountains to visit a volunteer site to get an idea of the different types of projects CED volunteers are involved with. With my antibiotics and oral rehydration salts in tow, I managed to make a successful trip. I’m sure this will not be the last illness I will have while in the Peace Corps, but I will definitely remember it as my first.

Tomorrow is my first written exam and Spanish evaluation… So perhaps I should go crack open the books. Plus I just really want to go try and catch one of the many lizards who keep darting past me on the porch.

I love you all and miss you like crazy, but I wouldn’t change places with anybody in the world right now. I will try and give you one last update before I head up to Peralvillo… si Dios quiere.

Paz y amor,
-Andrés

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