Saturday, January 24, 2009

Christmas presents in a sharing culture

Around new years I got a healthy pile of Christmas presents. So much that it took me two trips from the capital to get them up to my site. Here is what happened to the respective presents:

1. The chocolate oranges from mom went to my respective mother and grandmother in the Dominican Republic. Needless to say it blew both families' minds. The fact that it was cut in slices and tasted like an orange was enough to make Americans are delightfully crazy. Why would you take an chocolate and make it taste like and orange when you could just eat a chocolate and then an orange. Also, on a a side note, they call an Orange a china here which I thought was kind of crazy at first but then I realized that we call Madarin oranges maderins and so do they. So really calling an orange is just following the whole Asian theme with their citruses.

2.Uncle Byron gave me a huge set of CDs, which have been a pretty big hit with me so far. This head of the water committee big wig guy gave Kathy and me a ride up from the capital the other day and I put in the Eagles Greatest hits and he liked it so much he kept saying "this music is very pretty," we explained to him that the song "Take it easy" means Coje lo suave. Tequila Sunrise and Desperado were two of his favorites, maybe that's because he could understand the titles, maybe because they are sad like bachata. With gratitude for the three hour bola up the mountain I told him he could keep the CD (because I already imported it to Itunes, but don't tell him that) and the next day his niece reported that it was all he was listening to in his truck. Also, the youth have been listening to ACDC's Back in Black and Klievi's impersonation of the Highway to Hell may be the funniest thing I have seen in this country.

3. The money, I got some money from a collective group back home. I think mom and grandma and grandpa where involved. I used that money to buy a ridiculously over-priced (even after haggling them down 500 pesos/15 dollars) dog kennel for Lobo the dog. He gets a little car sick, if fact, he makes Layla's episodes and my vomit Karma look more like a walk in the park... where there is about 1/10 as much vomit. So now he can travel and I can leave him at Joel's site when I need to do some extensive traveling (i.e. when I have visitors).

4. Uno from Aunt Sherry and Uncle Byron is currently being played by the escojo youth. They love that game like it was the next dominoes. They still don't completely have a strategic grasp on wild cards, because they use them as soon as they get them instead of saving them and using them at the end (which is really annoying when you see three kids put down wild cards in a row and ask for the same color each time). The other thing is that when you have only one card left you are supposed to say "uno" but it is actually gramatically correct to say "una" because the word for card (carta) is female. So they say una when they only have one card left and call the game of UNO "Casino Americano" which I think pretty much translates to American Card game.

5. There has been lots of other stuff used and shared by the community but right now I am being tortured by a man in the next terminal over who is singing praise songs off key... damn, why does the fastet and most reliable internet cafe have to be the religious one too? Anyway, thanks everyone for the gifts and the thoughts and the cards this year. We all appreciate them in barrio Las Flores.

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