Last night we went out to eat with a group from Montana State that are here for a week working with Esperanza. Esperanza is a microfinance bank in the Dominican that works with the poor. We brought $25,000 with us to open up 5 new village banks through them. Montana State was meeting with them for a few days to observe their process while we are going to be intensively working with them for the next 2 weeks. We also have a group from Michigan State staying in our hotel that are just here to take classes. Tonight we are going out with both groups as well as the local Dominican students to a club/bar. There are 2 birthdays today (1 NU student, and a Dominican student) so we are going to go out Loco Dominicana style for some fun and dancing =)
During class today we had a guest lecturer, who talked about micro and small enterprises in the DR. As a lot of our lectures, it was done in Spanish. Yesterday we had a lecturer talking about the DR's economics and I had a very hard time deciphering what he wrote on the board!! (See below!) We had some Haitian students come in to talk and have a Q&A about their life and some struggles. There is a lot of racism/violence between the DR and Haiti and it was interresting to hear. Like many times throught the day, the power goes out. The first time it happened all the US students were stunned and everyone else went about their normal routine. They have a huge electricity problem here, but the good thing is that most buildings have generators.
For lunch, we went right next to the school to a little place that sold empanadas (sp?). They are very popular down here and verrryy good but verry unhealthy! It's similar to a fried calzone with cheese and meat in it. Every day I have been getting a hige plate of fresh fruit for only 50 pesos (a little over $1) which includes bananas, coconut, papaya, mango, watermelon, pineapple, and cantaloupe... in very spoiled with that!
So, tonight we are having a group dinner on the roof then heading out. The huge group of Montana, Michigan, us and the dominican students are going to "Doubles" which is a bar/disco right down the street from our hotel. BUT we have to be in the bus by 7am tomorrow to head to a rainforest. We are going to hike around and do some sightseeing stuff. I'm sure I'll have many more pictures tomorrow.