Friday, June 29, 2012

Top 5 Friday - Top 5 Most Useless Items I brought with me to the DR

To continue on the topic of packing for the DR, I have found since being in country that many of the things I chose to bring were a little less than useful. In fact, many things have been completely useless for me! So for all those soon to be DR volunteers, take this little list as some suggestions for things NOT to bring. I present, the Top 5 most useless items I brought with me!

  1. Polo shirts. I didn’t like them in the US. Why would I suddenly start wearing polo shirts all the time?
  2. Toiletries. I brought several deodorants, toothpastes, face wash, plus big bottles of shampoo and conditioner. You can buy all these things here, and they aren’t that expensive. Huge waste of space and weight
  3. Sleeping bag/mat/sheets/pillow. Maybe when I start traveling the country I will change my mind, and if I had been placed in a cooler area I might have a different opinion, but I haven’t used any of these things in country. I guess they could be nice when I have visitors or visit people, but they have been fairly useless so far
  4. Clothes pins – really, did I think I couldn’t find those in country if I needed them?
  5. Hair straightener – I’ve used it twice at nice Peace Corps events, and both times the humidity (or rain) made my hair curly within an hour.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Top 5 Friday – Top 5 Best Items I brought with me to the DR

In about 2 month, new volunteers will be entering the country, and I will no longer be one of the "new" volunteers. I know that when I was preparing to leave, I was looking for lots of suggestions on how to pack. So for you future volunteers, here are the top 5 items that I brough with me to the DR! I hope it helps with your packing.
  1. My laptop and external harddrive - I have tons of movies on my external as well for at night when I need to hear English for a while
  2. My headlamp – in the night when I need to use the bathroom, or when la luz se fue and I want to write in my journal. Every PCDR volunteer (and honestly, probably every Peace Corps volunteer in general) needs a headlamp.
  3. My kindle – the ability to check email occasionally in the campo is god sent, and I love having so many books
  4. Several water bottles – I already lost one on a bus, backups are great!
  5. 7 different colored tank tops – I wear these about 80% of the time!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Top 5 Friday – Top 5 things I don’t like about the DR

For the mot part, I love this country. However, living in a new place and new culture, there are always a few things that you really are not a fan of. So, in honor of that, this weeks top 5 list - the top 5 things that I don't like about the DR. I hope you all know that this was one of the hardest list to come up with 5 things for, I do really love this country.
  1. Mayi –Mayi are these horrible little bugs that bite you. They come in groups and attack your legs. They itch like crazy and last forever. I look diseased because of these things. 
  2. Hissing – to get the attention of a lady walking by, guys will do several things. One that I don’t mind too much is yelling out Piropos, or “compliments.” The one I despise though is the hissing. I refuse to acknowledge anyone that hisses at me. 
  3. Dogs off leashes – the fact that they are off a leash doesn’t bother me so much. It’s more when I’m running and an angry dog starts chasing me and growling aggressively. I would really rather not be bitten by a potentially rabid dog, thanks. 
  4. The heat – Being from Florida, I thought the heat would be the least of my worries. I was wrong. The heat here is almost unbearable, and it’s not even the hottest months yet. From around 12-3, I literally cannot do anything but lie in my bed or sit on the porch and try not to move because I am so hot. I’m hoping to eventually become accustomed to it. 
  5. Unexpected Proposals – I have had countless men ask me if I will marry them so they can get a visa to the United States. They don’t even try to be subtle about it. I really don’t like that they think it’s okay to talk to me in that way.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Top 5 Friday – Top 5 Funniest T-shirts I’ve seen in the DR

In the developing world, there are a lot of shops that sell second hand clothing from the US. Because of that, you see a lot of funny shirts that you might not expect to see in the Dominican Republic. In honor of those funny shirts, I am give you this weeks top 5 Friday - the top 5 funniest shirts I've seen so far in the DR. The moral of this is to think before you donate!

  1. “Nobody Does it Better: Bridgeport Cheerleaders” Worn by a 7 year old boy
  2. A Hot Pink Girl Scouts T-shirt – worn by a grown Dominican man
  3. A Relay for Life Steering Committee t-shirt. I have a feeling the 17 year old Dominican boy didn’t organize that relay for life.
  4. A shirt with the Playboy Bunny logo – worn by a 7 year old Dominican girl. It made me sad
  5. Firefighters for Rod! Rod Smith for Governor. I found it really funny, since Rod is a family friend! 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Top 5 Friday – Top 5 things I’ve learned so far in the Campo

I have now lived in the campo for 3 weeks, and I have been learning some valuable life lessons and making some interesting observations. So without further ado, for this weeks Top 5 Friday, the top 5 things that I've learned so far by living in the campo
  1. For children, clothing is always optional. I have seen more naked or half naked little kids here than in my life combined
  2. There is such a thing as too much fruit. I love fruit. But when you are gifted 8 papayas in one day, you have some problems with what to do with them all.
  3. I’m either really funny or act really stupid all the time. Either way, I make Dominicans laugh. A lot. I’m not always sure if they are laughing with me or at me.
  4. People out here are so friendly and generous. I have been gifted more fruit than I can count. Every time I visit a house, they want to give me a glass of juice or a cup of coffee or some crackers. I love the feeling of community and the warm welcome I have received
  5. I can survive with a lot less than I am used to.