Most Dominicans leave the city during Holy Week, bound for a) the beach; b) the mountains; or c) the campo to see family. Schools are closed, and the seminary followed suit. It was an optional week off for the rest of us, but I worked full days M-W clearing out my inbox and checking off wrap-up tasks after two straight teams with mere days in between. 

Then we get to Thursday, the start of the Triduum, a Latin term for the three preparatory days before a religious feast (in the case of Easter: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday). 

I was ready to DO something, so I rounded up a couple friends for a dam adventure. 

I'd been to the presa before but was missing a key experience I had an inkling would be good for future short-term teams, FOROs, and other visitors: taking a boat across the lake for lunch at one of the restaurants on the opposite shore. I consulted with a friend of mine who grew up visiting the area often for the scoop on parking, what we should expect to pay the boat operators, and restaurant reviews. If you squint at the below photo, you can see where we got on, at the bottom of the dirt path that cuts down the hillside; I parked in a small, unpaved "lot" at the top. 

Five minutes later, we were outside Rancho de Nike, also known as Happy Fish. The view and sailboat photo op were nice, but we quickly took cover from a storm that was threatening. 

Jo ordered fish in coconut sauce and was surprised when the waitress led her to a chest freezer to pick which one she wanted!

We found the storm on the way back and drove through a downpour, but, as was the plan, Tirzah & I had plenty of time to make Iglesia Luterana Cordero de Dios's Maundy Thursday service. Rev. Jonah Burakowski preached for the first time in Spanish, and he's never going to forget it. The power was out but came back on as we sang the final word (Aleluya) of the final stanza of the final hymn before he ascended into the pulpit. Check out the livestream at 0:02; you can't script these things. 

Friday is the highest holy day of the year, if the number of businesses that are closed is any indication. Exhibit A: the botanical garden. I was sure the only alternative, Parque Central, would be open (it was last year) so I switched up my morning routine and made my way there, but alas, it was not. Scones it was! I visited a different congregation, Iglesia Luterana Confesional de Pueblo Nuevo, for their evening Tenebrae service and a froyo run with friends afterwards (yes, Sweet Frog was open). I was not a fan of the habichielas con dulce flavor, inspired by the country's most typical Lenten fare

Somewhat surprisingly, the grocery store next door (which is closed Sundays) was open, too, but alcohol sales were prohibited. 

Saturday was quiet, and Sunday was lovely. Celebrations with my DR church family and fellow missionary friends included adorning the chancel with mismatched flowers brought by all of the members, sharing lunch together afterward, and roast lamb for dinner with carrot cake (lovingly frosted in an air conditioned bedroom and placed immediately in the fridge until ready to eat) for dessert. 

¡Cristo ha resucitado!
¡Ha resucitado en verdad!

Until next time, blessings in [the RISEN] Christ!