A day back in the life…

6 06 2011

Deanna is a nearby volunteer with Middlebury University who quickly became my gringa companion during her four months here.  Before she left, we promised ourselves we would do, well all sorts of things- fix her computers, go out dancing one last time, visit a bunch of places in the DR.  That list was not completed, but we did manage to get our act together to get out on one last hike- El Mogote.   I spent a rainy night at Deanna after failing to fix the computers in her community, comparing leg infection scars, translating love poems to phonetic english for her neighbor, and sacrificing lights to make the inverter last long enough to see one more episode of West Wing.  The next morning we packed up early and headed out, picking up an extra hiking buddy, a guy in her community who is always up for a random adventure.

El Mogote- we knew it was long and steep, and we knew it would be wet as it has rained/POURED every day for the last 2 weeks, and it was truly all of the above.  3 hours of steep slick path, the whole time wondering how the hell we will get back down.   When we reached the top (por fin!) we find this house complete with solar panels, chickens, and an older dude who looks like he spends plenty of time alone.  Also, we find the second leaning tower of pisa- the most crooked lookout tower ever.  40ft up and seemingly built by a wasted person… it was a wonder of physics but probably not going to fall today so we sat at the top, ate, and took in the 360 degree views of the Cordillera Central.

The man, who we dismissed as crazy, calls up to us and asks where our house is.  Our friend, Wiki, points and the man says, ‘What kind of tree is in your front yard?’  Wiki says its a lime tree and the man retorts, ‘I was pissing on that tree earlier… pee pee pee pee pee, pee pee pee pee pee (in the same tone they use to call their chickens),’ and bursts out laughing.  Craziness confirmed.  He then makes his way up the tower and looks at Deanna, “How long are you staying up here?  A year, a month?”  She tells him she is heading home and he replies, “Well at least stay the night, I’ll take you tomorrow. We’ll go to America together”  By American standards that may be serial killer creepy, but here it actually made the guy sound more normal.  Turns out this guy works for the Ministry of Environment and after his 15 day turn at the top of the mountain, we believe looking out to prevent deforestation, he will head back down and then off to Long Island, to visit his brothers and sisters that live there.  He shares his binoculars with us and we check out our communities from afar, then Wiki and him figure out which family relations from his community of 40 some houses this guy knows- like we had just gone over to a neighbor’s or something.    He then turns to me and Deanna, “You guys from Peace Corps?”  Small world afterall.

He then tells us we went up the shitty hard trail, and points out the easy trail that takes us down to the same trail head, basically saving our lives.  Wiki takes some of his harvested beans to plant by his house, and we are on our way. Sometimes it seems like a pain in the ass to be so friendly with every person you meet here, but this time, it paid off!

We cruise down, taking in the seriously rural lifestyles of the few people that live out there, and eventually go into Jarabacoa to run some errands.  We go to get frozen yogurt from a place I in one year did not know existed, only the power goes out making us SOL for fro-yo.  We briefly ponder how an ice cream place decided it was okay not to install an inverter in a country where electricity is unpredictable, then moved on with life.  We waited over an hour to pick up mini-mart supplies for one of Deanna’s neighbor, drinking a beer and eating mango, then made it back up the mountain just in time for our daily 6-10 hour downpour.

When we pull up to my house, I realice my back door is wide open.  I know i didn’t leave it open, but I also know the lock has sucked recently so it very likely blew open in the breezy rain the night before.  Uh Oh… so much for the laptop and ipod sitting in my room, right?  Wrong.  Nothing has been touched, no one has gone in.  Maybe 30+ hours my house sat abandoned and wide open- not too many places in the world that can happen.




One response

7 06 2011
Berry Forde

Hi Jen-bug … fun read again. I always enjoy your blog. We are in the middle of moving from one house to another. Marathon to say the least. I hope we get to live in the new place for 20+ like the last one. This new house will be easier on my Dad since my Mom died. He can stay with us as long as he likes without us getting in HIS way … ha ha ha! Great view of the mountains and a more quiet street. We have some nice trails to hike here and look forward to that …

So happy we got to see everyone at the wedding and renew our friendships. CA sent some pics from Em’s graduation … it was fun knowing who most of the people were because of the wedding.

Anyway … love you much!

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