Marvin missed the bus....

Everyday at 3:15 the bus leaves the school to take us home. We usually head downstairs around 3 to make sure we don't miss it. Today at 3:15, Marvin is not there. We tend to watch out for one another and when someone isn't there we check on them! So I went running through the halls looking for Marvin....5th grade room- no MCV......4th grade room- no MCV....teacher's lounge- no MCV. At this point I can feel the anger coming from the bus because it is now 3:16 and we haven't left the school. (Dominicans are very punctual when its time to leave, not so much other times...) So I rush back to the bus and assume that Marvin went home early with Julia- she wasn't feeling good today. When I got home - NO MCV! I began to worry a little. I had the cell phone so no way to find him. About 15 mins went by and then a cab pulls up and MCV comes home. Marvin had missed the bus. He said he thought it left at 3:30. I told him the 4th graders are rubbing off on him. We now have a saying, "don't be such a 4th grader" when we do something immature or silly! :)

On another note, our afternoons are filling up with tutoring! Marvin is tutoring on family from another school, Julia does guitar and some language tutoring, and I work with some girls from Taiwan- they are fabulous.
Here are some shots in action!

I don't have a picture of the girls I tutor on hand... so this was the next best- Fran learning Spanish! She is doing well!


we're ONLINE!

Internet has arrived to nuestra casa! Muy Bien! Marvin, Julia and I are sitting around the kitchen table all on the internet right now. Marvin is on Skype to our dear friend Justin Velting-Wolfe :)

Now that I have time to update here is what we have been doing the last few days.
As requested by Grandma Rose- Here is a picture of the exterior of our house.
Here is the inside of our gate.
Here is the house across the street. They have been working on it since before we moved in. They do all the work by hand. I'm going to try to take some pictures to show the progress. Its pretty trashed right now!

On Sunday we went to IBC for the 2nd time. We had a very nice family invite us for dinner and dessert! Here is a guy from Argentina who was visiting that Sunday as well. He has a plantane in his pocket- it's like a very bland large banana.

Here is the family that invited us to dinner. They are just finishing paella- a rice dish.

This past weekend we went to Boca Chica with a friend. They took us out on the boat. It rained but it was still a great day !

Marvin in the Carribean Sea! :)

A few of the shore from the boat.

Ok I'm going to hang out on facebook, check my email, and search for some flights to Costa Rica :)

CABLE INTERNET TV... read all about it!

As I type, Marvin was pulled from school to go to the house to have our cable, internet, tv set up. We received a call that the cable truck was outside of our house just hours ago. We can only hope and pray now that they have all of the right equipment and installation goes well.
Stay tuned for further updates!

Reporting Live from Santo Domingo, Domincan Republic....


This & That

I GOT MY SCHOOL SUPPLIES! You'd think I had just won the lottery by my excitement. Marvin knows my personality but I think I frightened Julia a little by how pumped I was over some markets.Thanks Grams for sending them!

Last week we had Spirit Week. On Wednesday the students could come dressed in "normal" clothes because it was beach day. We had teams all week and you had to wear your color. I was on the red team.

This past Saturday a friend from school invited us to go out to Boca Chica a local beach and go out on their boat. It was quite fun. Here we are at the Marina.
Today we were able to attend Iglesia Bautista Cristiana. The service was in Spanish but we had someone translate to us. The church is about 300 people. So large enough that there is some activities and bible studies that I think we can get into. The tough thing is that it is all in spanish. THere are a few people that speak English but it's going to be a little hard to make friends. We think we will go back there next Sunday though!


Road Trip

Last weekend Lindsay and I took a road trip to Bayahibe. We rented a car on Friday afternoon and headed out right away. Here is the car we got. It was such a dinky little thing but great for crazy Dominican driving! I am glad we were forced to buy the insurance on the car because I beat the living daylights out of it. On several occasions I didn't see speedbumps coming and hit them at maybe 50 mph. I cornered like I was Mario Andretti at the Indianapolis 500. Essentially, I drove like I was 16 years old again. I was either accelerating or braking, never coasting. The police here do not care about traffic laws The driving part was fun and I missed not having done it for over a month.

On our way to Bayahibe we drove through La Romana and got a little lost. A guy at a gas station, had us follow him through town so we could find our road again. He was so helpful. Bayahibe was really nice and cute. La Romana is only a couple miles across the bay but there is a world of difference between them. We were pleasantly surprised to find that we could walk around and explore at night. The town was like an old Western town with two hotels, one bar, dirt roads and a slow pace of life. Lindsay probably won't go back there though because she saw a (1) rat and made me carry her on my back across the path the rat had crossed. It was a freak out of epic proportions. She was absolutely paralyzed with fear. Truthfully, the rat was kind of cute. It was fat and slow and not totally afraid of people.
We went to the public beach which was completely surrounded by resorts. The beach was pretty but the sand is made up mostly of crushed up seashells and it sticks to your feet. Not what we are used to. I applied the sunblock which cost $14 and then proceeded to have an allergic reaction to it. This happened on our Honeymoon with the same kind of sun block. We had to leave the beach after only a couple hours because I was losing my mind. It was a minor freakout but I was in immense pain. When we got back home to S.D. we bought sun block that I am not allergic to and it was much more affordable ($13). Lindsay can hardly stand the prices here. All in all we had a good time and it was nice to get away from the city and not have to depend on taxis for the weekend. The country was beautiful, here are some pictures.

We also drove through this amazing cut out. We didn't get the camera out in time but this was an enormous gorge with a bright blue river at the bottom.

