Tag Archives: asl

Back in Samana




I love how I am always surprised when things don’t go as planned.  You would think calling for the bus times would be a simple task, but it really isn’t, at least not for Esalena.  After getting hung up on twice because the woman “no hablo Ingles” though I was speaking to her in Spanish, I got a little peeved.  When I finally got through to some one who spoke English, it wasn’t much better.  By the third question I got told “Oh my God, so long with the questions!”  Ya, well it would be all worth it at least if the the information I was  given was correct.  Wah, wah….

So there was a big group from the  English congregation going to the Capital to do a tour of Bethel.  I wanted to go with them since in order to get to Samana, you have to first go to the Capital and then catch a bus from there.  I figured that since I was in the area it would be a nice treat.  It turns out the bus was full, so I was going to have to meet up with them after taking Carribe Tours, the public bus.  I would have to take the 6 am bus because the Bethel tour was at 9:30 am.  But the Bells and I got invited to Marty’s for dinner, and I was going to take advantage of Marty’s beautiful full oven to bake some goodies for my trip.  We ended up staying really late singing Kingdom Melodies in all different languages, and enjoying the good company.

So, needless to say, I did not wake up at 5 am the next morning.  But it was ok, I decided that I would skip the Bethel tour, and just get to Samana earlier.  I was told the bus to Samana left at 12 pm, turns out no…not until 2:30… I arrived at 10:30, so I had a lot of free time on my hands.   I decided to try and catch the Bethel tour, but by the time I got there they were just finishing up. I got to hear a few words from Jose Pena, a wonderfully encouraging brother who is in charge of all the needgreating work in the country.  He urged everyone to make an appointment to come and talk with him if there was anything they wanted to discuss.  Any difficulties  and struggles he said he would love to make time to help in any way possible.  The branch really appreciates the needgreaters, and they take good care of us!

Jose Pena with the group

Jose Pena with the group

Afterwards, the group was going to the Mall next door to have lunch, so I tagged a long.  It was good to see everyone having a good time.  I had a little look around the mall but by that time it was time to go to back to Carribe Tours to catch my bus. 4 hours later and I’m in Samana and it’s GLORIOUS!!! It brought back so many memories, and it was beautiful as ever.  It is the cruise season, so they had all the booths up and it was all very festive.  I hopped on a moto with my suitcase and headed up to Lauren’s.

The view from Lauren's patio.

The view from Lauren’s patio.


Glorious weather for December!

Glorious weather for December!

Her roommate, Bailey is engaged to a brother I had met during my trip to Samana last year, Lovesky. (pronounced lo-ve-ski)  The three of us, Lauren, Bailey and I are all very similar.  They are both in the ASL too, so it has been fun.  Today we went out and did a few studies…easier said than done.  Samana is all hills, super steep hills.  I nearly died today, no joke.   But I love the ASL ministry here! Amazing people.








Lauren’s neighbors are a family recently moved here from Canada.  We met three of the brothers when we went to Holly’s house for the ASL class.  It was Christmas day, so no one else showed up for the class.  We sat and talked instead.  The twins are hilarious and they are learning Spanish and ASL!  Smart kids.

Zavie, Cazzy and Dante

Zavie, Cazzy and Dante


Last night we were starving because everything was closed for Christmas.  But around 7 pm things started opening up again.  Turns out that Christmas day is when everyone comes out in their new fancy clothes, all done up to the 9’s hanging out on the Malecon aka Boardwalk.  Larren, Bailey, Lovesky and I all went out for pizza.  We had a good time.  The Christmas decorations here could give Martha Stewart a run for her money!


A roasting pig made of bottles and trash.

A roasting pig made of bottles and trash.



A Christmas tree made of bottles.

Well I work all day tomorrow, but I get to go to the ASL meeting, so I am excited.  I gotta go now because its BEACH TIME!!! YAY!!!  I’ll be sure to post those pix with my next entry.  Also, I love all the emails, keep ’em coming!


