Thursday, March 22, 2012

Back in the Burghhhh

Finally back into the swing of things in Pittsburgh! XP been meaning to post since I got back but I got caught up in the CMU workload :( didn't help that there was no internet/computer access in Dominican Republic (DR) too, so I didn't manage to get any work done during spring break at all, which is also a good thing :P

I'm missing my spring break trip already!!! It was THE MOST FANTASTIC ABSOLUTELY AMAZING TRIP EVER. No trip I've been on since coming to the States has topped this trip. I bonded a lot with my fellow OO@CMU people over the trip; I went to the beach 3 times each day; I ate delicious Spanish food; I interacted with a beautiful group of children; I had fun. I reminisced about the trip so much, that I actually put up pictures of the trip on Facebook 2 days after I got back, which is a huge feat considering I haven't even put up the pictures from my winter break on Facebook :P

The trip to DR was somewhat physically tiring...? Mostly coz in CMU you're so used to sitting by your computer for hours straight, that it feels weird to always be on the move when in DR. Our daily schedule was pretty hectic too! We always have stuff to do, but there's often enough breaks too, and I always took opportunity of the breaks to go to the beach or visit the town square. Here's a look into my somewhat daily trip for DR:

5.45am wake up, shower (I take a long time to wake up :P)
6.30am go to beach! :D watch the sunrise, watch the birds fish in the sea (yes, I actually saw birds dive into the sea to catch fish!) and just feel the world begin to wake up as night turns to dawn
7.30am head back to the compound (where we sleep)
8.00am breakfast! it was an american breakfast everyday, alternating between cereal, pancakes, oatmeal, french toast. and we always had fresh pineapple :D
8.30am walk to school. it really takes us 0.5 hours to walk there, coz it's a 1.5mile walk :P
9.00am go to class and teach the kids English
9.45am break in school! it was a treasured moment where we got to interact and play with the kids outside of the classroom setting.
10.15am second session of class (with a different group of kids)
11.00am end of the morning session of school! walking back to the compound
11.30am reached compound, short break time
12.00pm lunch! really delicious noms like plantains, chicken in some spicy/sweet sauce, fried rice, and our never ending supply of pineapples XD
1.00pm siesta/nap time :P but I went to the beach instead of napping haha :D
2.00pm gather at compound
2.15pm leave for school!
2.45pm reach school and teach English to another group of kids :)
3.30pm go to the next class!
4.15pm break with the kids :D
4.30pm leave the school to walk back to compound
5.00pm debrief for the day with our wonderful long term volunteer Courtney :)
6.00pm dinner! this tends to be a fusion of sorts of Spanish and Western cuisine. I remember having pasta salad and mashed potatoes!! really really yummy.
7.00pm events. they differed across the week. some days we had movie night, some days we made preparations for our lessons the next day, some days we hit the town ;)
9.00pm OO@CMU reflection. where the CMU people spend the time talking about what we've learnt from the kids or each other during the day.
10.00pm lights out! It is super early for lights out (given that most CMU people don't sleep till 3am or so :P) so we mostly hung around and did lesson preparations/played games.

The above was kind of a general insight into the daily lives of OO@CMU people! I understand it sounds kind of haphazardly done and confusing (like who's Courtney?? and what kind of movie did we watch???) but if I went into every single detail of the trip, I won't be able to get this post done till the next day, and you might just get turned off from reading such a long post :P I'll post more details about my trip next time, and pictures too!!! so look forward to it :D:D:D

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I am LOVING the weather in Pittsburgh right now! Finally!! It's warm and sunny out, my week of mid-term madness is almost over, and next week is SPRING BREAK. I can't believe I'm only getting excited for it now. Guess there's kind of a lag. Gotta start packing and prepping for DR WOO HOOOOOOO

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Start the Countdown!

Less than a month to SPRING BREAKKKK!!!

Really super excited about it. It'll be my first time going to a country in the Americas besides the US and Canada, so I'm really psyched about it!! Plus the warm weather. I'm so ready for winter to end already >< Plus plus it's a fully funded trip!! Thanks to CMU scholarships and the lovely donations from family and friends and CMU professors. Big thank you to everyone out there supporting our trip! :) and last but not least, OUR AWESOME OO@CMU GROUP!!! For the intense fundraising efforts and dedication to making this trip THE MOST AWESOME SPRING BREAK TRIP EVAAAAAA so looking forward to it! :D