Today we arrived in DR and were met by EF from SODOPRECA (Sociedad Dominicana para la Prevencion de Crueldad a los Animales) and her pink SODOPRECA car :) We went to the hotel to drop off our stuff then to EF's house, where her family made us lunch - empanadas!!!
EF is one of those rare people - the likes of whom I have only met once or twice. She is a 30 year old full time law student and full time volunteer for SODOPRECA (therefore, full time broke).
Most people wonder how or why a person could or would forgo a real job to volunteer full time. I suppose the notion of salary and pay day is inherently American? She lives with her extended in a nice house in the burbs of Santo Domingo. She has a dog, Bosco, a cat, Chiquita (who just gave birth to a huge ass kitten in the closet) and a turtle that lives in the garden. None of her pets are sterilized, however she hardly has resources to feed them let alone do extensive vet work. Her dog was hit by a car and broke his jaw - she had him x-rayed and his tooth removed - now the family makes fun of his tooth-less smile. The turtle is on a leash - apparently they can squeeze out the gate and get hit by cars on the road, so he has a rope attached to his shell.
After lunch, JG and I passed out in the hotel - JG by the pool and me in the room. I was utterly exhausted - after 3 hours of sleep and a crazy morning flight from JFK, I was drained. We went out on the town tonight with EF and her sisters. We walked the malecone (Spanish for boardwalk) and saw kids flying kites in the grass. Dinner was at a restaurant named Adrian Tropical (hehee) it was nice to hang out with the locals and do local stuff. Probably the best part of traveling is meeting new people and making new friends - kind of impossible if you are holed up somewhere in a resort. Out in the real world are the real people... the ones who make you realize how awesome and crazy this world is - turtle ropes and all.