As part of our Core Training we had the amazing opportunity to visit another Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) at their site to get a taste what life was like. This was a chance for us to see first hand what the next 24 months are going to be like. I went up into the mountains of San Juan Province to visit Jaime. I was given a list of directions and was responsible for making it their completely on my own… nerve-wracking right??
So I packed up my things and headed out to unknown territory, taking every form of transportation available here in the Dominican Republic. First I took a taxi, then took a 4ish hour bus ride to San Juan. Jamie met me in San Juan and we chatted over empanadas before squeezing into a guagua to another small town alongside Dominicans. We jumped out of the guagua into the hoard of motoconchos, chose our drivers, and hopped on the back of a motorcycle while we wind up and down and around this mountain dirt road for an hour or so (I should note that I am not even sure how cars, other than trucks, make it on this road.
I spent 3 days with Jamie up in the beautiful mountains of her campo, taking in all of the nature around us. The temperature was cooler due to being higher in the mountains. Her host family was sweet and very welcoming. We hiked to the local swimming hole, swam and jumped into the river with some kids from her campo. Also I got to help out with a project at her school – we gridded an entire while and then began drawing a mural of a map of the world for the kids to eventually paint. Kids in her campo tried to teach me every mata “tree” and what delicious fruit they can provide me with, and I even got a bloody nose that highly concerned all of the campo kiddos (in all fairness, my shirt, face, mouth was completely covered in blood that would not stop coming from my nose)
All in all, it was an amazing experience and only made me more excited and prepared to receive my placement.