Friday, November 13, 2009

Day 1, Part 1

People make blogs to talk about their exciting lives. I lack the excitement for right now, and let's be honest, no one wants to read about my day to day activities in an office with 3 people. So maybe I'll focus more on those times when life presented awe-inspiring moments, and times of fun and excitement. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty more of those to come, but until they do...

As we descended into the rugged lands of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, I thought my ears would explode and head fry of fever. Flying with a mucus-filled head isn't always the ideal way to arrive into the Caribbean, but I did, nonetheless. Of course the airport welcomed us with the classic corralling of human cattle and chaos. Mugginess hit our faces as we trekked through the chaotic airport to customs. I wanted to pass out, I was so fatigued and weak. Chaos was overwhelming but the culture shock was almost nonexistant in my careless attitude.
Managing to pull my passport and appropriate documents out, I somehow ended up with my bags and following the group out the door of the airport into the Dominican atmosphere, where we were surrounded by a different type of chaos.
Constant horns and vehicles and a foreign language being shouted from every which way. My head spun and I crawled into an air conditioned van past jungles of seat belts that no one ever wore anyway in this country. I curled up next to a window, wrapped up in my blue hoodie, freezing as sweat oddly enough poured from my forehead.
Passing Spanish billboards and horses in the back of pickup trucks, and people walking in the road, selling fruit and candy, I enjoyed hearing the oohs and ahhs of our first time team members. It was all such a magical experience, even for those of us who had been down this highway multiple times. There was always something new to gawk at during the 45 minutes of stopping and going and close calls and mopeds weaving in the three feet that remained between you and the vehical in the next lane over. Our supposibly 4 lanes of traffic was somehow 6, as street lines were an optional suggestion.
Turning off to a bumpy, half dirt, half paved, falling apart road, we had reached the area of Los Alcarrizos. Just as many vehicles as the city and even more people and dogs running around. The 15 passenger dipped and hopped as we drove through hardcore road damage and potholes. People weaved around us in their 80s style pickup trucks with just as many people riding in the bed. Horns would beep to let the people know not to hit us, and we wouldn't hit them. Armed guards sat in plastic beach chairs, watching our van bump by. We weren't sure whether to feel safer or more alert.
Finally reaching Unto Inc.'s gate, we pulled aside and waited for it to be opened to us to enter the camp. Eyes watched us with a glimmer or curiosity, knowing full well there were Americanos in that van, since there were always Americanos staying at that camp. The van pulled up to the side of the kitchen and halted. We had arrived at our home for the next 8 days. Pin It

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