Sunday is a day of leisure for most Dominicans. On our first free day away from the Dove Missions Center, the original plan was to ride the cable car to the top of one of the many picturesque mountains on the island. However, the rain put a damper on those plans, so we improvised by shopping and touring the town in hopes that the weather would clear up.
We started out by visiting the store belonging to the brother of our ever generous van driver/tour guide. This was where we learned the art of bartering in order to get the best prices on larimar (a blue stone native to the island), jewelry, and other souvenirs. Then, we walked a few blocks away to a town center containing a church, ice cream shop, and ATM with armed guards.
We then traveled to a local super center that is comparable to our Walmarts. Lunch was served cafeteria style in a crowded food court overhanging the store. Toward the end of lunch, we divvied up the items that each student would buy for the picnic dinner that we would prepare for ourselves back at the resort. Surprisingly, the produce area didn’t have avocados and limes that Mrs. Ruwe needed for her award-winning guacamole recipe. Due to a lack of availability in the grocery store, we set out to the local farm stands to search for the missing ingredients. With Juan’s help, we finally reached vendors that sold each fruit.
It wasn’t long after we pulled up to the resort that the rain started to pour. Mrs. Ruwe proceeded to make the guacamole that would precede the rest of our dinner. The picnic went on without a hitch, and everyone enjoyed an all-American picnic (except for the chips and guacamole). The night ended in lots of laughter and conversations as we prepared for our next day of leisure.
By Allison L. & Kimmie G.
(Follow the experiences of our students as they have been serving in the Dominican Republic during spring break. Visit the blog at the Barton College School of Nursing.)