So real quick, here's the run-down:
They girls started the morning bright and early with a 5:00 a.m. rooster wake-up call.
Despite this fact, they managed to go back to sleep for a few hours while I headed to my 8:00 a.m. class. I made it back around 10:00 and stopped to buy some roadside fresh-slice fruit on the way home, thinking this would be a nice little Dominican breakfast for them. Fresh fruit at this time of year consists of pineapple, cantaloupe, bananas, and another melon called lechoza. The only problem is that Leanna is not much of a "fruit person" and Mallory hates bananas and melons. -1 for Santiago.
But they were good sports and we figured we would be eating soon, so little-to-no breakfast would be ok. We all strapped on our walking shoes and headed out the door, our first destination: El Mercado Hospedaje, a large outdoor city market with every kind of fruit and vegetable imaginable.
I think its safe to say that the market made quite an impression on the girls. The colors, sounds, and smells are a lot to take in. Not to mention, we three very American girls were drawing a lot of attention. The cat-calls were pretty much non-stop. Mallory and Leanna both decided that if they were ever feeling down, they'd just walk to the Market for an instant confidence booster. +1 for Santiago.
After purchasing a few pineapples we hiked back up to "La Sirena," the closest thing the D.R. has to a walmart, where we made a few more purchases. We decided to head home and drop off our groceries before heading out to eat. By American standards, it was a long walk back (half mile up-hill) in the middle of the day with our heavy grocery bags and the hot Dominican sun beating down on us. -1 Santiago.
But they did like the machete cutting action! +1 Santiago.
Needless to say, they were quite happy when we finally made it to our destination. Only when we got there, the museum was closed. Some kind of opening ceremony for a new exhibition or what-not. Well, that´s the Dominican Republic for you. Plans never go as planned. -3 Santiago.
So we reluctantly hopped back into another concho and took a ride back to the mall on the opposite side of town (not quite as cool as the museum, but just walking through the stores is kind of like walking through an exhibit....kind of). Plus it was the only place I could think of that we could go to get them air conditioning and food.
(Mallory really started getting the hang of the whole Dominican fashion thing: find the tallest/blingy-est shoes you can find and you´ll fit right in)
We started our walk back home around 5:00 p.m., just as school was letting out. Little did we know that we would have to fight our way up hill through a throng (literally about 100 students) of stir-crazy middle-schoolers going the opposite direction.
Little kids are my favorite though. They are not afraid to say whatever they want to whoever they want, and foreigners are a special treat in their eyes. Its a chance for them to either try out their English skills, or point and stare openly at the "exotic" Americans. In this case, most of the kids took the point and stare route, including one little girl who stretched her finger out at Mallory and cried out at the top of her lungs, "Blanca! Blanca!"
Literally translated, "white girl! white girl!"
I think Mallory and Leanna were as equally amused as the kids were. Draw for Santiago.
Once we finally made it home a little snooze was in order.
After all, a long day of sun and walking can really take it out of you.
You just have to love the "presidente" green color.
( The sandwich came drenched in a "special sauce" of mayo and ketchup, which Domincans put on EVERYTHING, and which Mallory happens to hate)
Final Score: -5 for Santiago
So at the end of the day, Santiago ended up a few points down, but for bettor or worse, at least the girls got to experience the "Real Santiago" and hopefully make a few memories they won't soon forget.
P.S. I will possibly be editing this post later in the week to add in more pictures (once the girls get their camera pictures uploaded), so check back later!!