Counting Down

Slow week for the gang, perhaps because everyone has been counting down the days. Not necessarily in a cant-wait-to-get-out- kind of way, but more so as the end of an experience approaches, there are melancholy undertones to most events.  Although we are, for the most part, ready for Blacksburg at this point, it is still a little sad to see the trip end. Nonetheless, the week has been full of good times yet again. Oh, and I swam with the sharks. No big deal.

That was cool. A few friends and I went on a “just for fun” dive, where we just drifted with the current hanging out with the sea life. Which just so happened to be a nurse shark! It was little, and the only one that we actually saw, but we were all pretty excited. We also saw two sea turtles! It was all very exciting, and well worth the month-long diver certification that we pressed through at the beginning :)

Once the week got underway, we caught up with our final Spanish class session.  We have a presentation to prepare (and give today) and our online class to wrap up as well. When I finished the online class, a follow-up test to measure our progress was administered by my computer box that thinks it’s a profesor. It’s a dumb professor at that. Regardless, it gave me a passing score! Despite all my thoughts otherwise, according to professor-machine that thinks it knows my life, I improved my Spanish by almost 30%! My score got way boosted, and I have no idea how it happened. So by all official documentation, we can say my language skills improved :) I just hope they don’t leave me before I get the chance to keep them up.

As part of the course, we went on a short trip into the town of Higuey, where we visited a basilica and experienced what may have been the ultimate culture shock of the trip. The church however, was beautiful. Instead of paintings and ceramic- style artwork, the church featured incredible stained glass and wood carvings.  The alter was a dark wood, with leaf carvings throughout.  It was so interesting and I have never seen anything like it. So glad we drove the hour out of the way to see it.

Next came the markets. Which are fun and dandy when you’re picturing little handmade souvenirs, but a little different when we’re talking about butchers and carvers. Walking down the sidewalks in shock of all the fruits and vegetables, we hardly noticed where we were headed until we stumbled into the meat street.  I’ll spare you the gore, but I saw pretty much every body part from every species of Dominican livestock, all within a few minutes.  Culture for the win.

The next day, I went on the third and final surfing excursion. Ah, and how different each time was! This time, it was windy and pouring rain- but tons of fun regardless. Though I spent more time paddling, ducking under waves, and getting washed around, I loved being in the big, stormy waves and managed to get a few solid rides in.  We met some more friends, and everyone really loved it. I am so glad that everyone else had a good time. While I know I’ll never leave the ocean after a rough day, I know that it is an entirely different scenario when you are just learning and having everyone else love it was just awesome.

Today, I managed to catch the tail-end of a sunrise, and I hope I can catch another one before I leave. I’ll miss everything about this island, but it has left me with more than I can relay. I’m excited to see what the next adventure in store is. Although, I haven’t made it home yet. There’s plenty of time for a grand finale :)

 

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