October 24, 2013

A Day in the Dominican Life

So while our lives here in Dominican aren't that especially riveting on a day to day basis, they are certainly different than the life we had back in the States.

While I would love to say that we spend the majority of our days soaking up the Caribbean sun, taking shade underneath the palm trees while sipping coconut water, it's not quite that dreamy.

The sun rises here rather early - sometime in the 5 a.m. hour. Thankfully, I'm not usually up that early, so I don't find out exactly when. We shut off the air conditioning in the bedroom, and savor the last bit of cold air in the room by keeping the door shut as long as possible. Then, it's out to the heat.

The first application of deodorant for the day is on, and we get freshened up a bit. And by that, I mean wash my face and brush my teeth. Make up? Yea, right. Doing my hair? Not a chance. It's pointless. Of course, we don't run the A/C all day here because it is ridiculously expensive. So the days that we are graced with a breeze are that much more comfortable - and a little more friendly to my overall appearance.

Matt is a class-goer. Ross University gives students the option of watching lectures online or going to class, or whatever combination suits each student best. He prefers class, so he's off all morning to sit in the freezing cold air conditioned room that campus provides, while I'm left to sweat it out.

It the weather is nice - meaning relatively low humidity, breezy and no rain clouds coming over the mountains, I'll try to get some laundry done before work begins. We invested in a countertop washer that we shipped in a barrel. It has certainly saved us money! Most apartments don't come with a washer/dryer, so for laundry, most students will send out. Different laundry services will provide free pick up and delivery same day for laundry. An average load was costing us roughly $35 EC or $13 USD a week. Now we just send out for our sheets and towels, so we are saving quite a chunk of money. So, every couple of days I'll wash a load, wring it out, and hang to dry on our porch. It's not that big of a washer, so every couple of days I have about two loads to do.

Of course, there is most definitely coffee consumed every morning. We've shipped our coffee down here as well. That's another item that's super expensive here. I can hardly drink hot coffee at his temperature. It's always iced.

Instead of watching the weather, I've resorted to checking the National Hurricane Center's website every morning, especially now during peak hurricane season. We don't get a local Dominican news or weather station, so it's all online reading. Then it's off to work. And by off to work, I mean to my desk where I plant myself for the majority of the day.

The sweat and grime is usually plastered all over by this point. I've gotten used to feeling like a post work-out as a constant state of being. To help with the amount of sweat, I wear as much dry fit clothing as possible. Shorts and tank tops folks. That's all there is.

Throughout the day, we drink so much water or gatorade. It's so easy to get dehydrated.

And I feel like I'm washing dishes all day because it's important to keep dishes out of the sink, otherwise the sugar ants will find you. And you'll be sorry.

On that note, all of our food is stored in ziplock baggies. Event if it's something that's sealed, it's still wrapped in a ziplock for extra protection from the ants. They are vicious.

Matt typically comes home for lunch. On good days, we'll treat ourselves to some Subway. At home, we didn't eat Subway much, but here, it's a taste of home that I think makes it so appealing.

Then Matt will either go back to campus to study for the afternoon, or study at home. We then start dinner around 5 p.m. Of course, afterwards we make sure all the dishes are done and put away in our fight against the sugar ants. Then I take my at least once-a-day a shower, then get comfortable in the bedroom and turn the A/C on. Oh, those glorious sweat-free moments.

I'm not sure if it's the water quality, a chemical they put in it or what exactly, but something about the water irritates my skin. The only relief I've found is to dry off as quickly as possible and get in the A/C.

The sun sets around 6 p.m. so we enjoy the picturesque ocean-view sunset. Then we both settle in in the bedroom with the A/C on for the remainder of the evening. Matt studies, while I watch an embarrassing amount of Netflix. Both of us have our headphones on, so not to distract from his studying. Matt said once that it would be fun to see how many TV series I can get through while we're here. Well, there's nothing 'cool' about that. I won't divulge on that one. But to give you an idea.....here's what I'm watching now.

That's right. All the way from season one. I've got a lot of spare time.

Then, lights out around 10 or 11 p.m. when Matt's done studying. The Dominica outdoors is rather loud with the sound of crickets, frogs, bats, etc. that serenade us to sleep.

So see, it's not all palm trees, ocean breezes and paradise. Just a little bit of it all!

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