Books Worth a Look

  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave - This book is a must read. Better than anything else I've read, it takes you vividly into the life of a person in the 3rd world who has no choice but to escape. It is brilliantly written & works well as an audio book. Often I've sent info about the wonderful refugees I've met in Europe. We know only so much of their plight as it is painful for them to recall much less live through again by recounting it. But over time it is clear what they've lived through. This book is excellent as you discover the horrors of their world. Somewhat how to me, it is like being in Europe near a Concentration Camp. One has an obligation to visit it. 'Never to Forget.' In this case, to have our eyes opened.
  • Garbage King by Eliz Laird - The book is set on the streets on Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia and here lives Mamo and his sister Tiggist. When Mamo's "uncle" offers a job, he soon sets out on a bus to work. Little does he know that he is actually being sold into slavery...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Day 3


I have settled nicely into the home of my host (still have not located the apostrophe on the Spanish keyboard.) Arturo, 24, after dinner goes out to class, tennis or soccer. My host watches TV in her room in the evening, so I have the downstairs TV to myself.

MEALS - Breakfast (desayuno) includes fresh papaya, whole orange peeled and a bananna. Then depending on the day: eggs, hams and cheese, or cereal, or a sandwich. Coffee or tea.

Lunch (amuerzo) is out with fellow students; it usually costs about 2,000 colones = $ 3.57. Rice and beans, fish, and salad.

Dinner (cena) is provided by my host. So far; chicken, greens beans and bread, or tortillas (meat) or a large salad with bread. Hopefully I will be able to lose some weight again.

El Bano - the bathroom - believe it orn ot this could be interesting! 1st most homes have no hot water. So the shower can come as a shock. You figure out though - purely out of necessity) that if you turn it on only slighty, a device on the shower head makes the water luke warm. ¡Pero quidado! Do not touch the pipe that holds the shower head or you will receive an electrical shock! Apparently many of the students have experienced this. I know I did! The plumbing (pipes)as in Mexico are narrow, thus toilet paper goes into a small contained next to the toilet. You get used to it!

Walking in Santo Domingo - Well, first of all there are the sidewalks, those that exist that is. Most streets have a sidewalk only on one side. Even then, it often just stops. You then can choose where to step into the dirt or sometimes onto grass! One sidwalk begins at a street corner and continues about 300 feet as the ground between it and the street quickly drops. When you get to the end of the sidwalk, you have two choices:

  • jump! Heck it´s only a 12 foot drop


  • go back about 50 feet and walk down the steep stairs.

Why you ask did they build it 60 feet past the steps? Sadly, there is no apparent reason!

Extra activities: The school provides several extra activities at no cost, so to speak!

  • A bus ride to Heredia and a walking tour of the markets, restaurants, park, government building, and Basilica. We went into the bowels of one shop. There we saw in a large cage, a gorgeous toucan. (It is againast the law to cage Toucans.)
  • An orientation walking tour of Santo Domingo Only one problem. Streets do not have names and houses etc, have no number. Mail is deliver by description. For example, one might say " In Santo Domingo de Heredia off the main street just down from the bio-park (heading toward San Jose)but not as far as the Sunoco station, take a right and then a right into a gated community. Go up the single street to the second cul de sac. House is the 1st on the right. It has a 3 car carport.

Hey, why not bop on down for lunch! Take care all!

Felipe Spell check is not working so I hope I got them all!

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Thoughts on the amazing people I get to meet.

Rich, my 19 year old friend, soon to be Franciscan and recent community member at Haley House in Boston. An article he wrote.