Bean Smoothie Recipe: Cook beans. Put them in a blender and make them liquid. Add milk, cinnamon, and a crapload of sugar, give or take a teaspoon. This is how you make habichuelas con dulce. I made this with my family yesterday. It's actually quite tasty despite the fact that it kind of looks like what would happen if I drank the tap water here. It's pretty filling too. I drank two glasses and that was dinner.
Last week was the first full week of training. 8 – 5 everyday. My spanish is improving slowly. I think that it will continue to frustrate me until I can speak it perfectly. I wish I could just take a pill to speak spanish. They have pills for everything else.
We learned how to get around the city using public transportation. Here you either take a carro publico or a guagua depending on where and how far you are going.. The carro publico is like a taxi except that it follows a route and picks up passengers along the way. So rather than yelling at you if you try to squeeze in one extra passenger they require it; 4 in the back and 3 up front, including the driver. The guagua is a small bus that travels a specific route. There are about 25 seats but on one trip we counted as many as 54 people in the guaga. Some people were hanging out windows and doors while we drove on the highway. The rest of us were contorted in uncomfotable positions with armpits in faces and worse (the phrase “awkward boner” was shouted a few times). It's a pretty fun way to travel.
Friday night I went to the car wash with a bunch of other volunteers. But you don't just wash cars at the car wash in the Dominican Republic, which is good because none of has a car. Here the car washes also have a bar and a dance floor so if you bring your car to get washed you can drink and dance too. That way when your car is clean you're sweaty and drunk so you can drive better. It's pretty much brilliant. I think I'm going to open one up in the United States when I get back. I'm trying to learn to dance merengue but the tall, awkward, white part of me keeps getting in the way.
The Dominicans never pass me the ball when I play basketball with them. It's kind of like playing pool basketball after the first 10 minutes because I sweat so much. Although the Dominicans stay pretty dry. I think it's because they play a “zone” defense which basically means we're gonna stand up top here while you try to guard three people. I need to find a soccer field.
Sunday we took a tour of the historical district. It's actually pretty cool because Christopher Columbus hung out here a lot back when he was disovering shit. Did you know that he never even stepped foot on the North American continent? But we still have a holiday for him (Easter). After the tour we went to the see the Carribean ocean which is right there but it was depressing because the beach is literally covered in garbage. But there is a fun game there where little kids with wooden boxes and soap try to clean your shoes when you're not looking and if you don't run away fast enough you have to pay them for it. Except I was wearing sandals so I had to play Don't Step on the Syringe instead. In that one you either win or you contract AIDS (That might be an insensitive thing to say. But somehow my stating that fact makes it ok to leave it there).