Friday, July 25, 2008


the big reason that samil and i traveled to philly this summer was for the wedding of my oldest cousin chrissy and her now-husband aaron. after 6 long months of planning (and like a million years of dating), they are finally hitched. it's about time.

samil also met his last-remaining great-grandparent. poppy lives in florida so when we were here at christmas he couldn't make it, and when he went to punta cana for vacation, we just weren't able to make the long trek across the dr to see him.

my cousin jenney and her son bastian are in now visiting from chicago - so far the two babies are getting along hilariously, stealing each others food and toys and other such baby funniness. she heads home monday and i'm headed back to santiago early thursday morning.

Monday, July 21, 2008

learning center.

if you've been reading lately, you know that at the end of the school year - after a lot of thought and prayer - quit my job at a private school's after-school english program and am jumping head first into my own project.

i'm starting slow - kind of - sharing space with a very low-income private school* to begin what i have the dream of becoming a fullblown community learning center. we'll start this september offering extra-curricular english classes at a very low cost and hopefully by midterms in december be offering tutoring and a homework center.

we did a lot of publicity before i left to come to philly, but i'll have to work hard in august to get everything running smoothly, but i am sure it's going to be worth it.

do i want my own "school"? no. why? because i believe in public education. but i'm not naive either, and i know that public education - everywhere, not just the third world - is in need of some help. my vision is to work in collaboration with the public school and their students to help where they need it. and of course where i'm able and knowledgable (there's nothing worse than an american who thinks they know third-worlders need but really aren't able to offer anything more substantial than what is already offered)

that being said. i need some help.
first and foremost, this little project needs prayer. if this is going to work, i can't do it alone and i know that prayer works.

beyond that, we need some basic school supplies - chalk, whiteboard markers, erasers, flashcards.

one of our joint "projects" with the school is to (free) raffle some school bags full of supplies to kids enrolled in our programs as a way to help offset their beginning of the school costs. we're also going to sell tickets that will benefit the scholarship program (need AND merit based).

here's the plea. i'm looking for some bookbags. preferably new, but gently used is okay too. i need three more. if you're interested in helping with this (or even offering a scholarship for a kid to study english for the year - just $60 USD for the school year) leave me a comment of email me and let me know. i will greatly appreciate it and the families that win will also appreciate it.



i've been super busy these past few days.

well. not really. but i've been pretty disconnected from both computer and t.v. which is good.

i did finally see enchanted. and i've read 3 books and tons of magazines. and shopped.

and i'm working with my mom most days.

plus, last week we went to the beach for 3 days, stopped by storybookland (had a blast) and spent the day at the franklin institute, crashed a beautiful, amazing, fun wedding and visited with some friends.

this week i hope to get the zoo, the childrens museum and see the taming of the shrew in the park and go to a bbq for one of my oldest, dearest friends (we'll see it if works out)...

all that, and jenney and bastian are flying in on thursday! i think i'll be happy to get back to the humdrum of everyday life in santiago by the time i'm through here.

Monday, July 14, 2008


samil and i had a pretty uneventful first week in philly... just the way i like my vacations, boring and relaxing.

we did take samil to his first ever phillies game, which he did remarkably well for. we stayed for the fireworks show afterward, which he loved. he's been spending a lot of time with grandma, eating and... well, eating. oh, and he's added to his love of money, the american dollar.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

colombus, waterfalls and a visit from uncle dan.

last week before we came to philly my brother was visiting us in the dr.

hence our last vacation.
we spent a lot of time in santiago - hanging out and walking around, catching up on all the crap i needed to do before i left -- waiting for nine hours to talk to my now former boss, waiting for nine hours at immigration, all of the fun things that are nearly impossible for me to do by myself because i might shoot myself out of boredom.

we also went to la isabela, christopher colombus' first "real" settlement in the new world. the actual site is pretty unimpressive - not a huge tourist draw - and we had to drive pretty far on a curvy, cow infested "highway" but it was worth the trip. the scenery alone and the two practically private beaches we hit on the way home were amazing.

the dr is known for its beaches, but the beaches that are developed have nothing on the undeveloped sand. white sand, crystal clear water, coral reefs... and best of all, no weirdos selling shit you're never going to need, no strange, fat, topless euro women or men in speedos. a lot of dominicans, depending on the day, but that i can handle.

we also went to jarabacoa, to the filming site of jurassic park. this mountain town is filled with waterfalls, most of which are easily accesible - some require a lot more hiking (which with a baby on my back didn't sound really appealing). we hit two.


next trip, though, samil-on-back or not, we're going to the biggest... the one where you hit a silent-order monastery and a nunnery on the hike there. the one that inspired jurassic park.

Monday, July 7, 2008

vacation part ?

it seems that we've been on a lot of vacations recently.

that's because we're rich.

no, really. loaded.

and in honor of it, here's a picture of the two of us on a private beach on the silver coast.
because, that's right, i live in a vacation.

honestly? living in an under-developed two-thirds world country has its benefit. especially when said country is known as a tropical paradise to the rest of the world.
i won't get on that soapbox today.

a completely different note, i was advised by some people that for some reason i wasn't allowing anonymous comments on the blog. the pompous arrogant side says that's the reason my faithful readership of 15 doesn't leave comments.

so i searched and toiled and finally figured out how to allow anonymous comments.
quite a task, considering a technological idiot.

so that's it. get to commenting.

philly philly

samil and i are in philly.

so far the trip has been graciously uneventful. -- it has been less that 24 hours.
but samil's a champion. if you know another baby who sleeps for 3.5 hours straight on a plane, wakes up happy and then happily falls back asleep for the 2 hour ride from nyc to philly... i'll give him a prize.

we're here til the 30th.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


after waiting for an hour to talk to my (now) ex-boss... after almost poking my f-in eyeball out with a stick... after samil took all the books and papers out of their places, waved around a plastic bag like it his job... after i heard my brother's stomach rumbling in hunger...

i am officially nolonger employed.

not technically un-employed.
mostly because i still work my ass off.

and starting right after my three week leisure vacation for rich people the USA i will hopefully be the proud owner of my own learning center.

oh, and not only did i get my paycheck, vacation and christmas pay, i got a nice little bonus.
of a lot of money.

which i promptly spent on getting a damn permission slip from my husband and the government for samil to travel. alone.

and by alone i mean with his mother.