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Showing posts from July, 2021

Chopped, 3.0

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It really hit me recently that I'm leaving for our regional conference Monday and not coming back to Santiago until October. Amidst a flurry of last-minute conference prep and helping with VBS in Palmar , that means packing and squeezing in visits with friends. Like the Davises!  We go to church together, share meals regularly, and race each other at New York Times crosswords, and every summer, we stage the Food Network's Chopped . This was our 3rd year (remember the 1st year ?), so it's obviously a tradition now.  Val, her husband Owen, and their 3 kids had just gotten back from a month in the US but wouldn't dream of letting the tradition die.  Round 1: Endive; muffuletta; red quinoa.  The teams haven't changed; I'm always with Abigail. She had the genius idea to grind the quinoa in a coffee grinder and use it to make mozzarella sticks by breading string cheese with it! We served it over an endive salad with muffuletta dressing.  One of many innovations thi

Vaxxed

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It's pandemic day 491 - exactly two weeks since I got my 2nd dose of the vaccine, so I'm as immune as I'm going to get (except for this business about the possible need for a booster 6-12 mos. later?!).  The first vaccines available in the DR were AstraZeneca and two Chinese varietals. No, thanks. I put my name on Missouri's list before my tier was even eligible and planned on making an appointment for as early on in my upcoming home service as possible. Then, a few weeks ago, I learned from colleagues that Pfizer had landed on the island, and there were a handful of vaccination sites in Santiago doling it out from 9 am - 4 pm. I joined a group of seven seminarians planning to go to a large theater complex downtown,  early to avoid lines, at my colleagues' advice: 6:30 am.  6:48 am. Yes, we still had to wait until they opened, but it's summer in the tropics. I'd rather wait from 6:45 until 9:00 than 9:00 until who knows when! 8:37 am. Closer to the front ga

How’s the water situation?

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Hi! How are you? How's the water situation?  Since moving into my temporary apartment, I've been greeted this way multiple times. In my moving day post , I alluded to The Water Situation, so here's a little tour of what I'm up against.  Both a cisterna  (underground water reservoir) and a tinaco (rooftop water tank) supply my building with water. The cover in the foreground here belongs to the cisterna. It's filled by the city's water supply everyday but Mondays. I can hear the water rushing beneath the surface of the parking lot as soon as I step outside. Like most urban homes and buildings in the Dominican, I also have a water pump (inside the built-in structure in the background) to pressurize the city water, helping it get from the cisterna to my (2nd floor) faucets and fill my tinaco. Unlike  most homes and buildings, though, I'm captive to the pump in that it needs to be turned on and off by flipping the switch on the back wall, to the left of the grey

As American as Arepas

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My mom asked me yesterday if the missionary community was celebrating the 4th of July, pandemic day 474, with hot dogs and apple pie. Not exactly... It was  a day of celebration, though. Regional project manager Cindy (front and center, in fuchsia) is leaving us Wednesday, so the Pueblo Nuevo congregation threw her a despedida with cake, gifts, and a prayer of sending.  Post-church roomie selfie! Cindy and I have been compañeras de piso since I moved in with her Thursday; I'm taking her to the airport tomorrow night at 11:30 pm. Note in the background that I did put the star ornaments back on my all-occasion tree. Go ahead, be impressed that I a) knew where they were; and b) could access them.  A very Venezuelan Independence Day arepa feast courtesy of Venezuelan seminary student Carlos and wife Berkis. Arepas are pillowy pockets of corn masa that can be filled with...anything. We did grilled sausage & pork, avocado, llanero cheese, and garlic sauce for drizzling or dippin

If There's Pizza, They Will Come

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If there's pizza...and probably even if there's not because they're that kind of people...seminarians and friends will come and help you move an ENTIRE HOUSE worth of furniture and belongings in just over TWO HOURS.  The moving truck I hired arrived not only on time, but even a few minutes early. It came with a driver only - no loaders - hence the title bribery.  I found a cuter driver! My temporary home is a mission-owned apartment about two blocks from the house I vacated. I'm currently sharing it with another missionary, but she's repatriating to the US on Wednesday, at which point I'll have the place to myself. Save for some mattresses and my range being stored in the unit beneath ours (also mission-owned), the 3rd bedroom is my depósito . Not pictured: the closet, ALSO packed to the gills (but accessible!).  All settled in. Freddy has already staked out the closet as his safe space.  Ours is the top left unit. One of the longest power outages we've had