Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
It’s been a hectic few weeks, I’ve been so busy. We hosted our final team of the year from Southern Utah University, a team of 15 who traveled down to do barrio clinics. During their week, I wanted to make it feel like Christmas was around the corner. For me it’s been hard for it to feel like Christmas when it isn’t cold outside. I wanted to keep some of the traditions that I had when growing up. So for dessert this week, we had different Christmas cookies. One evening we even did a sugar cookie frosting contest. Braegan and Brantley helped me make the Christmas cookie cutouts. The team left on the 23rd of December, so our Christmas festivities started shortly after that.
This is my first holiday season in the Dominican Republic. I have always traveled back to the states to be with my family during this season. This year I decided to spend Christmas here, at home . It’s weird to have two places that feel like home, even two places I call home. I have my family in the US, so that is home, where I grew up, but the Dominican is my home now, and my friends here have become family.
Christmas Eve is big here, bigger than Christmas. It is the day where everyone gets together with their family and enjoys a big meal together. Monchy and Adia invited the SRI staff to their house for this evening. I was thankful to spend that time with them. Sarah and I spent the morning of Christmas Eve baking all sorts of cookies to bring to the dinner. We made snickerdoodles, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter, sugar cookies, and white chocolate peppermint fudge. Christmas morning I went over to Jeff and Kamandas to watch Brantley and Braegan open their Christmas gifts. In the evening Sarah had Alejandro, Hannah, and I over for dinner and games!
I was also able to facetime my family a few times on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. I am so thankful for technology that allows us to make it feel like we are together, even when we are so far away!
On Thursday my friends and I travel to Jarabocoa, a town in the mountains of the Dominican Republic. We rented an Airbnb in the middle of nowhere, where we can relax, play games, go on hikes with the dogs, and just be together. This part of the country is cold this time of year, a town nearby oftentimes has frost on the ground in the mornings! I look forward to this time to get away.
- Safety on road to vacation
- Good health
- An awesome start to 2023!