July July July, just another month. What's happening in my life? Things are growing, the kitten, the puppies, the rabbits, the chickens, the garden, the neighborhood kids, the relationship with the boyfriend, the amount of papers in my bookshelf... even the nights are growing-- warmer that is.

Little adventures, chores, activities, projects. A few of us went to the reservoir to spend the day swimming and boating and fishing. The Dominican idea of fishing is casting a hook baited around the edge of the water on a line wrapped around PVC tubing until the whole thing is irretrievably tangled in the bushes. This is, of course, during the heat of the day when all the fish are resting on the bottom out in the center of the lake.

So we made a locrio out of auyama and rice, not really expecting to eat fish in the first place.

The boys thought it would be a great idea to walk (barefoot and almost naked) several kilometers through the tropical scrub brush to the other bank of the inlet. And at that point, it seemed appropriate to steal a small fishing boat and row it, circling around and around (because they didn't know how to paddle) back to the near shore.

We left it there as we headed up the hill to the truck to bounce back along country mountain roads back to town, stopping to visit with relatives and pick up some beans.



As to activities and projects, the women in my community have finally gotten it together so that, after nine meetings, we founded the community bank. We have had three meetings since then and have raised over 1000 pesos.

The way it works is that each associate brings the same amount of money to deposit in the strongbox at the weekly meetings. Then when people need a loan, the women vote who to give it to, and cover a 10% interest.

A month later when the money is returned with interest, the income is kept in the community bank account and is property of all the associates equally.

In this way, the women learn to save, the money is liquidated in the community for short term money making projects, and everyone has a small income from the divided interest of all the money loaned during the fiscal year.

At the end of the year mark, the bank can be liquidated, returning to each associate all the money she ever put in, plus her share of the interest. Good idea, yes?

Also, the women's group is growing cilantro, and various other people in the community have started their home organic gardens, taking advantage of the rains.

Most corn is in and dry, and the pomegranites are just starting to get ripe while the limoncillos are just passing their time. The mangoes are almost all wormy by now, but it is now when the avocadoes come into their time.

Chores? Yeah, well there are always chores to be done. I feel like the majority of my time is spend going to town to purchase veggies and roots and fruits and bread unavailable or expensive in my town. Then preparing the meal, sitting down to eat it, cleaning the kitchen and washing the dishes, sweeping the floor, washing my clothes and sheets by hand, feeding the rabbits and dogs and cat, cutting guinea grass with a machete up in the lomas.

Just random things like knocking cement blocks out of an old swine raising building to make supports for a bookshelf and for the stove, or pulling weeds and watering what we planted in the garden, or cutting down small trees to make supports for the tomatoes, or even just scrubbing the dirt out of my sandals and sewing the holes in the mosquitero.

But somehow the day dissolves itself in its own sunshine, and I find myself lying on my back resting on the sidewalk looking up at the stars with the kitten and the puppies rambunctiously playing King of the Mountain on my chest.

Speaking of things on my chest, Angel wants to join the Military Academy and go through four years of cruel torture from his peers and superiors just for the sake of a free college education.

He is the brightest student in his class, and has been awarded a scholarship from the Senator in Ocoa, but doesn't want to take it because as he says, he wants to do everything on his own account.

Quite proud and silly, he resorts to brutish exercises like parashuting off a 1000 foot cliff and carrying stones to who knows where in this country. We'll see what happens, but at least he has finished high school and has his degree.

People often mention that Angel is very young, but then people think that he looks older than I do. In either case, him looking older than he is or me being older than I seem, we match right up in the middle.

It still amazes me to this day how we became involved, but different times call for different measures. Some people have hinted that Angel is just a connection that I have made within a certain context, and that when the context no longer exists then neither will the connection.

But People have also advised me that one shouldn't take too much advice from people. All I know about our future together is that we will continue taking one day at a time, doing little chores, organizing projects and activities, and going on those much needed adventures.