I wanted to give you a quick update about what’s been going on in the Dominican – I have been having QUITE the adventure as of late. I won’t share all the intimate details of each day, but I had the most amazing outdoors weekend here in the Dominican. I went to a city called Jarabacoa with six others. This is basically the outdoors center of the Dominican, as it is up in the mountains, has a slightly different climate, and has all sorts of outdoor activities to partake in.
Sunday was spent doing what is called “canyoning”. What exactly is that? Basically, there is a little canyon carved by a river and what I got to do was go down a certain section of it – which included repelling down waterfalls. It was AMAZING. There were 3 separate waterfalls which we repelled down with the first two being around 6 meters high and 10 meters high. The last one? 35 meters high. That’s over 110 feet. It was absolutely incredible! And also the craziest thing I’ve ever done. If I didn’t know what an adrenaline rush was before, this definitely confirmed that my body can produce it. I’ve never been one for going down completely horizontal to the ground from such heights, but I can say that this was a great experience for me. It helped me get out of my “I don’t like taking risks” shell a bit, in a safe environment. I wish I had pictures of the trip, but sadly we didn’t have a camera. Here’s a photo of the tall waterfall we repelled down so you can see it though:
Along with this repelling, we got to swim down the river, slide down various rapids on our (now bruised) behinds, and we even got to zip line (!!) down one. Basically, the experience was awesome.
Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights were all spent at an American boarding school which is in Jarabacoa. One of the interns spent two years there, and they were nice enough to rent out to us their guest house. We were able to make s’mores, cook our own chicken and curry dinners, and more. It was very relaxing and a great place to go back to.
On Monday, we went to what is called the 27 Waterfalls (27 charcos), which was described to us as one of the coolest things you can do in the entire country. Basically, there is this river up in the mountains where a river has cut out 27 waterfalls in close succession, ranging from 2 meters high to up to 8-10 meters. Some waterfalls are better to slide down, as they have carved paths where you can go down, and most are better for jumping. It was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I have a couple photos here of our trip, and you can see how beautiful the scenery was. We just spent 3 hours in this beautiful setting, enjoying the feeling of jumping from rocks and good friends. I can’t think of a better afternoon to have. Enjoy the following photos! I highly recommend that you do this if you are ever in the Dominican. It only costs $14 and is an unforgettable experience.
I wanted to end off by showing you a copy of a ”Journal” which I did for Kiva recently. Basically, when a loan which is funded through Kiva ends, there is a follow up which needs to happen so that those who loaned are able to hear how the busineses are going, how the borrower’s situation has improved/worsened, etc. I was able to talk to one amazing woman named Inocencia. Her story is fantastic. I just copy and pasted the Kiva journal I wrote so you can see it here, followed with her picture.
Inocencia is happy to let you know she successfully finished paying her loan back a couple months ago. Her business is to hand-make, from her home, curtains, sheets and blankets for beds, tablecloths and more. She buys the thread and materials directly, and then uses machines in a room of her house to customize the orders she receives from those in her neighborhood. She also rides on a motorcycle with her son to other towns here on the Samaná peninsula to increase her sales possibilities. Though – she added with a laugh – she sometimes finds herself caught in an unpredictable tropical rainstorm. She is able to shrug this off with a good sense of humor and try to travel on only sunny days.
Now that this loan has been successfully paid back, consider giving to another Esperanza loan. For a list of all the Esperanza International loans currently seeking funding through Kiva here in the Dominican Republic, please click here: Currently Fundraising Esperanza Loans
Muchas gracias de todos aquí en la República Dominicana por tu préstamo a Inocencia!
Until next time,