I really don't know why I've become so very enamored with using the word Azua in so many of my titles, but it is just Delicious to me. And Azua, being what it is (ridiculous) needs to be mentioned as often as possible. Just because.
But speaking of titles, I have the suspicion that the one I used last week is a repeat. That makes me a bit ashamed, as I pride myself so very much on creative titles and one-liners. But I'll stand by my double title, if necessary. I can hardly remember the date, much less the title of a blog I'm not even managing myself. So now you know and can have one less thing to stress about. I know I feel better.
But yeah, Azua is still special as ever. Which means I am never short of weird occurrences/moments of good cheer/unfortunate events. Why don't we go down the list and give an example of each, shall we?
My weird occurrence will put me straight back into sitcom mode, or maybe just a throwback to my college years. Or both, as they are not mutually exclusive. I am somewhat pleased to announce that besides the title of Hermana, I can also add "Best Friend" back to my resume. You all know the storyline from every horrible romantic comedy known to man (that would be a blog entry in and of itself, but think "The Notebook" or "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton.") Now this is not to say that I don't have my own special group of admirers too. That would be selling myself short, something I'm frankly not willing to do at this stage of my life. But remember our special friend Mario, the overly-excited one in the wheel chair? Well, he has a brother named Lenny. Now, Lenny actually knows a bit of English, and loves to use and abuse us with it. Especially my dear companion, Hermana Lund. During the middle of one of our lessons with Mario, in comes Lenny to talk about how pretty she is. And then ask me if I agree. And then keep talking about it and not letting it drop until Hermana Lund is as red as a cherry tomato. He points said info. out to me, to which I respond, "well, you're probably embarrassing her."
"Am I?" he pressed her.
"Yeah, you are," she responded. So he apologized (sort of) and stopped. But every since then, he keeps magically popping into our lives. Like when we're on the way to the store, and he follows us and since Hermana Lund is practically sprinting away from him, I'm left to explain to Lenny the timeless truth about girls and stuff like that. He wanted to know why she was running. I lied and said we were in a hurry. So he eventually left us alone. Until we were about to cross the street to go into our house and a suburban car cuts us off and the windows roll down. And a voice is heard before the face is seen. "Hi Sweetie. Where you goin? You guessed it. Lenny the Lunatic. We were in so much shock, Hermana Lund didn't even have time to tell him off like she'd planned. It's not like he's following us, it's just that Azua is small and we're white. We stick out ever so slightly. But I am sooooooo over being that girl. I'm ON A MISSION. I shouldn't have to be dealing with this crap. If guys want to know why they can't get the girl of their dreams, they can start consulting Self-help books. The answer may lie in the fact that they talk more to me than their so-called paramours. But that's just me postulating.
And now on to the event that has cheered and warmed my heart. We have officially started a ward choir and our progressing quite well with our English classes. It's weird to see how much I don't know about English, simply because it's been so long since I've learned it all, and I don't ever have to stop and think about how many sounds an O makes (four). But now I do. And it's nice to have the shoe on the other foot. Normally, Dominicans get to hear me struggle to pronounce Spanish. But for two hours a week, I get to listen to them stutter out English sentences. Muhahahaha. And the choir was started out of necessity because frankly, we have not a thing to do in the evenings. Azua goes dead, unless you want to drink yourself to sleep. So we are teaching the tone deaf to chirp like little birdies. Dominicans don't understand how to read notes or rhythms, so we're starting from scratch. Who would have known my band skills would one day come in handy?
And finally, the unfortunate: I experienced my first funeral, o sea, velario. Because practically everyone here is Catholic, so are the funnerals. Which means a mourning process of 9 days. And a lot of drinking and eating, and a giant white tent, which is used both to shade the grieving visitors as well as to signify that there is a funeral in the area. Everyone knows what a giant white tent means here. And now I do. The Hermana who's dad died (Hermana Segunda), is a recent convert of two years. She didn't want all the hoop-la associated with velarios, but since her family is mostly Catholic, she didn't have much of a choice in the matter. This man was 100 years old when he died. But it was still devastating to a lot of people. I will never forget the look on Hermana Segunda's face when I came up to her. "Hermana" was all she said, in tones of sorrow and pain. I could only look at her with compassion and say nothing useful. I'm horrible in these situations. But I'm glad that I have the belief that death is not the end and we can be with everyone we love again forever. I can't even imagine how sad a funeral would be otherwise. But a couple days later, my comp. and I brought her a pineapple which I told her was the "piña de consolacion," or consolation pineapple. When we left her house, I asked Hermana Lund, "did I really just call it the pineapple of consolation?" Did I mention I'm terrible in those type of situations?
Anyway, that's all for now. But later, look forward to a new series I'm staring, the "How To Do In the Dominican." It's gonna be a scream.
Love (but only in the friend sort of way),