We’ve called the Dominican Republic our home for 3 weeks now, and as much as we are enjoying our time here, it has also been a little bit of a struggle. I was going to write a very long caption on Instagram, but I know myself too well and know that I wouldn’t be able to explain my current feelings in a short novel/caption, so here is a long one. 😉 (hooray for blog posts!)Our experience so far has been mostly rainbows and butterflies (pun intended) but we’ve also had our fair share of adjustments. Since Derek and I are the head teachers (in charge) this time around, we are the go to’s for the other 30 volunteers we are here with. Which means we are the ones who deal with health problems, teaching assisting, personal issues, vacation plans, coordinating schedules for teaching and service projects, and dealing with issues that come up with our house, all while adjusting to this new lifestyle ourselves.I absolutely love our role here, and know that in the end, it will be very rewarding, but it can be exhausting at times. It’s definitely teaching both Derek and I a new kind of patience. These are a few things that we’ve experienced since my previous post.Spent a day in the beautiful Sosua Beach with our group and I rode a banana boat for my first time ON THE OCEAN.Visited all 4 of our schools and evaluated our amazing teachers in the first couple weeks of teaching (I am not exaggerating when I say amazing by the way.)Derek covered for a teacher who was sick, and got to be “Teacha D” again for the day.
We experienced our first Dominican Dermatologist (for 3 hours) due to one of our teachers having a bad rash. We also spent a total of 11 hours at the hospital because two of our teachers had severe dehydration. With all 3 of these experiences, and 14 hours spent at the doctors this week, we’ve learned that all doctors here are on island time, and take their time. And we have also learned that the Caribbean sun is not messing around.
(this photo was taken at 2:30AM ^ practicing mom life 😉 )
We got more rain this last week, and enjoyed two beautiful tropical thunderstorms. (top of my most favorite things in this world)We’ve gone to the beach a handful of times, have found two restaurants that we love and have spent a few nights staying up too late laughing with our new friends.We are definitely getting used to our new temporary home, and everyday I wake up and think “I love that this is my life” but change always comes with challenges and between all of these things that we’ve experienced this week, homesickness hit me hard. I am currently missing my Harvey snuggles, my bath tub, and my car rides alone with my windows down a little more at the moment. But I’ve also been constantly reminding myself that just like I am currently missing those things and many others back home, I will miss this chapter of living in the Caribbean as soon as it’s over. New adventures always feel exciting, but they also bring new lessons and some self-growing pains. And I’m just accepting it all. (Even if that means being overly emotional and spilling my feelings out on the internet.)
I remind myself that It’s okay to lose patience, to get frustrated, to miss things and people, to experience separation anxiety, to scream in my pillow, or cry myself to sleep. Because with the bad, also comes good.
Like finding my new favorite meal, or being told by five 10 year old girls that I am the most beautiful teacher and they love my blonde hair, or waking up to random nice notes from the other volunteers. And I have days where I find my new favorite spot on the beach, and nights with my new friends who will quickly become family. And sunsets that remind me of home, and the neighbor’s dog Toby who always wags his tail when he sees me. And so much extra time with my favorite person in this world.I am constantly aware of just how amazing it is that Derek and I get to have this experience together in a place as beautiful as this. And I remind myself when I need to, that most of the time life is filled with rainbows and butterflies, but sometimes it’s not, and that is okay.
Onto the next adventure (and a happier week!)