Tiny fishes and revolutionary sisters

 The longer I spend in this country the more I’m fascinated by its people and culture. This past week we got to go to a museum dedicated to the Dominican Republic’s Mirabal sisters. They were a group of revolutionary young women who were martyred in their quest to bring independence to the country they loved during the time of a fascist dictator, Trujillo. [True-he-yo] They were nicknamed Las Mariposas (butterflies) as they were 3 beautiful young women. Minerva studied law at school and wasn’t allowed to receive her degree because she opposed Trujillo. There is a movie that was made a few years ago dedicated to the story of the Mirabal sisters called “In The Time of the Butterflies”, it’s a good movie and worth watching if you’re interested. Here are some pictures from the museum:
The Mirabal sisters statues.

The Mirabal sisters statues.

A picture of the sisters

A picture of the sisters

 

The Mirabal Sisters' house from the garden

The Mirabal Sisters' house from the garden

The Sister's graves and a fountain

The Sisters' graves and a fountain

A Burger King cup

A Burger King cup

What a better way to finish off a trip to the museum than with a trip to none other than an American embassy in disguise? Yay BK!

At the end of this week we were able to travel to Bonao Lake. For those of you from Vegas, it’s like a little Lake Mead. It’s a man made lake that was very refreshing after a hot day. We spent the night there camping out on a baseball field at some friends of Escuela Caribe’s house. It was amazing how giving and hospitable these people were even though they had very little. They welcomed us with open arms and we spent some time helping them finish to build their house. It was the first time I’ve seen Dominicans playing baseball as well and while they weren’t anywhere near Pedro Martinez quality, it was still fun to watch them enjoy the sport. We also got to enjoy some DR sport fishing which was an interesting experience. Their idea of a fishing pole is some line wrapped around an old shampoo bottle or in one of the girls’ cases, an old stick of roll on deodorant that had hair on it. It was pretty funny. We caught only tiny fish off the dock but it was a good time. We came back the next day and it’s been nice to have some time off! Here’s some pictures:

A DR fishing pole

  

Jess with her big catch of the day

Jess with her big catch of the day

Bonao Lake

Bonao Lake

Worms

Worms

YAY! Lake Bonao

YAY! Lake Bonao

Meredith doing a backflip

Meredith doing a backflip

These are Jessica's nieces with their signature moves

These are Jessica's nieces with their signature moves

Pico Duarte

So. I climbed a Mountain [Pico Duarte]and it was really really hard. It started raining on Tuesday, which is the day we spent hiking for 9 hours uphill the whole way. I ended up getting really sick [It never fails Schnitz!] and had to ride a mule for 7 hours the day after we reached the peak. After we summitted, we spent a day in the valley of the mountains and we rode horses through a mountain meadow. It was almost too perfect to seem real. It was very real though with the wild cows who had adapted pidgeon type qualities. It was hilarious, they roamed the campsite picking up food and eating towels and other articles of clothing. They pooped on everything and peed everywhere too! It was soooo weird! I’d never seen cows like them. One night, we were all sitting around the campfire and weren’t paying attention and a cow made it’s way into the small shack we used for cooking. Before we got over to shoo him out, he managed to upend a bunch of dinner dishes and then when spooked crapped allllllll over the kitchen. It was hilaroius. I had never seen anything like it. The main guide, Haino [pronounced hay-no], who was in the kitchen said, “esta bien!” when the cow left and I said, “No Esta bien!” Then I proceeded to point out all the cow poo everywhere “Vacca! Vacca! Vacca!” we had a good laugh about it. After that night, we hiked back up, I had to ride a mule on account of still being sick, to get out of the valley and then down to the town where we started, La Cienaga. Upon arriving at the place where we started, our program director met us with coolers of cold cokes and it was possibly the best coke I’ve ever had. It was a great week and while it was supposed to be character building for the kids, I think it might have been more character building for me! Here are some pictures!

the trail head sign

the trail head sign

Snack bags were the life source

Snack bags were the life source

Me Jess and Meredith at Peak camp

Me Jess and Meredith at Peak camp

Yeah DR!

Yeah DR!

The sign at the top. Please note elevation. Yeah, I climbed that.

The sign at the top. Please note elevation. Yeah, I climbed that.

Our staff picture at the top.

Our staff picture at the top.

There was a phone at Peak camp. It didn\'t work of course, but it was pretty hilarious.

I didn\'t really like Pico. It was hard.