Dominican Day 19

March 20, 2015

WEATHER: High of 37 and officially the first day of spring. It was another hot day and I was told that summer gets insanely hot. The climate is also humid enough here that leather and suede items are easily destroyed.

MOSQUITO BITE COUNT:
As of this morning, 38 bites. On the front site at least – I can’t see the back side. I know because I had to put Polysporin on all of the itchy ones. I’m convinced I have some on my back.

STORY:
When I got in the van this morning to go to work, Mr. Pollo seemed visibly upset. He once told me that he’s a very quiet person but he usually doesn’t have any trouble talking up a storm with me. During the few brief moments when he and I were alone I would ask if everything was alright. He’d just quickly respond, “yeah, yeah” and keep looking at the road. Something’s happened and hopefully he’ll feel better tomorrow or open up to me perhaps.

I wasn’t feeling too well myself – I’ve been really achy and having low energy. When I walked into the club I could tell straightaway that Teresa was in a peculiar mood. I could feel the stress coming off her from the moment I walked into the class. Teresa, who normally is a very calm, smiley, and patient person, had a frown painted on her face. “Geeze, what happened?” I wondered as I walked into the class. At one point, she slammed her notebooks on the desk and swooped up a girl who had been quite naughty and carried her out of the class right to the director’s office. Stress can break even the sweetest of people.

Even Freddie was short tempered with me today and truthfully, with the way I was feeling from how crazy the past few days have been, I was not interested in her unreasonable expectations. I was grateful to be home alone for a few hours this evening. Just to kind of do “nothing” you know? I decided to forgo my walk tonight because as nice as it was outside I just wanted to be away from everything and everyone for those moments. It was kind of nice to have time to myself to just peruse Facebook and nonsense articles while the sun shone into my room. Everyone is clearly worn and I’m starting to wonder if I’m not the only one having grievances related to work. The next few days with family (after work tomorrow, of course), hopefully, will be the respite I need right now.

TODAY’S CHALLENGES:
• I forgot to mention this yesterday. When I went to Jose Luis yesterday I wanted to use my credit card so that I could make sure I had enough money on me for emergencies and for the departure tax. You won’t even believe that after the girl inserted my card into the machine, she asked me for my PIN. WTH! In shock, I asked her if she really wanted my PIN. To which she replied, “Jes, what ees jor peen?” I asked her to pass me the machine so that I could input it myself. She explained that the machine was stuck to the till and that it couldn’t be moved. By this point a line started forming behind me; pressure on. She then said something to me very quickly in Spanish, perhaps even intentionally trying to confuse me. It turns out after my protest, she was asking me to come into the booth with her to enter my PIN. Trust me, I was not a happy camper by the time I left the store.

• This morning, while drying myself off after showering, I hit my head on the corner of a glass shelf in the washroom. I did it again an hour ago after showering, but this time I hit my head much harder. Immediately, I started sweating, I felt faint, and my head was spinning. I think I may be experiencing a minor concussion.

• While reaching over the strainer to grab a dish, I jabbed my arm twice today with a large knife that was sitting in the utensil holder. Now I know why at home I put forks and knives pointing down in the strainer ☺

• Trying to politely handle everyone’s moodiness today … including my own

• The washroom fiasco. That’s between Tammy and I. Geeze Louise!

• Have I ever told you about the naked guy that sits on the sidewalk and rips up papers? I can’t remember if I mentioned that in any of my posts, but anyhow, he’s obviously mentally ill. The reason I’m mentioning him in today’s challenge is because he decided to come to the open restaurant I was at today for lunch and stood there right at the fence along the hedges, naked. I was so embarrassed. I couldn’t help but to actually look at him, feeling like I needed to keep an eye out in case he actually decided to wander in the vicinity. God forbid he stood behind me like that, asking for food. I surely would have run screaming to the ocean and swam back to Canada.

• Today was a girls’ day so there was a small group of boys hanging out in the playground across the street. All the troublemakers, of course. One boy kept running up to me and pulling my hair while the other happily stuck out his middle finger. The third boy, who seemed older (perhaps 16?) decided he’d be smart and made it a point to loudly say in Spanish, “She has such a big nose.” He suspected that because I look foreign I would understand. He laid that comment on me at 3:15, after the tough day I had and 45 minutes until work would be done for the day. I wasn’t in the mood. I went right up to his face and said, “You were talking to me? You think I have a big nose?” I was ready to smack his face off but wisely decided not to. His stupid response? “Me? It wasn’t me that said that. It was him” as he pointed to the unsuspecting boy sitting beside him. What an idiot! BTW what is a boy his age doing hanging out with kids much younger than him. Doesn’t he have school or work or a girl to get pregnant?! I know, I know, I shouldn’t say those things but whatever. Had you experienced the day I had, you might have thought worse

• Having things change mid-lesson again. I was hoping to teach the girls Flamenco today but it wouldn’t have worked considering the volunteers we had. Hopefully next Thursday will be my day and if the girls like it enough I’ll teach it again. With all of the last minute changes, I’m kind of losing hope. I need to learn to be more adaptable and flexible. Maybe have backup activities in case this happens again?

• No energy to pack for the weekend with my family. Maybe I can get up early tomorrow and take care of things in addition to taking a whole hour to wash my hair. We’ll see…

THINGS I LEARNED TODAY:
• Okay this is a bit of a cheat because I learned this last week. Guapa here means angry. I thought I was paying someone a compliment when it turned out to be an insult after all
• This is also a cheat because I learned this a while ago. There is a device that looks like a plastic tennis racquet but it’s used for killing any sort of flying insect. It electrocutes them and honestly, it’s such a good stress reliever.
• While in the work van today Freddie pointed out a path I could take to walk to the beach. Apparently it’s a 15 minute walk. I think she has very high expectations of me. After showing or explaining something once, I think she expects me to just know how to do it on my own right away. Well, let’s see. I’ll try it next week and hopefully I don’t get lost.

WHAT I’M GRATEFUL FOR:
• We have a pick up and drop off at one of the Riu resorts tomorrow so I’m excited to be able to see my aunt and uncle tomorrow evening when we drop the volunteers off
• The very fresh coconut water that Freddie got for the volunteers today during our lunchtime walk. Love that stuff!

MY PRAYER:
Father, please prepare me for whatever lies ahead tomorrow. Saturdays are always the hardest and I’m really going to need your help. Whatever you think I need to conquer tomorrow, I’m going to trust that you’ll readily supply me with all I need and then some.

QUESTIONS:
• How do I know if I have a concussion?
• If I do have one, is there anything I should or shouldn’t do to treat it?

 

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