By: Alexandria Rogers
InteRDom Correspondent, Alexandria, has completed three years of her Bachelor’s degree in Sports Administration and Spanish at the University of Miami, Florida. She is participating in the 2013 10-week Caribbean Summer Program. You can read more about Alexandria and her participation in the Correspondent Program here.
These past 2 weeks since my last blog post have definitely been busy, both at work and socially. I am continuing to enjoy my time here and cannot wait for more that is to come! Last Monday, the San Diego Padres hosted a community event in Najayo, Dominican Republic. With the help of the community department of the MLB office in Santo Domingo, with whom I am interning, and the Real American Foundation, based out of Miami, Florida, 100 families were given clothes, shoes and other helpful supplies. Najayo is a small, poorer community in the mountains very close to the coast of the island about an hour west of Santo Domingo. I previously visited the same area to tour the San Diego Padres academy and have a meeting with community leaders but this was my first time interacting with the people of the small town. Now let’s go back to the event which was perfect! The Padres academy is beautiful and even though it was hot, the nice ocean breeze seemed to cool things off. There was a multitude of people who received items and it was great to see the smiles on their faces and how eager or terrified the children were to take a picture with Boli, the MLB Education mascot. Some of the Padres players even took time after their game to help distribute items and take pictures with the families. For me, it was probably the largest community event that I have helped out with. At least 500 or more people were in attendance and after the day was done I definitely felt happy that I was able to work this event and give back to the people of Najayo.
This past week, in terms of weather, has definitely been…how do I say…weird! First, there was Tropical Storm Chantal. Since most of the year I live in Miami, this was definitely not a concern for me. Instead of the storm I was actually worried more about 1) if I had to go to work, and 2) if I did, how was I going to get there especially since taxis in the rain are impossible to get and swimming through the flooded streets of Santo Domingo to get a carro publico was definitely not an option for me. Luckily, I did not have to go to work so I stayed home and…slept, watched the rain, ate, watched a movie and more rain, and by the end of the day I was so bored and feeling trapped in my apartment without the option of leaving. Besides giving me a cold, Chantal calmly passed through and I thought weather and natural disaster worries were over until…Monday, when a 5.1 earthquake hit a northern part of the island and remnants were definitely felt in the capital. Sitting in my desk and hearing someone say, “we are shaking”, did not really phase me and I definitely did not think earthquake. Well, it was, and after turning on the news we were all stunned at what just happened. I have never been in an earthquake and never thought DR was the place to experience one. I mean, who gets a tropical storm and an earthquake within 5 days?! Dominican Republic.
The blog also provides useful information for students and inspires lively debate and increased interest in exchange and the development of Hispaniola.