El Reino de Dios


Today’s study was about the Kingdom. The pictures for Jehovah and Jesus have small crowns, but with the foam it’s a little hard to understand what it is. So we make life sized ones to explain. I think I might make one for me to wear around my house!




And So it Goes…


It has been a while since my last post and so much has been happening, I don’t know where to start!  Let me first say that IT’S COLD HERE!!!  I can’t believe how cold it gets at night and early in the morning here.  Of course, its winter, but it’s the Caribbean!  Marty brought me back an awesome, fluffy blanket from the states which I love soooooo much! THANK YOU MARTY!!!

The semester at New York Center has been coming to an end, so I was able to attend the graduation for some of my students.  That was an event, let me tell you! So, it was last Friday.  Aaron, Graham and I all went out in service with Teresa and had an awesome time.  It was my last day with Pocket as well (happy/sad).  So the plan was that Aaron and Graham were going back to their place with pocket and I would get ready and meet them there so we could take a taxi together to the graduation which started at 6pm.  Good plan.


I go home intending to study my Watchtower.  Apparently the moment I sat on my bed I died!  All I remember was waking up at 6:00pm to the loudest rain of the season and no electricity!  I was totally freaking out by then because this graduation is mandatory for teachers, as well as being this massively formal to-do and I look like a train wreck that just woke up!  So I call Aaron, and sure enough, they had been waiting for me.  So I tell them to go without me, I’ll come late with Bella and Isabel.  Turns out that the Bells don’t want to go out in the flood (understandable) and Aaron and Graham can’t seem to figure out how to get themselves to the place.  By this point I’m all done up to the 9’s (YEah!!) and there was no way I was going through all that effort for nothing.  So I call a cab and venture out into the storm, an hour and a half late.


When I arrived they had not even began reading the names, it was all performances and introductions and speeches.  Apparently is 3 hour event.  It was nice to see my students who had worked so hard get to be recognized for their work.  They were all happy to seem me as well as taken aback since I actually looked nice, not the usual frump-rushed, half dead, sack of potatoes they are used to seeing teach them English!

After the ceremony and the 20 years of taking pictures, we made our way to the Teacher’s After Party! Whoop!  It was at a nice restaurant, open bar, dancing and dancing, and more dancing!  Seriously, they started dancing as soon as we got there around 9:30 pm and were still dancing when I left around 2 am!  2 AM!!??? Yes, that was because, apparently, here in the Dominican Republic, you don’t eat food until you have danced for a good 5 HOURS!  Yep, no food was served until well after midnight.  I was very upset, and hungry.

Henry, a brother from my hall was also there, and two other sisters at my table.  We had a good time, laughed at all the teachers dancing, and tried to hear each other over the ridiculously loud music.  And on sister was kind enough to take us all home.  It was good getting to know them better, they really are sweet.  One sister, Ann is from Haiti and has moved here all on her own looking for work.  She speaks English, Creole, French, Spanish and now is learning Portuguese!  These Haitians are language geniuses, serious.









The next morning, I had promised Kimberly I would go and make Cinnamon Rolls with her.  So rise and shine!  It was fun, they are a sweet family that are very hospitable.  After I had finished there, (eating the rolls was the best part!) I decided to go for a walk.  I was already half way to the Monument, so I decided to go have a look around.  I haven’t been there, believe it or not since I’ve been here!  It was a gorgeous day, not too hot with a delicious breeze.  I was quite happy on top of the world.

Aaron steppin’ up to the plate!

Then, on Sunday Arron, Graham and I went out in service with Teresa again, but this time we went to the orphanage! It was amazing working with the kids and teaching them from the ‘Escuche a Dios” folleto.  The orphanage is run by a evangelical family, but they are very open to the Witnesses helping.  The main reason for our visit is a young blind girl Teresa calls on.  It was very interesting to work in this setting.

I was working with Ysmeli

This kid, Esteban, was so active. So I convinced him to ‘teach Graham Spanish’ and Graham was able to have him work on the Listen to God brochure.

Teresa Being a boss!

