Posts By Jamie

First Day in a Haitian Batey

Jamie supervises, to the best of her ability, the completion of English-language coloring pages. (Peaskis Abroad/Jacob Bielanski)

“Just make sure you don’t bring anything valuable with you,” Lena told me in her Belgian accent. The next morning, I removed my colorful bead bracelet. It wasn’t worth much monetarily, but had strong personal value.

Lily and I were at the restaurant early, but she had no shoes on. Lena showed up and apologized for being late for our 9 am meeting time. I wasn’t even sure what time it was. “We don’t have an alarm clock since my phone was stolen,” she told me. I didn’t have the heart to inform her that we were only there looking for our “missing” bug spray and were not quite ready ourselves.

First day in Muñoz.

This would have been a shitty car, even when I was in high school. And I drove some beasts. It didn’t age well. Things were rattling and shaking and doors didn’t open right.

“Mama, where’s my seatbelt?” Lily panicked. From the Santo Domingo airport she was excited to be without a carseat, but here, things were too real for her. I looked around and sighed in exhaustion. “I’m sorry honey, I didn’t know. There are no seatbelts. We’ll be okay.”

This was our prearranged transportation.

Ready. Set. Go.

We left our bedroom looking incredible. I mean seriously, I want to stay at our place as a guest. It wasn’t littered with toys and books. The bed skirt finally arrived, which hid the ugly box spring and stuff stored underneath. The freshly washed bedding was perfectly made. It was so hard not to climb in and refuse to leave.

Alas, it was not for us. Our Finnish subleasers arrived on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m., after nearly 24 hours of travel. They looked utterly disheveled and exhausted, though adorable 10 month-old Veikko mustered a smile for the crazy American lady pinching his cheeks.

It’s Not a Vacation

In two weeks we depart our apartment. In three weeks, we will be in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The first few days, we will spend sight-seeing a city we skipped last year. After that, the fun ends. Well, not really.

It started in January. Hating the cold and disappointed about my lack of overseas teaching experience, I presented an idea to Jake. What if we subleased our apartment for awhile and headed someplace less cold, less English-speaking. I wanted to teach, which was what I was supposed to be doing in Spain. I wanted to further my Spanish skills. At the time, I was set on Costa Rica — one more notch on our Central America list and I know someone there teaching.