Friday, May 31, 2013

Time to Go Home

By: Giselle Deñó

InteRDom Correspondent, Giselle, has completed the first year of her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Sciences Po, Reims, France. She is participating in the 2013 10-week Dominican International Student Program.You can read more about Giselle and her participation in the Correspondent Program here.

Counting my days back to the island on an inexistent calendar has been excruciating. I’ve been torturing myself with this extreme consciousness of the day I set foot again on the soil that saw my birth, my growth and then later, my departure. Everyone says to oneself: “I won’t think about it” and that is the only thing you end up wondering about. The sun that’s so close you can almost touch it, the waves that hit the shore with a harmonic sound, the smile of the people everywhere as they go on with their lives, and the beat of the music that taught me how to move my hip from right to left are only a few of the millions things I’m longing for.

I’m currently pale, a couple of pounds skinnier, bags under my eyes; I walk in a fast pace even though I’m worn out. Sleepless nights of studying, days that went and came in which I never saw the light, the cold that crept into my bones and made me shiver and my teeth chatter, house chores that were inarguably tiring; it is not only the locus that has changed but unimaginable accounts of my life, my personality, my tastes.

This is not to say that the Dominican Republic is better than France, an assertion to which I can find innumerable arguments against. I’ve grown an adult, I’ve seen panoramas and experienced diverse cultures, I’ve tasted the nouvelle cuisine, I’ve learnt to speak different languages, isn’t that what I wanted as a young adult upon departure back home? I’m afraid to say the answer is yes; yes my ambitions and desires were all of the above and they have not been without completion. But there is that last piece of the puzzle that doesn’t fit, you put it backwards, inwards, spin it 180 degrees and it still doesn’t work. It’s like I’ve been constructed in a way in which I can only function to my maximum capacity while in my natural habitat, but needless to say how reluctant I’m of stopping to be a wanderer.

As a wanderer I’ve learnt to see the beauty in every detail, to appreciate the air I breathe and the places I visit even though they’re not home. Believe it or not, I can find similarities all around me; objects, people and places that seem much like the ones I’d made myself used to.
The woman at la boulangerie just in front wears the same apron as the woman in the colmado just around the corner.
 The crêpes I eat once I’m done with schoolwork taste more and more like the sancocho my mom treated me with after a hard day.
 The French strikers which stop transit and fight for better working conditions are a familiar picture of all the dominicanos complaining about the government on TV.
 When I walk across the Champs Elysées, the rocks underneath me resemble those that pave La Zona Colonial.
 Even la Tour Eiffel under turquoise skies looks at me and invites me for a pilgrimage towards la Iglesia de la Altagracia.

I had not realized how much time I had spent writing this. Now that I look at the clock hanging off the wall, it is yelling: TIME TO GO HOME.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Goodbye Home, and Hello Caribbean Ocean!

By: Carlos Gonzalez


InteRDom Correspondent, Carlos, has completed three years of his Bachelor's degree in Political Science at St. Peter's University in New Jersey. He is participating in the 2013 10-week Caribbean Summer Program. You can read more about Carlos and his participation in the Correspondent Program here.

The semester is over and the summer has finally begun. The Dominican Republic is only a few weeks away. I am ready and excited to embark on this new journey for 10 weeks away from friends and family, to meet new friends. There is much to look forward to in these ten weeks -- wonderful food, weather, culture and a new internship.

I will be working at a local university as a research assistant to work on Lake Enriquillo. Lake Enriquillo has been flooding the infrastructure and homes of the people in neighboring towns.  This will give me the opportunity to apply my knowledge of political science and interest in environmental studies. I will hopefully find the damages and the issues that these towns are facing. I will also meet a group of professionals and students that are interested in similar projects.

Now that I have bought my ticket for the summer and I will be working in an environment that I believe will be an unforgettable opportunity for my working career, I only hope and pray for one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. As I said before, I am ready and excited!  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Beginning of an Internship of a Lifetime

InteRDom Correspondent, Alexandria, has completed three years of her Bachelor's degree
in Sports Administration and Spanish at the University of Miami, Florida. She is participating in the 2013 10-week Caribbean Summer Program.You can read more about Alexandria and her participation in the Correspondent Program here.

By: Alexandria Rogers
Only two weeks are left before my journey to the Dominican Republic begins and I could not be more excited! I have always wanted to visit the country and having this opportunity is definitely a dream come true! I cannot believe that as the hours and days tick away, I am one step closer to experiencing not only just a beautiful country and great people, I will also be doing an internship of my dreams. I will be interning with the baseball headquarters in Santo Domingo and being a Sports Administration and Spanish double major, this is exactly what I want to do. I will have the opportunity to become fluent in Spanish by the end of the summer along with working in baseball, one of the most popular sports in the world and definitely the most popular sport in Dominican Republic. I cannot wait to have the opportunity to meet new friends, experience a new culture and way of life and have the best summer of my life.
As time gets closer and closer, I cannot help but think about how my time will be there and the experiences that I will have. The one thing that is stopping me…PACKING! I am definitely an over packer and in my mind, I believe that I do not have enough clothes. I am shopping for additional items, that I probably don’t need, and trying to think of a way to pack them all! I also want to bring an additional bag to Dominican Republic so I can put souvenirs and anything else I buy in that bag upon returning…needless to say, I may be a little bit of a shop-a-holic. There are exactly 13 days before I leave, and even though I want time to go by slowly so that I can spend time with my family and friends, I also want the time to speed up so I can live the Dominican way of life and meet new friends! I am ready and excited for my new journey!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What Do I Have to Do?

By: Ikenna Okoro

InteRDom Correspondent, Ikenna, has recently completed his undergraduate studies in Biology at the University of Miami, Florida and is participating in the 2013 10-week Graduate and Gap Year Program. You can read more about Ikenna and his participation in the Correspondent Program here.

Hey, my name is Ikenna Okoro! I am from Rowlett, Texas and a recent graduate of the University of Miami. I aspire to be a health care professional and it is surreal that I will be gaining valuable career experience in the Dominican Republic in just two weeks! I just received my proposal, and I will have two part-time internships. The first will be working as a Coordination Assistant at a local foundation for children with diabetes,  and the second is as a Research Assistant at a public hospital. I’m so grateful I found out about InteRDom and I can’t wait to fill you in on my experience!

It feels like I’m getting ready to go to a new school. I feel a combination of excitement and nervousness. I’m excited to finally fulfill my dream of going to a Latin American country, and I’m nervous because I’m uncertain about my Spanish speaking skills. In preparation I have been repeatedly watching: Goofy, La Película and Los Increíbles. But I’m actually not sure how much brushing up on my superhero vocabulary will help. I guess I’ll find out on the 1st.