Well the day started out with yawns and stretches because it was an early start to Hato Mayor. We picked Hector up at 7:00 am to escort us to the Hato Mayor School. Most of us were a bit happier about the trip because Hector suggested he knew a good place for breakfast on the way to the school which is about a 2 hour drive from Santo Domingo. None of us objected to food, who wouldn’t?
When we got there, there were many kinds of food that were native to the Dominican Republic. One of which, apparently, is the testicles of chickens. Ironically enough, only the men of the group were brave enough to try it. Most say it was tasteless. The rest of the meal was delicious and the best part about the place is that it was right on the water and had a beautiful view. Today’s weather was also absolutely perfect and I was able to get amazing pictures! (I’m kinda the unofficial photographer).
After the meal, we arrived at the school in what felt like a short amount of time. The school was small, but had very excited and enthusiastic students. Every child was so friendly and happy that we were there. I had the wonderful opportunity to teach the four youngest of the group who had the smallest attention span but so much enthusiasm and energy. They were very excited to learn about the moon, planets, and the sun. On a kinda funny side, I got my toe stepped on and it bled and I had to have medical attention, but it didn’t stop me! I taught on and had a really great lesson.
Afterwards all of us and the students taught outside for a review and just chatting. I took a lot of great pictures and one of the best ones was of Hector who kinda looked like Uncle Sam! After the school session we went to lunch with Dana, Hector, and Cati, and it was so far one of my favorite meals so far of the trip. Tim was trying to be sneaky and took Mark’s plate away and Mark blamed Hector and searched him. The food was crazy good, we had really good salad, chicken, and white rice. We had so many laughs and great conversations.
The car ride home was absolutely hysterical. We heard the Brittany Spears song “Hit me baby one more time” and we signed the whole thing! Also on the way home, Maria saw a place with barbed wire and asked Mark, “Is that a prison?” And Mark responded “No, that’s a college.” This got everyone laughing for practically the rest of the day. Also in the car, Athan kept telling blonde jokes and it was hysterical. Today was definitely one of the best bonding days between the students.
After we arrived back to the hotel at about 4pm, we had time to go to the pool and chill out. The weather was absolutely perfect. All of us made a new friend named Alex, who was the bartender at the pool. We taught him how to sign his name and a couple of funny signs, and he taught us some Spanish to help us out a bit. We ended up chatting with him until it was time for dinner. We all went out to a place close to the hotel. The music was so loud at the restaurant we were forced to sign. Mark probably told the waiter to turn up the music, but I don’t mind signing at all. It’s actually kinda crazy how much better our sighing has improved in just in a few days and everyone is incorporating the DR signs; English, not so much. It seems we are doing more Sign Spanglish. Haha! Overall, today was one my favorite days so far and I’m really looking forward to the lessons tomorrow with new kids and new experiences along the way!