Here is our hotel-
We were very close to the ocean - maybe 50 yards


Model UN

I am the new sponsor for Model United Nations here in the Dominican Republic. This is basically a conference that students 7th grade and up can attend. They get to write papers on issues that are being currently discussed with in the UN. They can work in either English or Spanish. I have 3 students who have chosen the Administrative and Budgetary Committee. I get to work with them to develope good thoughts about what should change and how.

In October we get to go to a 5 day conference in Samana- at a resort in the North. Here is a picture of the group on our way to a conference we had last Wednesday. We have about 18 students in all. My 3 English students are sitting in the very back!

Here is Mini Me and Fran. This is about as close as they have gotten to bonding! :)

This is our friend Paola... I say her name Paula cause I'm American and I just sound funny if I try to say it the Spanish way. And her daughter Rachel under the umbrella. They came over last weekend to hang out.

A big congratulations to our friends and family that just had babies. Our good friends Tim and Rachel just welcomed into the world little baby boy: Isaiah. And our cousins Joe and Jenny just had Connor.
Congrats to you both!

Ice Breaker

On friday, the Senior Class had an event in the afternoon at school. It is the annual Icebreaker event. This is a time for underclassmen to get to know the Seniors and for parents to come and "break the ice" over causal converation and events.

Here is Marvin with one of his students.

Here are the boys playing in the "video game room"

The seniors all dressed in clown outfits and rode in on the fire truck. The theme for this years ice breaker was "circus"

Here is the main set up outside on the basketball courts. The Seniors had pizza for sale and a bunch of carnival games.

Here are a few of the dedicated Seniors hard at work.

Here is a small video so you can get the full picture of the somewhat organized chaos that occured that day. It was a very hot day and students were beginning to go wild. Luckily we were able to get out at 2pm that friday!


1st day of school in Michigan

Good Luck to all of the teachers and students out there! Don't worry, in no time at all it will become routine! I've been at school now for 4 weeks. We are just about to hand out progress reports!

Teachers remember the students have had a long summer to come up with multiple excuses as to why homework isn't complete!

Students remember that teachers lie awake at night and think about how they can make your life miserable, what homework they can create, and what rules to impress upon you!

Here are some inspiring words to help you all have a spectacular year! (I think I had to memorize this in Mrs. Wing's 10th grade English class)
"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give away to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or, walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

- Rudyard Kipling -


Back to School

On Thursday we had a back to school night at ASSD. This was a night for the parents to come and visit the teachers, see the school & ask questions. We have approximately 100 students in 6-12 grade. I think I saw 4 parents.... not a great turn out. But those who did come had a great time. We were at school until 10pm! That's my bed time.

Here are some pictures of my classes!

9th Grade- They are my homeroom group. I see them everyday. I teach World Geography to them. They are a great class!

10th- World History class. Good class all boys (only 2 girls)
11th- US History. My smallest class.

12th- Government & Economics. The largest class. Very talkative but it looks like they can be bought with brigiedero :)

I have 53 students total. Last year I had almost 90. So this is a big change. Grading papers goes by much more quickly. I don't allow my students to call me "teacher" they have to say, Mrs. Verwys, Mrs. V, or even just V.... pretty much I answer to anything but "teacher". I just can't handle that!
It's friday now! Long week but good. We were going to head to the beach but supposively tropical storm Erica is on its way. People here are shocked by rain- weird!

The big 26!

Wednesday was Lindsay's birthday. (Lindsay is going to write this blog... so i , me= lindsay)

I had to go to school on my birthday. It was fabulous though! My students all sang to be in both languages and very loud. The teachers brought me balloons and a poster with a boarder :) They love boarders here!

In the evening Marvin and I went to Acropolis, it's a mall close to our house. We shopped for a while and I ended up getting facewash as a present... pathetic. But the company was good and we enjoyed ourselves. We ate at the newly opened Outback - delicious! Sad part was their bread is local and it really isn't good, at all! We then went and saw a movie- The Proposal with Sandra Bullock. It was very good. Marvin said he only went with me because it was my bday and any other day I would have had to go with Julia.

I am very thankful to have such a wonderful husband who has supported me in all of my wild adventures! He is truly a blessing!


More house photos

You should read the blog below this before you start on this on. I'm still getting used to adding photos and what order they post in. If anyone is interested in making money- you could invent a better "blogger", this one is annoying.

Here is a picture of our bedroom. We have an entire wall of closets, and a king size bed. It's glorious.

Here is our bathroom. The entire house was freshly remodled. Our bathroom is wonderful.

Here is another picture of our bedroom. You can kind of see the air conditioner above our bed. It is small works well. However, it is very expensive to run so we usually don't!

Here is our hallway that leads from the living room out to the patio and down to our 3 bedrooms.
Here is our kitchen. It is large enough for us 3 to be cooking at once. We do a lot of cooking at our house. Julia has taught us some wonderful recipies too!

More to come... once we get internet at home I can actually take time and write stories. But for now this will have to do.

Our Home

Here are pictures of our house! Finally... I know you are probably thinking that . It has been a very crazy few weeks with school starting and all. We still do not have internet at our house but it is supposed to be in the works- maybe by Friday.

Here is the set of keys we recieved when we moved in!

Here is the entrance to the house- when you walk in the front door.

Here is our living room & dining room

A view from the hallway into the livingroom & dining room.

Our spare room- guests will need to bring something to sleep on at this point- we have a frame so we are still waiting for the mattress.

Here is our outside patio area. We just got the furnature a few days ago. We spend most of our time here. Fran has been able to go outside too. The area is all walled in.

Bedroom photos on the next post.