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Volunteering in the DR

New Pig Lesson. Menthol and Salt.

USA | Saturday, 4 October 2008 | Views [354] | Comments [4]

The other day I came home to find my host mom full of muddy crap standing in the kitchen, reeking - and not in a good way. I thought she was just cleaning out the pigpen, but then she told me she had just castrated the pigs all by herself. It was the first time she had done it, and all she used was a gillete (razor). All I could do was laugh and take a step back, my super sensitive nose could not take it. I had to politely turn her down when she said she was going to peel my orange for me. After she washed her hands of course, but I wanted to play it safe and do it myself. I was curious, and she described in detail how she castrated them, so know I am an expert, in case you need your pigs castrated - give me a call. Yesterday I went to visit them to see how they were doing, but I came at the wrong time. There was chicken feathers (such pretty white feathers!), guts, and pieces all over the place. We live next to a chicken farm, and when the chickens die (due to asphyxiation, or natural causes I was told) they dump them outside and then my family picks them up to feed to the pigs. This of course brings in loads of flies. They were chomping on those raw chickens like crazy. I couldn´t take the smell of the blood so I left. I like to see them eat, but its much easier to watch them eat the leftover food that they are fed when no chickens are available. I did take a picture of one of the pigs chewing a chicken leg. Unfortuneatly I could not upload them on this computer. I need to use a different one, so next time I will upload them. Then you can also see a picture of this huge mosquito bite I got in the middle of my forehead. It really looked like this big red welt. I don´t think the camera did it justice though. I did get a few laughs out of people when they saw me. It was so itchy too. Luckily menthol calmed it down. Menthol or Vicks as they call it, cures everything. Mosquito bites, headaches, muscle pains. Everything. My host mom put menthol on my bites and then some salt to bring the swelling down. I agree with the menthol, but not so sure about the salt. But I left it on for a little while. Whatever works, I guess. My friend says I have liquid crack in the veins and that is why I attract the bugs. My Spanish teacher says I sweat honey through my pores and that is why they like me so much. So true. I am just too sweet to resist.

My host dad read my fortune today through the remains of my coffee cup. He only had good things to say, thankfully. Or maybe it was just because I told him I didn´t want any bad news? Either way, it was interesting.

This weekend I am going to visit a volunteer that has been here for a year to get an idea of what life is like outside of training. I am traveling with another trainee-friend, so it will be good to travel with someone else. We have to bring our helmets, which means I will finally get to ride a moto. I am probably the only one that has not gotten on one. They are scary! But in certain areas, it is the only way to get around through these hills and dirt roads. The views from the top of the mountains are incredible. It really looks like Jurassic Park. I am just waiting to see a brontosaurus one day, eating off the green hills. Imagine that! It is so beautifully green and lush. Sometimes I forget where I am, and then I look around and realize that I am not in California anymore. I think I get confused because I am still in training, where English is still the main language. Although I was told that I am already Dominican, my Spanish is that good. But I don´t have their accent yet. It will be funny if I do pick it up. Or maybe I just can´t hear it myself.



ohhhh christina!
come hommmmmmmmme!
i am in much need of my huckleberry! me and tony were watching tombstone last night.. and as soon as doc holiday said it.. tony blurted out your name!
we miss you like crazy! have fun and be careful babe!

  danny Oct 4, 2008 3:00 AM


I AGREE with the boys !!!!!!!!! WE MISS YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!! creo que nunca me voy a acostumbrar a no verte hasta que vuelvas a casa !!! Hay "mija" you are experiencing so many new things that it is hard to believe !!I hope that you ENJOY every minute in DR.
tu mami!!!!!! Tu papa says hello too!! He loves you very much!!

  mama Oct 5, 2008 11:05 AM


we will send you a care package soon. alex wants to send you some chunty funny magazines or some candy. i still can't get over you waking up with a racha on your arm. eekkk.

  sara Oct 5, 2008 3:53 PM


Hi Christy,

About the salt: its all natural: sodium goes by osmolality- draw fluids to itself. So the fluid from the swelling will be drawn by sodium outside the body surface,

Now i can show that all years of my studying came to help:)

Love you,

  olena Oct 6, 2008 2:01 AM

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