Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Don´t Cry for Me, Dominican Republic

But the truth is, I will leave you- These have been my wild days, and it´s been a mad existence. But I´ve kept my promise, now keep your distance. Ha! Sorta kidding. But it's rather confounding that I´m officially writing my last blog from this country. Well, I guess like Justin Bieber, I should never say never, or the world "last," for that matter. But I´m just assumin´...

Anyway, I will do a best for this week´s entry, cuz, well, that´s the best way to do it on a time-crunch budget.

Best of Tourism- I got to see the castle built for Trujillo, the famous dictator of this country from 1931-1961. He was a pretty disgusting human being. But his house was cool. Of course, he didn´t think so, so the guy that designed it for him had to flee to Canada to avoid execution. Canada or death? Ha! Kidding again. But seriously, it was a neat little trip, even though it sits on top of a very large hill and was quite the hike to reach, and even though after Trujillo rejected the house, it was turned into a torture chamber for all that opposed the dictatorship. Jeez. I think the coolest feature about the place though, is its design. Trujillo liked boats so it was actually built to be shaped like one. As SNL´s Andy Samberg would say, "I´M ON A BOAT!"

Best of Boches (scoldings)- We were at the house of the family Geronimo-Reyes, and their son was being a little rowdy during the lesson. So the father sends the son to his room and then calls him back. "Do you believe in Jesus?" he asked him. "Do you believe he has all power? Then you sit down and listen to these girls talk about the Word, or he will come in the night and give you nightmares." Hna. Bryant and I were, well speechless, either because what he said was so funny or because it was the first time we´ve really seen a good ol´ fashioned dose of discipline. Either way it was fantastic. I hope the kid slept ok that night.

Best of disappointments- I am, however, a bit disillusioned by the lack of promises kept by, well, everyone. People always say they´ll be home, come to church, play George Michael music, and then it never happens. Ok, a little bit of explanation on that last one. Essentially, we live above a colmado, much like we did in Azua. And all colmados play music; I´m pretty sure it´s the law. But if we´re gonna be forced to listen to music, well, then, at least we should have some say in it. So Hna. Bryant asked the colmado owner if he had any English music. He mentioned the names of Michael Jackson and George Michael. I don´t know why the latter option sounded so appealing, but it did. "Yeah, George it up," we responded enthusiastically. "Alright, I´ll play it soon," he promised. Nope. Nothing. A couple days later, we asked him, "so whatever happened to ol´ George?"

"This guy playing right now is George," he told us, pointing to his computer screen. "No," I told him, "I wasn´t born yesterday. That´s Zacharias Ferreras." So he could only give the smirk of the embarrassed and condemned. He kept telling us from that moment forth that he would play some George Michael. Never happened. One day, while buying from him, we complained how you just can´t trust in anyone these days. "You can trust in me," he assured us. "Um, I´m pretty sure you´ve lied to us about 7 times about putting on the music our hero and personal friend George Michael. You are off the trust list." Sometimes, if you want something done right, you´ve gotta play "Careless Whisper" yourself. Someday, when I have access to such things...

Best of Last Minute Plans- It seems like this Saturday, Quelito will be getting baptized. I hope all the details work out, but I don´t want to get my hopes up. It´s been a few months in the making, so this Saturday (my last), seems like as good a day as any.

Best of English Class- To celebrate the end of the transfer, we celebrated in style with a party, of course. Hna. Bryant dressed up by putting her Johnny Depp "Pirates of the Caribbean" blanket over her head, and I borrowed her crazy red, prom-dress looking thing she had made here, and went as a very scary Marilyn Monroe. And we taught about how to accept being yelled at by angry Americans over the phone with tolerance and grace. And then we ate crackers, sodas and tiny cupcakes. What more could you ask for?

Best of the Best- Getting to visit my old areas. I went to LA YUCA, and it was pretty much everything I could have hoped for. All the boys I used to teach have at least doubled in size. And the female members I went to visit gasped and got all giddy. And people remembered my name! Are these shallow things to care about? Absolutely! But I was happy to see them, and they seemed happy to see me. In some ways, it doesn´t seem like over a year since I´ve been there. Except for the fact that a lot of people have moved and the ward is so big, it´s about to divide in two, and some of the stores I used to visit have closed down, and the house I used to live in has Elders in it now... everything changes. But some things don´t, or I guess, the things that seem to matter. Seeing that you´ve even made a small difference in someone´s life is pretty much enough to erase all the hellfire you experience.

I also visited Quisqueya, but I´ve been gone a whole 5 weeks, so I´m pretty sure the Calle Defillo is still the Calle Defillo and the crazies are still crazies. As long as they don´t close my favorite bakery, I won´t have to make any heads roll. And actually, as I had to witness so many people end and die in Quisqueya, now it´s someone´s turn to watch me. MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! There is justice in the world.

Well, who knows what my next tale will tell? Stay tuned for when the name tag comes off and the carriage turns back into a pumpkin. It´s gonna be one. big. surprise. And fin. Hna. Sweeney out.

Nostalgically yours, (for the last time)

Hna. Sweeney "The Fearless" (except on Sundays)

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