Greetings from La Republica Dominica! Annie Pierpoint, Sarah Saxe, Kristin Saylor and I landed in Santo Domingo this afternoon and were picked up by Karen and Charlie, who are in charge of Anglican mission groups that visit here. We were also pleasantly surprised to see Adolfo, a former seminarian friend who graduated from VTS last year and who is now serving as a priest here.
They drove us to Centro de Los Estudios Teolόgicos where we will be staying for the next three weeks. We got moved into our charming little apartments: as the only male student to come on this trip, I have a suite all to myself, while the three women share a space that is still of ample size.
We were immediately put to work bagging food and clothing donations for the homeless. We met several people, including Juan Pastor, a seminarian from Washington, D.C.
Next we hit the town, buying avocados and bread and visiting a larger supermarket nearby. These price tags looked shocking to me until I found out the Dominicans use our standard dollar sign to mean “pesos” (40-to-1 exchange rate).
We were also pleased to meet Sarah, a cat who lives at the seminary. And a 200-year-old mango tree in the backyard provides fresh mangos for everyone all the time! The only catch is that we have to soak them in bleach water for five minutes before eating them … but it’s well worth the trouble.
Karen will have us over to her apartment tonight for dinner (downstairs from the women and right across the hall from me). Tomorrow at least three of us will begin Spanish lessons with our tutor, whom we met today as well. Please pardon the relative lack of names in this post … as the one here with the least Spanish, I’m doing a lot of absorbing, and there’s a lot to take in.