Never in my life have I had a day like today. After a delicious breakfast of french toast we had orientation. Before heading to the beach in Cabarete, Paco told us we were going to have a transportation test, so we all started frantically cramming for the test. Little did we know, our test was that Paco was going to drive his own car to the beach, and we were going to have to use public transportation to get there on our own. It was a little scary at first, but after talking about it as a group we were all excited to figure our Dominican public transportation together!
We started the long trek down the road to Los Ciruelos in the beating hot sun. Once we got to the main road, we tried to hail 2 caritos, but a guagua saw all 7 of us on the side of the road and stopped to pick us up. They told us we could all fit, which didn’t seem possible since the entire van was already completely packed full of people… and when I say packed I’m not exaggerating. Elyse went in before me and sat next to 2 dominican woman, I followed her and sat on her lap. Jack was squished sitting backward between us and the sliding door, Regan somehow fit in the back of the van with 3 other people, Audrey was squished between 3 people plus the driver in the front seat, and Reed was standing with his butt out the door and a Dominican man attempting to keep him in the van by placing his hand on Reed’s backside. All the people on the road were probably seeing was Reed’s Texas flag swim trunks sticking out of the guagua. Oops 🙂
After several stops and multiple seat changes we finally made it to Cabarete, where the Lehr family was waiting for us (we beat Paco there!). We spent some time swimming in the ocean and then the girl interns took Maya and Charis to get smoothies at a bar on the beach. That was the best smoothie I’ve ever had… I think Regan and I will definitely be going back there on our days off! We had lunch on the beach and then headed home to the Mak house.
Once we got home we had some down time, so the girl interns thought it would be fun to figure out the alternative mode of transportation here in the DR… motos! We took 2 motos to Chichigua and put two girls on each one with a driver. That was quite the experience! We learned to NOT get on the side that has a muffler because apparently if it touched your leg you will get a “Dominican tattoo”, or a burn, from the muffler. Regan and I took the moto together and had so much fun with it! Our driver’s name was Mali and we was a really great driver! We got his number so that we could call him throughout the summer to take us places.
When we got to Chichigua we were greeted by a group of Makarios kids. It was weird being there without a Makarios employee, but all the kids were so welcoming! I immediately went to find Alexia and once I did she got a huge smile on her face and jumped into my arms. That made me incredibly happy that she remembered me. I got to play with her which was so much fun. Her laugh is contagious and her smile is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. She is so joyful and loving! I kept telling her that I loved her and that Jesús te ama mucho. I love that girl to pieces and treasure any time that I get to spend with her. Every time I am with her I think of Allie and miss her a lot. If I ever mention Allie to Alexia she always asks “¿se le viene aquí?” (is she coming here?). I always have to tell her no and I can see the disappointment on her face. That little girl loves Allie a whole lot.