Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fusion Cooking & More DR Fun!

Hello!  I’m sitting here enjoying my first Indian-Dominican fusion meal in the D.R.!  I don’t know if it’s because of the fresh, fresh produce and or because I haven’t had Basmati rice in many, many months, but, oh, my, this is delicious! 
Indian-Dominican Fusion
(w/ Guate tablecloth & hot sauce from Puerto Rico) 
Broccoli sautéed with shallot, ginger root, tomato, and cumin; Habichuelas Coloradas (red beans) with shallot, cilantro (two kinds!), tomato, ginger root, cumin seeds, ground cumin and coriander, amchur powder (from dried unripe mangoes) and a bit of peanut butter; Basmati rice with cinnamon stick and cardamom pods, and Ripe, Sweet Mango… 

I’ve always loved the Dominican food I’ve had here, but I have to admit, because I like a little more spice, it’s great fun to finally be in the kitchen!
Okay, now that I’ve gone on for far too long about my dinner, here are a few other things I’m discovering here:

New couch
(throw cushions from wonderful Geraldine!)
-I was able to open a bank account and have a couch delivered to my home without knowing my street address.  I said the area I live in, and that I live with Dona Gloria, and that was good enough!  My couch isn’t something I would have picked in the U.S., but for US$200, it is wonderful to lounge on one again!  It’s been months since I’ve been able to do that, too!
-I was not, however, able to get a cell phone without my passport.  The original, not a copy.  Friends here told me I’ll also have to go through a telephone interview, which is really going to test my Spanish.

-When people tell you Dominicans speak fast, they are lying.  Fast does not convey the speed at which they speak, especially teenage girls. 
-The alarm on my car is insanely sensitive.  It also re-arms, even when I don’t use the clicky thing, and even if the doors are unlocked.  And, I have to push it at least three times to get it to disarm. 
   This morning I gave up and grabbed the car door.  After all, how bad could it be?  Thankfully Dona Gloria had already left for work!  30 seconds of increasingly louder, more obnoxious sounds convinced me that I won’t be doing that again anytime soon.  In fact, after just two days, I’m ready to have it taken out!
-And speaking of driving, amazing Sissy (Brian’s very cool wife) showed me the best ways to get to and from the Base.  So, I’ve not got lost yet!  This is nothing less than a miracle.  I am not exaggerating when I say I have been seriously, significantly lost everywhere I’ve moved.
   Of course, I’m still not ready to tackle heading downtown on my own!  There are one-way streets, but they are not marked.  The only way to tell is if all the parked cars are only going one way or the other.
-Dona Gloria, my landlady, is a spitfire.  She used to live in the capitol (Santo Domingo) and was president of one of the big banks there.  When her husband became ill they moved back home to Jarabacoa.  He died two years ago.  She is now working in insurance.  That’s how we found this lovely apartment. 
   She has a domestica named Maria who is really sweet.  She also has an older man come each day and help out in the yard.  He cannot hear, and seems to not really do much.  I think Dona Gloria has him here to help him earn a living.  It’s fun to have another strong ‘Dona’ in my life!  And, after my summer with Juanita and the other Maria, I’m far more accustomed to helpers. 
Driving in El Callejon.
I'm thankful to have a Chevy Tracker as
my Corolla wouldn't have cleared
the first pothole!!
-This afternoon, Caroline let me follow her to El Callejon.  Unlike when I came back in 2010, this time I didn’t have the flutters in my stomach.  Instead, there was just a sense of peace, even of ‘rightness’.  It’s a strange thing.  On the one hand, it still doesn’t feel real, doesn’t feel like I’m here.  But, on the other, it just seems like it was always going to happen. 
- While I was there, Daisy asked me to share a little about my call to El Callejon.  (She was working with the teenage girls.)  I could say a bit about myself in Spanish, but for the more complex things, I didn’t have the words.  Thankfully, the girls are used to Caroline translating.  She is amazing!  After three months of Language school, I have to admit not being able to say more was a disappointment.   But, poco-a-poco! 

-I recognized some of the faces, and can’t wait until I start to know them individually.  I pray that as the women, teens and girls get to know me better, know me not as someone staying for a couple of weeks, but someone who desires to learn more about Jesus with them for the long-term, they will begin to share their hearts with me.  And… I pray that the rapid-fire Spanish will begin to resolve into words I can understand!!

Okay, this has gone on plenty long enough!  I hope this gives you a little taste of some of what’s going on with me here in Jarabacoa.  I promise I’ll be more concise soon!  Thanks as always, for your interest in this amazing, crazy journey our great God has led me on.  Until next time, Dios te bendiga!


  1. I just LOVE reading about what's going on with you- the food, the couch, the car, meeting with the girls- all of it!

  2. God bless!! Thank you for sharing with us when you get time. Glad you are there and are settling with all the things you need. Much love!

  3. I love reading your updates. That food looks amazing!! :)

    I awarded you an award over on my blog too.