Thanksgiving this year was a ton of fun because we had a country club rented out for the two hundred of us (volnteers, their dominican significant others and embassy people). This meant there was an olympic size pool, a basketball court, soccer court and a gym (which I never actually went into). The whole event went very smoothly and I like to think it is because the Peace Corps population is considerably easier to organize and motivate than the Dominican population. Needless to say there was a lot to do and swimming, dominoes and drinking where my favorites. Also, the whole thanksgiving dinner was great because we got to eat turkey, stuffing, pecan pie and all the other turkey day staples.
I told Kathy that if she could get her hands on the high school guagua (which holds 30 people) to take us to world AIDS day (This monday Dec. 1st) in Salcedo I would run in the 5k fun run the morning of Thanksgiving. She got the guagua and so I participated. I have to say that the term ´fun run´ is kind of deceptive... however, the parts before and after where fun. They gave out awards to the first place female runner, first place male runner and the last place male and female runners (there were also awards given to ´most sweaty´and best costume). Believe it or not, both Kathy and I won awards that day. She finished last place for females and I was last for males (but let the record show that I beat 5 or 6 girls in the race). We were given our awards )the anchorman award), which were toy snails attached to a knecklace. Also, on a side note, the first place winner was a cross country runner from one of the colorodo universities. He said he was gonna quit smoking if he didn´t finish in first place... but because he did finish first I think their were some celebratory cigerettes smoked. I did not partake in any smoking because my lungs felt like they were going to burst.
The rest of the day was great but their is really one more noteworthy event that I feel I should mention. When the evening came, there was a talent show. I told my friend Timo I would play guitar for him, he rewrote Folsom Prison Blues to have lyrics describing our considerably boring times when we have been standfasted or consolidated during hurricanes. He did a good job and I played the really simple chords without any real problems. The issue that came about was, after maybe a little too much Presidente and Rum, I decided I would spend a little extra time on stage to play a little song for the audience of 200 people... I ended up staying up there or about 20 minutes and buchering any attempt at music. People enjoyed it and I like to think I was being laughed ´with´ versus laughed ´at´but I was given more crap about it than the time I found myself lost in the jungle on the 4th of July. Needless to say, the name of the talent show has been changed to Untalent show and I think I may have had a hand in that change. At this point, four days later, I still have the subtle burning of embarrasment. Especially when the cruelest of my friends decided to impersonate me.
The next night I went to a baseball game in Santo Domingo with some of the other volunteers. We ended up having our picture taken and it ended up in Hoy (the USA Today of the dominican republic)... my eyes where closed in the picture and I look like a complete dufus. I didn´t worry about it too much because even if it is a national newspaper, it probably sells less copies than the Oregonian... and half the people in this country think that reading is for squares.