Monday, June 22, 2009

The first fin de semana in Samana (weekend in Samana)

Hey everyone!

I’ve just finished staying my first weekend here in Samaná, and its been a blast. My host family is wonderful. I’m living with a woman named Sara, her 4 children (3 boys and a girl), and granddaughter. This part of the country is absolutely BEAUTIFUL, and the photos you see above are actually from the porch right outside my room, and from the back porch. We live on a little dirt road off the main road, on a hill a few kilometers out of town. It’s very, very beautiful just sitting in the home reading a book or looking at a storm come in from the bay.

The neighborhood here is like one big family, and everyone gathers under a tree in the shade on a hot day to talk or play dominoes. Playing dominoes is something everyone here does every day – it’s a very Dominican thing to do, as I saw many people playing dominoes when I was here a couple years ago.

I’m still getting used to the pace of life here – let’s just say that its sloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow. You don’t really go anywhere in the day. Or do anything. This leaves lots of time to rest or read or whatever else. Books certainly help a lot, especially since there is no internet in the house. I’m getting to know the neighborhood a bit more, and soon I may perhaps feel comfortable enough to take a place under the tree outside…for now, it’s somewhat daunting to join that sort of group who have known each other all their lives.

There is a beach about 15 minutes walking away from here, but really, it isn’t very nice. Henry and I walked down there and it was a little underwhelming. We are hoping in the future to go to other beaches perhaps a little father away and nicer on other weekends.

One last thing to note, which I find very interesting around here, is that there are no taxis in Samaná. Rather, you take what is called a “motoconcho”. Essentially, everyone here has a motorcycle with two seats on it (essentially, an extended back seat). For about a dollar, you can wave down anyone on the road, and you hop on the back of their motocycle and they’ll take you into town, or to the beach, or wherever else. I usually ask them to go a little slower than they usually do, just for safety reasons, but it’s really a very convenient way to get around town.

Today, I start my first day of work, and I’m excited to begin working in the villages. I’ll write a post in a couple days describing to you exactly what I’m doing – I’m writing up profiles for groups of women who want loans to post on This is a peer-to-peer sharing website where people can loan money to anyone around the world who is seeking a microloan to start a business. It’s a very novel idea, and it’s exciting for me to be part of this.

I’ll describe it more in detail, and perhaps a couple of stories, when I finish my first few days of work!


Kendra said...

Perfect timing, I just got an email saying that I can reinvest my Kiva credit. When you get your first description posted you should let me know so I can invest! It sounds like you're going to have a great summer.

Angela said...

Yay the Nate adventures continue:) I look forward to reading more! What an amazing experience.