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Intercultural exchange: cooking and dancing

Hola! The past few days have been fun and busy here in Santo Domingo! 

Tonight we have a special story from our guest blogger, Hayden.  She sums up one evening this week when she and her roommate, along with two other students, prepared dinner for their host mom!

Hayden says, "H'Po and I decided to make dinner for our host mom. We made spring rolls along with veggies and meat on rice (a typical Vietnamese dish because H'Po is Vietnamese), and we actually had to go to China Town on Sunday to get some of the ingredients which was another new experience in itself. For the rest of the ingredients like all of the veggies and meat, we went to the International Market here with our host mom. And then as soon as we got done with class, we started cooking. Thank goodness for H'Po because she's the one that really made it happen as she cooked most of it and taught me how along the way. It ended up taking us around 3 hours, and that's with the help of fellow CIEE members, Ayan and Annie! We didn't end up eating until 9 and I'm sure our host mother was starving, but I think the wait was worth it because the food tasted delicious. Not to mention we had a ton of leftovers -- enough to feed us as well as our friends for lunch yesterday. Making a Vietnamese dinner for our Dominican mother was quite the cultural experience, one that will stick with me forever." 


In addition to our service work this week, we also had a dance class yesterday where we learned dance styles popular and commonly danced here in the Dominican Republic. We learned the steps to bachata and marengue. We also had fun incorporating other styles commonly danced here, like dembow. Beyond the fun of dancing, we had a very animated and talented teacher who brought great energy to the class! 

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Our new dancing skills also come in handy at our service site, where we start each morning dancing with the kids. Many of our students even join their Dominican co-leaders up on stage!


Yesterday was also Parent Day at the service site. It was so nice to see many of the kids run up to their CIEE leaders telling them to come meet their mom or dad. Here is a photo of the kids, parents and leaders all dancing together! 

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It sure has been a fun week! Tomorrow we are off for our weekend excursion to Caño Hondo. We will have limited access to internet while we are gone. Expect to hear a full update from us again on Sunday or Monday night about how the weekend away went! The schedule includes multiple boat rides and much time in the water. More details at the end of the weekend!