Only by Jehovah…

Graham lookin’ a lil overwhelmed!

On the way home we stopped at Bravo! They have a pet shop on the second floor.  That was fun.  I managed to take a picture of the tarantula, but just barely escaped with my life!  I wanted to take a picture with the BIG PARROT, but Bella told me no… 😦 said it could eat my eyeballs out.  After watching it eat a man’s button off his shirt, I agreed.


And last but not least, Monday was BEACH DAY!!!  Isabel has two young sisters from her home congregation in Madera staying with here for a couple months.  Janet and Alexis, 23 and 21 years old respectively.  They went with Bella, Gladys, Marty and me to the Beach.  It was absolutely beautiful, but in the afternoon it rained a little and got a little chilly.  But I the water was warm enough to swim, IN DECEMBER! So I’m not complaining.





So hopefully you enjoy the pictures!  And I will try to update more often.  Lot’s of love to all my readers! I love your emails, keep them coming!

Clara Luz, Do You Remember When We Would Come and Visit You?


This is my routine when I go on Clara Luz’s study every Friday with Teresa.  First I walk to where I can catch an “N” car and that takes me just a few blocks from the Kingdom hall where the Sign Language Group meets in Pekin.

Then Teresa and I drive to Clara Luz.  It’s a bit of a rough neighborhood, and not very clean.  We have to find the chairs, that are usually being used by the other kids.  We give Clara the most sturdy one and find a flat, clear area to conduct the study.

Clara luz’s House

This is Clara Luz’s house, though it’s not much of a house.  The shallow gutter that comes down from the alley there carries every kind of unsanitary fluid…I’ve seen so much flow down to the drain, it makes me cringe.




Just some pictures of us and Clara Luz.  She has be developing such a personality!  Sometimes when we are trying to teach a certain point, out of no where she just starts laughing and giggling and we have to give that point a rest.  I would love to know what’s got her tickled!

Friday Is ‘Hurricane’ Teresa Day


Friday’s are my long day in service with Teresa and they are usually filled with equal parts encouraging experiences, wacky Teresa-isms, and new things learned.  Teresa has 30 years of experience living and serving in this country and has a wealth of knowledge she is always ready to share.  We start the day with our study with Clara Luz and that always gives you an experience worth relating.  During the study this time three of the local neighborhood boys decided to watch what was going on.  So we had them pull up a chair and explained the process of using the book to teach Clara Luz.  They were very impressed.

Something I have learned with Teresa is to always include anyone who is even the smallest bit interested and to take the time to teach them as well.  Preaching is ASL is not limited to only finding those who are deaf.  Clara was, as always, inspiring.  She seemed a little tired, but was able to prepare a comment for the meeting.

The next study we go on is with Sara who has been studying with Teresa for some time.  After stopping for lunch and a rest, we head back out for two more studies.  By the time we finish its 8:30pm and we are starving.  Instead of getting a real dinner like most normal people, we decided on a chocolate croissant at a little bakery on the way home.  So worth it!  Today I am planing to go to my first actual Sign Language meeting, so I will have more to share I’m sure.

This is the common area in the missionary home where Teresa lives.

One thing that always hits me is when I look at what I’m doing.  I mean, who gets to work with a missionary every Friday?  What I have learned from Teresa is so invaluable, I am truly thankful to Jehovah.  We serve such a loving God, and this world wide brotherhood we should never take for granted.  Also, today’s day’s text is a wonderful reminder: [God’s] will is that all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.—1 Tim. 2:4.

So, when we are out preaching or are busy in our daily activities, we should feel impelled to “exert ourselves in the ministry, not primarily because of a time limit, but because we want to honor God’s name and help people to come to know his will.”  You learn to appreciate these words so much more here because the opportunities to apply them are everywhere.  If you want to expand your ministry, COME!  There is a need in every language- Spanish, English, ASL, Chinese, Creole, Russian, Italian and French!  You can be sure wherever you serve you will be useful and have wonderful experiences to share.  Just a small recruitment speech…I’m done now.