Firstly, I feel like I would be doing the world a real disservice if I didn´t mention that Olga FINALLY, finally got baptized, along with her two kids José and Rocío. It would have been a beautiful and proud moment if our drunk friend hadn´t had to have been escorted off the premises for harassing everyone and if the keyboard we had brought down from storage wasn´t missing two important keys and if José hadn´t gone into hiding right before the baptism started. Much like the famed YouTube video, "David after Dentist," most of the time I just have to slap myself and ask "is this real life?" Oh, it is. It is, and thus, so much juicer. But don´t worry, we didn´t force the young lad to get baptized. After searching for 15 minutes throughout the church grounds and even outside of them, I eventually found him hiding behind a door in one of the classroom. I think he was just nervous. I told him his mom and sister were getting baptized and he could follow suite if he so chose. Which he did. So it was all worth it in the end. And I just love happy endings. But I think I still have a bit of time left on the mission, so "ending" may be jumping the gun a bit.
But Olga truly shown after her baptism. She just seemed so calm and bright. It would be hard to describe. But she said she felt good. My own baptism has long since passed, but seeing other people take the plunge reminds me why I stay a member and why faith is an active principle. Just apply a "you don´t use it, you lose it," sticker here. And every once in awhile it´s nice to remember why you keep fighting the good fight and believing when the world at large may tell you that morals are so half-century ago.
And skipping right along to something completely unrelated, I wish upon each and every one of you the joy of shopping in a Dominican market. My companion and I were hot on the trail for some Chinas (oranges) and chinolas. I told the lady I wanted half a pound, which for here meant giving us a bag, filling it up, and telling us it was 140 pesos. I repeated half a pound and she repeatedly threw in more fruit, raising the price. I finally decided to speak her language. "I have 20 pesos. That´s how many chinolas I want," I informed her. Suffice it to say, I left with a significantly emptier bag, but with a smile on my face from having learned one more trick of the trade. My next act of boldness will be attempting to bargain someone down. I can see the giggles and eye rolls from the vendors as I type.
And I feel like I simply must impart the good news of my visit to the capital to go to the temple. The temple is so quiet... and air conditioned. I rather enjoyed myself. But the real cherry on top of the Sundae of that Friday was our sweet, pimped-out ride. Our Zone Leaders got us a "steal of a deal" and got a member with a large, Twinkie-shaped van to drive us down to the capital at a cheaper price than taking just your average, normally colored and shaped guagua. As usual, my companion and I somehow found us forced out of the boys club when we were chivalrously sequestered to the front seat of the Twinkie, I mean, vehicle. And at one point, we stopped for gas at someone´s house. That´s right, a house. I didn´t get to see the process from my awkward angle in my seat, but I believe it involved a few gas cans and a stick. I kept waiting for our economical transport to explode in a mass of cream filling as we made our way down the freeway, but luckily, we made it there and back again, as this blog clearly can bear evidence.
Sadly though, I must inform that such will not be the case in the coming week. No, we don´t plan on exploding, and to keep it that way, we will be staying in our apartments during the throw down showdown between Papá and Danilo. It´s getting intense. Apparently, people make bets on the elections and if people can´t pay up, well... we´ll just say it can get messy. So, for 2-3 days, we will be going stir crazy in our apartments. Maybe Hermana Bryant can teach me a new skill. Heaven knows we´ll have the time. But being as I´m a missionary (and American), sadly, I can´t even vote. I´m not sure who I´d vote for anyway, but Hermana Lund and I were so very intrigued by Papá´s campaign techniques and slogans, we made one to mimic it. Or maybe he mimicked us? You be the judge. But I was rather proud of the finished product. Two hearty, self-congratulatory pats on the back.
Well, I will leave you now with your long-anticipated and long overdue How To Do in the D.R. If you weren´t already envious of my Azuazean lifestyle, feel free to start now.
Squeaky clean love,
First, fill up the wonder machine. Dump in some powder soap if you feel so inclined.
Next, the waiting game. Fill washer, fill!
You may have to make a surprise killing, should a giant roach surprise you during the process.
The water will get pretty dirty. Try not to think too much about it. It´s still good for another few uses.
Put the freshly-washed clothes in the centrifudge. It will spin them free of giant droplets.
You will eventually need to mop the laundry room. Water will, in spite of your best efforts, get all over the place.
Next, get as many clothes as you can at a time and move them to the REAL dryer, a.k.a. the clothesline.
Feel free to look furtive and attractive (as demonstrated) while doing so.
Here, you will hang up said clothing and hope by the time you wake up the next day, dryness will be the result.
There are some difficulites here in the D.R. that even Downey can´t fix. And finally, feel free to rejoice in your success.
You did it! Your clothes are clean! See you again, wonder washer, the day I run out of clean underwear.