I realized that there are a lot of little things that are very important to my experience here but that I do not always think to write about in these entries. Here's a list of some of the random things that I see/experience/think about every day!
1. We live with two almost 70-year-old sisters, and one of them used to be a professional singer
2. The food is amazing here! Rice, beans, and plantains usually appear on our plates at least once a day
3. We live in a very nice part of the city with lots of policemen and medical centers
4. Chikungunya (a mosquito transmitted illness) is spreading rampantly across the country - it's pretty serious and a little scary...
5. We're in the same time zone as Ohio, for those of you who weren't sure! Makes communication easy :)
6. There are a ton of roosters that live outside our building and make noise all day. Our host mothers throw them all of our leftover food from our third floor balcony!!
7. We live 2 blocks from the beach/the Malecon, which is a long street with restaurants, shops, a movie theater, etc.!
8. Our host mothers are hilarious and basically watch novelas (soap operas, more or less) in their nightgowns all day
9. Just about anywhere you go, you are sure to hear salsa, bachata, or merengue playing in the background
10. Everything is pretty cheap here in comparison to the US - basically, $1 is about 40 pesos. A movie, for example, cost us 175 pesos, or about $4.50 for a regular evening show!
11. The windows stay open with no screens during the day and are closed at night to keep the mosquitoes out (thankfully we don't have to sleep with mosquito nets, though!)
12. The Dominican dialect is quite a challenge to understand - they drop a lot of letters and syllables. I'm glad that I had studied it so thoroughly before coming, or else it would have been about ten times more difficult
13. Traffic laws are nothing more than suggestions here, and those suggestions are usually ignored
14. The country's relationship with Haiti has been a big political issue here
15. There are stray dogs everywhere
16. It gets dark by 7:30 every night!