One thing I didn’t expect when I came to the DR was that less than a month after arriving, I’d be locked down on campus due to quarantine and the coronavirus. Life doesn’t tend to do what I expect.
Before the world shut down, I was able to visit a waterfall and the ocean with the girls. Even if I end up on campus the rest of my time here, I’m so glad I got to experience both of those. Especially the ocean.
It is warm and so salty. Like, I knew the ocean was saltwater but I’m used to tasting brackish lake water, not…that. The swells were amazing. The water at my knees one moment then waves as high as my head the next. The raw power and rushing foam. Every time I jumped with a breaking wave I thought of the white foam horses Gandalf made in the river when Frodo crossed into Rivendell. I did tumble head over heels at least once. It was equal parts terror and exhilaration when it came to the suction of the water dragging me deeper while huge waves rushed in.
Was I scared enough to stay out? Not in the least.
Everyone survived. We got back. Two days later, the campus shut down and weekend trips were canceled.
A week or two after that, we went on official lockdown. No one in or out. Several of the Dominican staff moved onto campus. On my part, the lockdown turned out more beneficial than otherwise because I got to move down to the mission team house with two of the local youth coaches which means roommates, late-night laughter, game nights, and people. Apparently, I’m more extroverted than I thought.
With the lockdown, our gates are shut. I pass them every time I go to the girls’ house. And every single time I pass it, this is what goes through my head:
Ever. Single. Time.
It makes me laugh.
In other news, I’m learning to like rice. There’s actually some dishes with rice that I look forward too–me, who used to hate rice. I had learned to tolerate it before coming here, but now I’m learning to enjoy it. Which is good because we have like three months of rice on campus. I’m also starting to exercise. And I discovered karaoke is kinda fun.
As for working here, it’s good. Exhausting, but good. It’s hard to find things to talk about because CMA is very much about planting seeds. Yes, there are some visible results. But a lot of what we do is simply living, being examples, talking with the girls about life or the future or books or whatever happens to come up. It’s a long-term sort of commitment but I have been enjoying it and look forward to what is coming next.