Funny story of the week: so we´re having a lesson with Marcos. He has a little sister named Hilary who is four or five and she´s really cute but also pretty crazy. She likes to sit with us during the lessons but sometimes she is a tad mischievous. Soooo a few days ago during the lesson she ran upstairs and then returned, cupping her hands and sat next to me on the couch. She secretly showed me the small white slivers in her hands, which to me looked like pieces of a bar of soap. Hermana Colton is teaching something to Marcos all this time. and so I put my attention back on the lesson and then suddenly Hilary´s hands are DOWN MY SHIRT and then her hands are IN MY ARMPITS and I was trying to free myself without disrupting the lesson too much and without shrieking in surprise. For some reason, she looked stunned that I didn´t want her little hands in my armpit. Imagine that! And she said "what? we can share!" and proceeded to rub the white stuff (deodorant, not soap) on her own armpits. So now you know the story of how a little Dominican tried to apply deodorant to my armpits during a lesson.
To respond to all the chikanguya questions: yes, I got it. yes, it was really lame. no, I don´t still have it. Basically a lot of people here have gotten it because they don´t believe in science (nacho libre quote anyone, anyone???) but anyway, they´re superstitious rather than factual. As in, they would rather believe that air is contaminated with the disease than that a mosquito transfers the virus from one person´s bloodstream to another´s as it bites you. I´m pretty sure all Americans would see reason in the second one, but Dominicans just don´t. They think the air is contaminated somehow. Scientifically, that just doesn´t make sense! It´s so frustrating because if they would believe you about the mosquitos, then they would put on repellent and then they wouldn´t get sick and less sick people means less mosquitos transferring the illness which means it would go away! But anyway, a lot of the adults here get it really bad for some reason. Like, it lasts longer and then for weeks their joints ache. I am fortunate in that I had the fever and stuff for about 2 and half days and then I was basically as good as new, but every now and then the joints of my fingers and wrists feel sore, but it´s nothing.
Let´s play a game. Try to think of something that you couldn´t fit or transport on a moped. Did you think of one? Okay good. Now I´m going to tell you that you are probably right. You couldn´t drive a moped with a propane tank (or three) or with a queen sized mattress flapping off the back, or with 20 feet worth of bamboo stalk trailing behind or with 5 people squished on the seat. But Dominicans can and they DO. Nobody has cars here, so they´ve learned how to transport EVERYTHING via moped. It´s quite impressive really.
Here are pictures from this week