We've now been back in the DR for just over a week. Lots of new emotions... new experiences... and new hurdles to get through. But what is life without a few hurdles? At least in this system we are sure to expect some hurdles.
We arrived Wednesday, June 14 at about 2:30am! My sister drove us up from Delaware to New Jersey, where my friend Miriam drove us up to New York for our flight. We had a great flight out of JFK. I'm still shocked and amazed at how much traffic there is in NYC.... Not a fan.
We arrived in Santiago and had a taxi pick us up from the airport and take us to Costambar, where our apartment was at. The drive was just about an hour (so anyone wanting to visit, Santiago or STI airport is a good one to fly into -- just saying). The owner of the building where we are living waited up for us to arrive. She is a very kind woman from Spain and has lived here for years.
The apartment is small, but gives us what we need. We may end up moving later on, once we are more comfortable with the area, but for now, it's a great place. We have two bedrooms, one bath, kitchen, living room (with sofa! and dining table), a TV with cable and internet provided. It was definitely more than what we had hoped and prayed for. Jehovah really helped us out with this!! (As always...)
We all finally went to bed around 3:45... and woke up a few hours later (maybe 9). We did some food shopping, cooked and actually went to the Kingdom Hall that night for our meeting. It was so nice to meet the congregation and to see the brothers and sisters. It gives you a bit of peace inside. Thankfully, a sister that lives in our neighborhood is kind enough to give us a ride to the Kingdom Hall. We walk down the hill and she picks us up at the entrance of our development and we ride to the hall. I'm still not 100% exactly how to get to the hall from our house... we I know I am extremely grateful to our sister.
Thursday, of course... we headed down to the beach. We are alittle farther (walking distance) to the beach than last time, but it's still only about a 15 minute walk :) Very pretty area. It's the beach... c'mon!
The rest of the weekend was just catching up on some sleep and trying to unpack as much as we can. We also went to a small BBQ with some of the friends from Puerto Plata English Congregation. Several of those brothers also live in the development of Costambar. So that was very encouraging to be with them for alittle bit.
And then came Monday.... Not just a regular Monday - but "FUN DAY MONDAY!!" We went to Sosua Beach with some friends from the English and Creole Congregations in Puerto Plata. We had a wonderful day!
We were also able to finally get out in service too! We had a great day! Jon spoke with a few people and was able to start a study with one gentleman. And Raquel went out with a sister who studies with a lady; and her young daughter wants to learn more about Jehovah. So Raquel will be going back to visit and study with her too! Can't wait for many more experiences.
Our schedules are a mix of service and work and school for the girls. We both work early mornings everyday, but also have two long work days. So on the days we don't have many classes, we'll be out in service. And the days we have classes, we will stay home, have school with the girls and do household chores and work.
It's not all fun and games and service (although it seems like it is sometimes... it's really not). There are several things we have to get used to and have to adjust our thoughts, feelings and "wants" due to our new circumstances.
For instance, in Samana, there really was no need for a car. Everything was close enough that you could walk everywhere. But now we live in a city. So things are more spread out. Getting around isn't as easy as it was before. So, I foresee lots of guagua, mototaxi and motoconcho rides in our future. Because of that, transportation will get a little expensive. For instance, today we went to the grocery store and paid for a motoconcho (motorcycle) which is cheaper than a taxi to get to the store, then took a taxi home, so we had space for our groceries. Having to do that all the time -- grocery shopping, service, getting to meetings (if the sister is unable to one day), getting to other congregations if Jon has a talk-- in the long run, will get expensive. We're not in a position to buy a car (or rent one for long term) which would probably help a whole lot... but I know Jehovah is going to help us figure all that out in time (He always does).
One other thing... that maybe some of our readers might have a suggestion or two for us... is internet. We have internet for the house. It works... and it works well. But we need it to be a little faster (speed test wasn't too great). So for work - we both teach English to students online via video conferencing - we want our connection to be a little bit better. Is there a way to do that? Internet booster? New router? Any suggestions?
But we're enjoying everything... and soaking it all in! (especially the sun)
Regional Convention in three weeks!! We. Can. Not. Wait!!!
Thanks for reading! And we look forward to reading your comments, questions and suggestions :)