Sunday, July 27, 2008

The treatments are over!

I'm finally home, after so many days traveling back and forth between Rochester MN and Fargo... We have been traveling to the Mayo clinic, for Peter's infusions- He has a kidney condition, and they are treating him with an inmuno-depressant for the past month, and several times before that... It was so tiring to go there every week! We'd leave Lara with the grandparents and then drive for the longest time to get there (it seems longer to me, because i came from an island that you can cross side to side in just over 4- 5 hours) and then we'd stay in our cousin's house, so we could go on Monday mornings to get Peter "connected". I'm so glad this is the last one, it's hard for me to see him lay in bed with stuff attached to his veins. He's a strong guy, and never complains, not even when a nurse turned him into a pin cushion (she poked him three times in different places- we guess she doesn't do IVs very often). Now i can come back home and concentrate in making it look like i live here. We still have boxes with books on the corners, and most of my clothes are in a suitcase. Peter's clothes are on a table in the closet room, because our real closet it's so small, we can't fit anything in it, and that's why we're moving Lara to the smaller room, and we are moving our stuff into the room next to the kitchen.
I want to paint her room a nice shade of either sky blue or green, because I've decided to decorate it with the Sesame street characters, and we're getting a really cute toddler bed we saw in Walmart :) It's time for her to have a bed she can climb to by herself. And it works for all of us, because she doesn't need so much space for her clothes. I think it's going to look really pretty. I'll post a picture when I'm done.
It's nice to be able to relax at home, and think about the things we'll do here to make it more "homey"... Right now, everything it's arranged in a functional way, with no personality whatsoever, but in the next months, I'll start changing that- i want to do some art (haven't decide if photos or paintings) for my walls and i want to renovate the china hutch that Linsey gave us. As i said, I'll post pictures when I'm done.
My friend Jason from Chicago was here this past week :) it's been fun to walk around the city and show him everything that this city has to offer. Makes me realize how much Fargo has become my home, and how used i am to the pace here now... I like specially to go around in the MAT buses, just for fun- you get to meet really interesting people there, and it's very cheap. And i'm getting used to Libraries where you can find virtually every book you want :) but i need to make a list of the books i want to read, i get lost with so many, LOL.
There's so many things around here that were so strange for me when i got here, that now are so normal that i find myself wondering what happened when i don't see them. One of them it's the squirrels- there's at least 50 between my block and the park, in different sizes, i think they are very cute to me, but i'm guessing that if you have a garden, they might not seem so cute then. Another one is the train, that i hear more than i see, but that it's like a background music for me. People in bikes are next in my list- you don't see adults riding bikes in my country, unless they're in a club or something, here everyone seems to own a bike, and use it. The police lady that puts the tickets on cars that stay too long on the street (she seems to enjoy her job so much- i saw her put three tickets with the biggest smile in her face)- The mail carriers (a guy for us, but sometimes a woman- i guess he needs days off too)- The insane amount of pure junk mail we get EVERY DAY, except Sundays- The huge amount of food they serve in restaurants (a child's portion is bigger than what i eat- i get lots of leftovers)- The Alien restaurants (that poor guy in a suit when it's almost 90 degrees out, it breaks my heart) and the people that complain about everything ... Sometimes i feel like telling them to go and live in my country for a while, were the politicians are crazy, people drive any way they like, teenagers can legally drink (and they do, a lot), gas is twice as expensive as it is here- but people make three times less money than the lowest income household here on average-, there's blackouts every day, doctors go on strike almost every week, water has to be bought because if you drink from the tap you might get REALLY sick, and there's no real social security, etc.- but everyone is happy, and they think americans are the luckiest people on Earth :) We humans are a funny kind, the more we have, the more we want.
There are so many things about this country that i love, that i don't understand when people complain about it. I wish most of the people in my country were so proud of our land as to decorate their houses with flags, like they do here (i think it's called "americana"), and that things were as organized as they are here, but we still have a lot to learn there (or they have, as i start feeling more part of this country as time goes by).
Anyway, it's being a crazy week, with the traveling, going to the Valley Fair (FUN! i was too scared most of the time, but next time i go, i want to ride all of them- well, maybe not the one that you sit and they pull you and let you go, it's like 13 stories high!), having people over and getting used to being home again.
I can't wait to start settling down. Again :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More of me

A friend of mine once sent me an email about how people you meet have a reason to be in your life at that specific moment and time. There's people that stay in your life for just a little time, and then they go, when you have learned what you needed to learn from each other... but there's another kind of friend, that no matter how long it's been since you last talked, or how much your life or circumstances have changed, they keep coming up to you, over and over again, and every time, it's like the old times. I'm so grateful to God for the wonderful many friends he's blessed me with throughout the years, friends that love me sincerely and that i love, friends that live far away, but are close at heart. These last few months, being so far from family and friends, this is the only mean of communication i have, that it's free of charge :), and it's always a pleasure to find people i care for, that i haven't talked to in a while, and learn about their lives. This week, two of my best friends, one from school, the other one from college, wrote. It's funny how something so simple as to find out that your friends both had babies, one in Italy, the other one in Bulgaria, and read about how different their lives have become, see baby pictures, and realize that even though we're far apart, we still think the same way, and we have chosen similar paths, makes one happy. We are still the same, yet different, and that makes me feel good. Very good.
Today i had the courage to go out of my "comfort zone" and went to explore the city, alone. Everything seems so different to me here, so organized. I have gotten used to having people ask me how to make tacos (i have no idea, I'm not Mexican- no offense, but there's more countries down there besides them, we make rice and beans, and pork, and beef- similar to southern cooking, but not spicy), I'm learning to use Dollars (they still don't seem real to me), to trust the police (if you are from Santo Domingo, you know what i mean- they're not bad, but it's better for you if they are not too close), to the health system here (complicated, if you ask me- and the nurses do most of the work too, unless you are really sick), to the notion that practically no one knows where the Dominican Republic is (I've thought about keeping a map in my purse), and to have people think that I'm Hindu, specially old ladies (i don't know why)... And the list goes on and on. Don't think I'm having a hard time, oh no- I'm having fun. I went to see my favorite painters in Minneapolis, and almost cried- I went camping, the American way, with air conditioning and cable TV, i sat by a lake to watch the 4Th of July's fireworks (beautiful, by the way- it's called Leech Lake, in Walker MN) and went to see a parade earlier that same day. I got in a lake up to my knees (the water was warm, not freezing, that's for the people that say that it's always cold up here), i drive from town to town (but only to the supermarket in the city, i get stressed with so many people around me). I can find my way around in Cashwise, Walmart and Target (when you have a kid, you visit them quite often)...I even know which bus to take to go there (Peter says that's easy, considering i used to go around in public transportation that doesn't have a map and that stops everywhere, full of people to over capacity, when i lived in Santo Domingo). I've even made some new friends here, people it's so friendly, and I'm starting to feel at home. I like this city a lot, there's a lot to do and a lot to see :) next month, when we don't have to go back to Rochester for Peter's treatment, i want to go to watch a play, or two. And maybe go dancing (i heard there's some salsa dancing downtown- maybe we should give it a try, if i can get the grandparents to keep the baby sometime, that is)
Well, anyway, enough with my chatter, until next time,