For the past two weeks I have been freaking out on a nightly basis because I keep hearing gunshots outside, or at least I thought they were gun shots. It turns out that Dominicans don´t do the Christmas presents or the Christmas tree or really anything Christmas at all, but instead they have Christmas Rockets that they shoot off four or five times a night for the month preceding that holy day. Finally one of the jovens explained to me what was going on and I have been able to sleep a little better. I also don´t duck for cover every time one goes off.
The other night I was walking back from the discoteca where I had been doing some drinking and dancing with my visiting gringa friend Kate (from Nagua). We were walking down the street and a christmas rocket went off and everyone was freaking out, I tried to explain to her that it was no big deal and that it happens every night. But, before we knew it we were swept into the nearest building (which happened to be a bingo parlor) by a bunch of Dominicans because it actually was a drunk guy firing off a gun this time (don´t worry mom, he only shot one time and it was straight up in the air). It turns out he didn´t have the money to pay off his bar tab but did have a couple bullets to spare, so he whipped out his pistol in the street and made a big fuss. The people in the bingo parlor were really nice, and we made a couple new friends.
Other than that, the weather sucks, everyone is in a bad mood, I am wearing a down vest and a waterproof jacket when I go outside. It gets cold at night, it makes me curse the fact that I don´t have windows. Only holes in the walls with persian blinds. I am hating my groups and they won´t listen to me, teenagers are such a pain. I talked to Kathy, my neighbor, and she is having troubles with the kids too. Our group went to visit her group in Tireo (the neigboring town) on friday for the movie night, they didn´t want to watch the Ladrones Domiciles so we watched batman instead. I guess the plot of Batman was too deep for them because the kids were out of control, it wasn´t my event so I snuck off to get some chicken. When I was buying the chicken there was a group of women sitting at a table across from me. They don´t get a lot of real life gringos in Tireo (Kathy is from Peru, so she is not on the gringo radar) and so I was stared and hollared at. One lady kept talking videos of me with her camera phone and another one kept trying to put the moves one me. I felt totally objectified and uncomfortable by all the special attention I was getting... It was sweet!