I was sick over Christmas, which derailed the blog post I was planning. Oh well, I’m better now. Happy New Year! It’s good to be alive. The streets have been pretty quiet this Sunday morning after all the parties and fireworks late last night. On our drive home from church though, we noticed that the parties and drinking are starting up again today. It clarified for me our branch president’s caution to stay off the streets today because they would not be safe due to all the people who are partying hard this weekend. I suppose this is partly because today is New Year’s Day and the president of the Dominican Republic declared that tomorrow (Monday, the 2nd) is going to be an official no-work holiday. In fact, one of the narrow streets we usually take to get home from church was inaccessible because of all the motorcycles parked in front of one of the favorite bars.
Friday Mr Hot Stuff and I were set apart as temple workers here. I don’t know exactly what that will mean for me, but hopefully I pick up the Spanish words for the ceremonies really quickly! More adventures ahead!
Our Christmas was quiet. Brad got sick a couple of weeks before Christmas, and then I came down with it a few days before. It messed up our plans to do some sightseeing in the area, but on Christmas day we called our families and spoke with them, and that was nice. Another missionary couple here brought some soup over to us a couple of days before Christmas. It was so good and felt so good to eat it. Another couple brought over some facial tissue and ointment for my sore nose. It’s amazing how these seemingly small things feel like a big rescue when you are in need.
Our kids made a beautiful combined-family nativity video that I will always treasure. I know a lot of work went into editing all the video clips and putting it all together. It was the first thing I saw on Christmas morning, and it made me cry happy tears.
This week we took a walk down to a papelería (literal translation is a paper store – they sell office and art supplies, as well as other things) to buy some art supplies and on the way home we passed a hair salon. Mr Hot Stuff convinced me to go in and get a haircut. I’d been complaining about needing one, but it’s intimidating when you aren’t sure you will communicate well. Anyway, the haircut went all right. It’s a basic, layered haircut, leave the bangs alone, I want to let them grow out. Then it came time to style it. Oh. My. Merciful. Heavens. I have never experienced a hair dryer that hot. She got my hair so straight with that thing. You could see the steam billowing up from my hair. I think it burned me a little. It took two days and a wash before I wasn’t smelling burned hair. If this is what Caribbean women do to their hair on the regular, they are – wow. I’m not doing that again. The haircut maybe, but not the blow-out. I want to keep my scalp, thanks.
I haven’t given a lot of thought to goals for the new year. I find that living this missionary life is such an organic growth and goal-oriented process that opportunities for self-improvement show up almost daily. I do have a goal of learning Spanish. I am learning it. Very slowly. But I’m learning it. Poco a poco.
Mr Hot Stuff and I have been asked to speak in church next Sunday about temples and how they bless our lives. In Spanish. That should be fun. Pray for me please.