Inward Bound

Nobody is complaining, that is for certain.  Yet too much time in one place can leave anyone yearning for change.  Again, no complaints  on our end, but lots of enthusiasm for our first trip outside the resort.  Leaving our base camp before the sun comes up, we start our journey tomorrow and head toward Samana, a peninsula off the northern coast of the island that is only described as “it’s own world.”  Like no other part of the Dominican Republic, they tell us.  The plan is to visit a church, followed by an ideally incredible hike that will culminate at the foot of a waterfall (pictures will follow, of course).  Next on the agenda we visit Puerta Playa, (if there’s surf in the DR, it’ll be there; not sure what I can scheme, but I’ll keep you all posted) for a few cultural tours and then head south toward Santiago.  A bit more culture and history from there and a meet and greet with our professor’s 92+ year-old grandfather will end our trip and we will likely arrive back in Punta Cana next Friday, the 10th.  Excitement is bubbling within everyone as we finally get to add some history, music, and color to our routine lives on the resort.  Though blue and green are beautiful colors, and the natural life they imply is appreciated immensely, I feel like there’s something to be said for the vibrant colors and culture that a caribbean city can quench.

As for the past week, we adapted a balance of hard work, service projects, and beach time.  Our new class, History of the Caribbean, has begun and brought lots of reading and writing with it.  Our professor was not able to come down for the first week, so that left us with a skype lecture and lots of online assignments.  Though any assignments can trigger procrastination and a sluggish response, I am really and truly excited to learn what Hidalgo (our prof) has to share.  How often will I have the opportunity to learn a complex history of a country, from an expert, while living there? Gratitude.  In addition, my brain has had humanities (history especially) on the back burner since I’ve been on the heavy science track, and I am glad to be back in the game with a renewed appreciation.  You don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone, ain’t that right Adam Duritz?

Another addition to our beach life has been the projects circulating around.  A marine biologist is working on a coral restoration project that we’re beginning to get involved with, a small mammal expert has passed through sharing his knowledge, and a hawk-tracking activity have all begun this week.  Today a couple girls got to visit the school and help celebrate an environmental field day with earth- conscious mural paintings.  Surprising myself, I have been very excited to get involved with the kids here, let you know how that plays out .

I’ll add in some fun anecdotes next time around, but for now hopefully some pictures can suffice.  Be back soon with lots more excitement from out trip inward.  Love and stay warm,

sf

These are: palm trees and reflections, and a peak at the incredible lagoons (that’s my roommate). also, these pictures get bigger when you click on them

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