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.
I have now been in Santo Domingo for two weeks and I have nothing but good things to say! The people are some of the nicest people that I have ever met and from what I have seen the country is beautiful. Upon landing in the country, I was so excited and took so many pictures on the drive on the way to the apartment. While driving, I was definitely surprised at how busy Santo Domingo is. There were definitely a lot more people and cars than I expected. After about a 30 minute drive, we arrived at the apartment: my home for the next 10 weeks. It is really nice and comfortable and while standing on the balcony, you can even see the ocean. The upcoming week would be orientation in which we did a tour of the colonial zone, got the opportunity to ride a “carro publico” and “guagua” and ultimately got the chance to meet our employer.
My 1st weekend in the Dominican Republic was definitely full of adventures. My friends in the program and I traveled to Boca Chica to go to the beach. The weather was perfect! It was not too hot, there was a nice breeze and the waters were so clear. That whole week, all I thought about was fried fish and coming to the beach I was so happy when they had it on the menu! “El loro frito” was the best and freshest fried fish ever and along with my passion fruit juice, I spent the whole afternoon relaxing on the beach. Overall, my first full Saturday in Santo Domingo was perfect.
The next day, after being invited by our tour guide in the colonial zone, we went to the town of Yamasá which is about an hour north of the capital. There, we celebrated the festival of the Guillen brothers who took on the task of keeping alive the art of the Taíno Indians who once inhabited the island. In my short time here, I have learned that Dominicans love to party. This festival was an outdoor party with food, music, people, artwork and traditions everywhere. It was definitely a great experience and since it only happens once a year, I was very happy that I could experience it.
After a weekend full of excitement, Monday came, and it was my first day of work. I am the Community Affairs and Education Initiative Assistant for the Major League Baseball offices in Santo Domingo. Interning with the MLB is definitely a dream opportunity for me and so far, my first week has been great. The people in the office are very nice and willing to help me improve my Spanish. Working a 9-5 is definitely a new experience for me and tired is not the word to describe how I was feeling after my first week on the job. Let’s just say that almost every day last week I was going to sleep before 10pm. As I settle into my work routine, I am excited to actually stay up past 10pm.
The blog also provides useful information for students and inspires lively debate and increased interest in exchange and the development of Hispaniola.