Backpacks and Bucket Baths

Beginning to wrap up other eventful day here in Peralvillo. Every Thursday we give a presentation to local women who are looking to start up income generation projects from their homes. The program is called Somos Mujeres (We Are Women) and it has become a very interesting event every week. Today we made liquid hand soap and taught them basic accounting to make their projects feasible. While I think it would be difficult to facilitate this group at my permanent site, I have thoroughly enjoyed working with these women.

After this charla, a few friends and I decided to go on a hike. Off in the distance, we could see a giant hill, or really more like a small mountain, and wanted to see what the community looked like from up there. So, we waded across the Ozama river and began our ascent. After about half an hour, we realized the quickest way would be to (carefully) cross the barbed wire and trespass our way up to the top through some pastures. And that we did. Even though it was a short 2 hour excursion, it was honestly one of the best experiences I’ve had in this town. When you’re up top with the cool breeze at your back you start to realize how small you are… And then you look at the community and you feel so connected to the rest of humanity in such a simple yet profound way. One thing is for sure… That I really hope I never get used to how stunningly beautiful this country is; the lush greens, the deep reds of the cacao fruits, the bright orange of the tierra, the endless blue expanse of the sky all swirl together and form this paradise.

I can tell that I love it here because I’m even starting to enjoy bucket-bathing. It takes a lot of careful planning to know when the best time to bathe is… You want to do it as close to daytime as possible because that’s when the water is warmest since it’s been in the sun. However, you have to consider that you will definitely continue to sweat post-bath so you may as well just wait until before bed to avoid that mess entirely. Night showers are usually the best option, and once you get over the first few seconds of near hyperventilation, it’s all downhill from there. You end up using muuuuch less water, and you get really strategic at figuring out how to get the cleanest. Don’t get me wrong though, a long hot shower sounds like heaven right about now.

10 more days left in Peralvillo, then back to Santo Domingo to get the permanent site placements! Eek. I’m closing in on two months here, with 25 left to go. Giddy up!

Les quiero mucho!
-Andrés

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