Well, my senior companion said it, so it must be true. It´s different here. Much like Ozzy, I feel like I´m on a crazy train, and I´m pretty sure said train bears the name Azua. Actually, I really just feel like I´m in a cartoon. We teach a lot of our lessons outside on peoples´porches, and especially on the street of Bartolome and Nicholas Mañon, there is A LOT of motorcycle activity. It’s really the transportation of choice here. So, everytime I go to open my mouth to teach some spiritual principle or idea, BRRRRRRRRMMMMMMMNHHHH!!! There go the Hell’s Angels. Seriously, the people here travel in teams. Or maybe they are just so plentiful that is just seems that way. But all I can think of when I’m teaching a lesson and this occurs is of the episodes of Looney Tunes I used to watch as a kid. Sometimes Daffy would go to open his mouth, and even when he tries just a weeeee little bit, somehow out of nowhere comes the sound of a train steamrolling past, or a thousand dishes shattering, or something else bien ridiculous. As Hermana Lund and I have decided, our life is definitely a T.V. show right now. If I was somehow on an LDS edition of Punk’d, I would’t even be surprised.
Actually, I feel like I am losing that all-too-precious gift of being able to be surprised. The other day, I think it was this last Thursday, I was asleep in bed (it was 5:30 in the a.m., after all), when I felt myself moving against my will. Now I don’t know if I’m the only person like this, but normally when I’m lying down but not really asleep, I sometimes feel like the bed is shaking a little, and I never know why. So I´ve learned to ignore it. But this particular instance was harder to ignore, namely because it was an actual earthquake. A 5.4, I believe. It only lasted a good 20 seconds, and I just asked Hermana Lund, “uh, did you feel that?” She did, but we just wanted to go back to sleep. Hey, it was early, and I already feel sleep-deprived as it is. But then we received, like clock work, phone calls from the Browns, who are over the south mission area, our District Leaders, our Zone Leaders, and from Hermana Rodriguez, the wife of the mission president. Everyone was in a commotion, so we had to leave the house and sit on the curb in our Jammies for a good 40 minutes. Awesome. Luckily, it wasn´t too strong here. I think the only damage it did in our house was knock over my companion´s deodorant. Oh, and rob us of sleep, if I didn’t throw that in yet.
Anyway, back to the joys of Azua/the D.R. in general. Can’t forget my original rant. I have a theory that the Dominican Republic is bound and determined to destroy everything I own. Jewelry? Forget about it, unless you find that the color of rust becomes you. Metal seems to be a no no here. Envelopes, well, you better keep them tucked away, or they will seal themselves before you get a chance to put anything inside them. And something that really kills me is what is becoming of my scriptures and journal. The glue that holds my scriptures to the binding is being melted away or something ridiculous, so I’ve bought wood glue and fix them as needed. But holy freakin coconuts if the ink of my journal pages aren’t bleeding onto other pages, literally recopying what I already wrote onto other, later journal entries. I don’t know how people live in humidity for extended periods of time without bien losing their minds. But yeah… now I know.
I also have come to realize that if my life can´t be compared to reality T.V. or a cartoon, at the very least, it´s gotta be Harry Potter. The house here are magical. Especially on the calle Nicholas Mañon. On the left side of the street, there are literally 3 houses that claim to be #164. And all the houses are multiple shades of pastels, so you’d think they’d stand out more and be easier to find again. Ok, I’m getting ahead of myself, as usual. When we go out contacting, we pass houses and ask them if we can visit them the following day. So we write down the “address” and then return for the visit. The problem is, people will say yes, and then not be home; another relative will be there instead. Or better yet, we can´t find the house again because a lot of them don´t even have numbers and a lot of them are under construction. And once you’ve seen one light teal house with pink shutters, you’ve seen them all. So keeping it all straight is… great. My comp and I probably look like tools as we go up and down the street, scratching are heads and asking each other, “uh, did we pass it already?” And the answer is almost always yes. But I’m gonna just say it’s all part of the learning process. A year and a half long (LOOOOOONG) process.
But inspite of the fact that I sound like I’m gripping, I really am enjoying the mission. Enjoying trying to speak Spanglish, enjoying the new companion, and enjoying trying to figure out what I believe and why I believe it. But sadly, I believe I am out of time, as usual. We´ll just have to pick up again next time, next week…
*Ok, so this is my addendum to other blog posts I’ve written that have contained incorrect information. The writer was laboring under false pretenses at the time, so try to take it easy on her.
First, there isn’t really much rock throwing is Azua, except by little kids. I guess it’s only really between the Dominicans and the Haitians. Supposedly.
There ARE words for challange and wish in Spainsh. It´s “desafiar” for challange, and the imperfect preterit form of Ojala, for example “Ojala que hubiera (imp. Preterit) sabido que todo el mundo esta bien loco aquí.”
Well, there you have it. My mistake is your chance to learn. You´re welcome.