Tuesday, June 25, 2013

And then the president of the Dominican Republic stopped by for a visit.

I'm not sure how I ended up here or how I was assigned such an awesome project. But I'm here and I love my job, my community and my project partners. 

Today started as a normal day. I got up, ate my breakfast in my pjs and did some reading. Then my project partners daughter shows up at my door all huffy puffy insisting that I type a list of students names from the community who are currently attending university. 
"This is for today?" I asked. 
"It's for like, right now." She said. I was slightly irritated but agreed. When she turned to leave I asked why exactly it was for right now and she nonchalantly said, it's for the president. Mmm okay. President of what? Que se yo. So I type. 
20 minutes later I deliver my memory stick to Mairenny and we go to print. I was supposed to walk up to the entrance of my community at 10am to see the new sign and landscaping. Which turned out awesome, by the way...
Then we come back and I'm informed that the president is for sure coming today. The president of the DR. In my community. To see my project. Shortly into our walk I turn and see this:
A helicopter landing on the baseball field. Note there is no one there. In minutes 2 more helicopters landed and the ENTIRE community came running.
Then arrived about 20 SUVs and out popped president Danilo Medina. Then he walked with the entire community in two out to the tilapia project to talk to my project partners. Here is one of them talking with the press and Danilo. 
How did this happen, you ask? 
Back in February the prez came to visit my women's group and offering them a government loan through the agricultural funding program. He also payed to have the streets paved (which is effing awesome because now when it rains there's no mud), and is building bathrooms for everyone in my community who does not have one. 
Today he was actually visiting a neighboring town to see about funding a tilapia project similar to ours and decided to pop in to visit his friends in Bombita. I'll tell you what, there's nothing that brings excitement to a community like a visit from the president. I'm so proud of my project partners. They have made Bombita a much better place to live through their dedication to their project and community. 
And then we went to the beach to celebrate, obvi. 

Oh and then there was this, which is not 100% accurate...and this journalist is kind of a dick but for those of you who speak Spanish, it's an article about me and peace corps. Hopefully the link works. Enjoy :) 


Sunday, June 23, 2013


So if you follow me on Instagram you are probably sick of all this vaina but I'm gonna do it anyway...
In the midst of what appears to be the never ending kidney infection I was fortunate enough to spend my Friday night with the sureños and some other visitors at the San Ralfi house an it went a little like this:

That just so happens to be my favorite porch in country thus far. And lemme tell you, there's a lot of porch sitting in the DR. So there was that. Accompanied by lots of bachata and drinks and cool people. 

There was also a wedding and a funeral here in the same weekend. The outfits for the wedding were....interesting. Here are some of the guests walking to the reception.
Those purple an white satin getups just aren't my thing. But hey, whatever floats your boat! The kids are always cute though. 

Hope you all are well! Xoxo Kaley 

Monday, June 17, 2013

What exactly am I doing?

Something I ask myself every day. 

But in reality, the first 3 months of volunteers' service is a community diagnostic. Which really means hanging out, going to events, integrating, talking to people and eventually doing surveys and interviews. 
They say you should go to everything. Which I do. So far I have made countless trips into Barahona with my project partners for work purposes, gone to Santo Domingo and beyond to buy food for the fish, gone to several church services, women's meetings and fed the fish too. Although I did skip a 3km walk to the next town for a burial...I'm present for interviews with foreign organizations, newspapers and visits from the organization that funds the project. 
I sit on my porch and chat with the neighbors and my host mom and I walk around in the community. I need to walk around more but it's so. Damn. Hot. Yesterday I found myself making decorations for a wedding on Saturday. And this is always happening when I'm not doing anything...

Note he has 2 different color eyes. 

I have to present the information at my 3 month mark in service. The whole point of the diagnostic is to identify the project's and community's needs for the next 2 years of service. I definitely have my work cut out for me. I have lots of ideas...

In other news, I was in the capital last saturday to visit some friends from home who were PCVs here in the 90s. They are here working up in Sosua on a literacy project. 
This weekend it looks like I'll be attending a wedding and also getting together with the other PCVs in the south at the San Rafael house. You remember this view, right?

Then on the 28th I am headed back to Santo Domingo for a little concert/rave action:
And then for the 4th of July we are making the trek to Las Galeras, Samana for a long weekend. 

Finally, I think I found a house to live in after my 3 months here is up! 

Then I need to get serious about my diagnostic and vaina. Until September. Which is when Lexie and hopefully Natalie are coming for a 10 day visit!

Obviously some good stuff to look forward to, stay tuned! :)

Besos, Kaley 

Friday, June 7, 2013

That one time the peace corps doctors thought I had dengue

Well thank god I don't, right?! 

It all started Sunday night when Kate and I went to go visit some friends in Peralvillo. We had plans to drink our fair share of cold beers, visit out families and dance. You see, I do not drink or dance in my site. Why? Because I need people to respect me as a PCV and people here talk. A lot. An example? In Peralvillo (an hour north of Santo Domingo) a doña told us that one of her customers in her shop saw one of our friends drinking and dancing in her site...which is in the interior of the country...hours away. And he doesn't even know that volunteer. 
So needless to say I'm careful in my site and a little r&r was needed. 

When we got there on Sunday I felt fine. 4pm rolled around and I spiked a fever. It broke about 2 hours later and naturally, we went out. The next day I felt okay until about one, and luckily I was already in the peace corps office in Santo Domingo. I went straight in to see the doctors. I had a fever, headache and my back felt achy too. The doctor reluctantly told me that she thought I had dengue and that I was staying in the capital. I was sent to a hotel immediately for the night (with hot water and air conditioning, not horrible). The following day I went to the clinic to have bloodwork done. 
On Wednesday morning I had my results. Negative for dengue, positive for a nasty kidney infection. I was given antibiotics and pain meds and sent home on Thursday. 

I'm back in site now and although I'm not feeling 100%, I'm glad to be home and thankful that we have such great healthcare as peace corps volunteers. 

I should also report that during my stay I ate froyo, Wendy's, Pizza Hut AND are lunch at the US embassy. Twice. So much for the 15lbs I've lost since being in country... 

Besos!! Kaley 

These are some of the ridiculous pictures my sisters sent me while I was bored in my hotel room....

Hehe. Sorry guys.