Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Trip with friends to Salto Jima near La Vega!

I lost my picture taking device, so these are from a friend's facebook (thanks Ruth!)

That's Jensy beside the rock I'm standing on, telling me I'm an Amazonian woman.

Grocery shopping for the week at os pedajes

I always pass this interesting store in the same neighborhood.  
It sells religious artifacts of all sorts.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Last weekend, I went to the campo to visit my friend who lives there.  

We took a bus, then a car, then a motoconcho (a motorcycle for hire) to get to the village where my friend lives.  I forgot to take pictures, but thankfully, I stole some that my boyfriend took.

My friend's family also has a motorcycle, this is her taking me and my boyfriend to the beach!

The view from my window in my new apartment.  This is the foot bridge right in front of campus.  
I leave my door and it takes me just 5 minutes to walk to the classroom where I teach.
It couldn't be an easier commute.

There's a man who sells cold water right there on the sidewalk in this picture.  
He whistles to get drivers' attention while they're stopped at the light.  
Every morning I wake up to his whistles, which sound like he's calling for his dog.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Hanging out at my boyfriend's workshop.  I was looking around for something to paint on, so he gave me an old canvas so I* made this!  It's a scene** from a road trip I took with a friend this summer from Boise, ID to Bend, OR.
*He did the clouds.
**Yes, I painted it a little more green than western Oregon actually is :)
Back to school!  Conveniently, this semester I have all my classes in this building, which is great news because every classroom has speakers already installed (I don't have to worry about setting them up.)

Sunday, April 5, 2015

While visiting Pueblo Nuevo for Tito's birthday, some friends and I visited one of the first European settlements in the Americas!  We stayed in Luperon which is a hop, skip, and a jump from La Isabela, the second place Christopher Columbus set up camp when he came to Hispaniola.

Columbus first set up a fort in La Navidad, located in Haiti.  
The Spaniards mistreated the Tainos and  they retaliated against the Spaniards, who were discovered dead upon Columbus's return.  So Columbus they set up shop in La Isabela.    

The entrance to the park.  
At the end of this clip, David is showing us what gandules looks like on the plant.  It's in a popular and delicious traditional Dominican dish, moro de gandules or arroz con gandules.  

One of the original canons set up outside the museum.

Our guide is saying that these amulets were used by the Taino people for luck and to bring rain, that they believed in many gods.

This map shows the indigenous names of the regions of the island at the time Columbus landed.

Me and Sydney!

"In this site in the Americas 
admiral Don Christopher Columbus 
erected in the year of our Lord 1493 
first city of the new world"

Here is a survey of the site.  These stones mark the possible layout of the settlement.  According to our guide, in celebration of 460th anniversary of the landing of Columbus, Trujillo ordered for the site to be cleaned up, but the command was misinterpreted and the site was instead practically entirely cleared.  Some features survived this miscommunication.

These two trees witnessed Columbus's landing and settlement.  One of the few features that remain.  

Some of the stones from the house built for Christopher Columbus.  Conveniently located with a view of the harbor where the ships would anchor.  At this part of the tour, we had an interesting conversation about erosion, government investment in this historical site, and political corruption (that frequently hinders the upkeep of these kinds of heritage sites).

Here, our guide is telling us that these are the remains of a Spaniard.  We can tell because he was buried in the traditional Spanish style: arms crossed upon the chest.  The Tainos, on the other hand, buried their dead in the fetal position because that's the position babies leave the womb to enter the world, and the position they are buried to leave the world.


Our guide showed us how the Spaniards would use their legs to shape these tiles.  This pile of tiles is one of the few original artifacts that remain at La Isabela.  You can hear my friend comment at the end of the video how we felt we should not have touched these artifacts to try to conserve them, but here they are, for us to explore!

This church is a recreation of the first Catholic church built in the Americas.  It is built some distance away from the original site, but with some of the original stones. 

The inside of the church from the choir loft.

The view from the outside balcony of the church.

For me, I felt a lot of conflict during this visit.  This site represents a very significant development in world history.  You can't deny the tragedy that followed this event; yet, I find so much beauty in Caribbean and American people and cultures, a product of this giant step of globalization.