Friday Night Links 6/7/13… In which Tree checks in from the DR

We will get to the links, I promise, because there are some really good ones. First I wanted to share Katrina’s first email from the Dominican Republic and my response to her.

     I love it here. 
     Everyday has its ups and downs. Not that living here has any downs. It is mostly my being discouraged about the language. But the people here are so amazing, most of the time it doesn’t matter. It is mostly in my own head. Kaitlin and I were talking about it and she said she felt the same way but she would try to see it as her wanting to be acknowledged and she then found other ways to communicate. I have definitely found ways to create relationships.
     My house mom and I bonded for the first time today! She made me lunch (always a huuuuge amount of food) and we talked about birthdays and I told her mine was this month. She took me out back and pulled down a guayababa from her tree for me to eat, and we talked about family. I feel so much better staying in her house and eating her food now that we have connected. 
     Some nights I am not at home to hang for the evening, but I am learning that when I am, I hang out with the neighborhood kids on the porch. I will give you so much more details when I get home. I write about it every night in my journal. For now just know that there are a TON of neighborhood kids who come over to hang out with the new Americana. One girl in particular is special already. Her name is Richel. She has already done more for me than she will ever be able to know. Just by hanging out with me and trying to talk to me. It was nice tonight because the kids kept asking for words in English, very refreshing. 
     My favorite thing so far, besides the people, the nights, the way of life, the time, the simplicity, the air, and the newness, is the coffee. Yes, coffee!! It is so absolutely delicious!! I have at least 3 cups a day on average. Mainly due to hosts providing it when we visit. However, today we were offered lime milk and freshly made cherry juice. 
     I want to spill so much more but I will save it for when I get back!
     Just know that I love it here, even when I am feeling discouraged.
     I think about you guys everyday. Each new experience I picture telling you guys about it. 
     I will continue to call, but it was really difficult to hear dad’s voice. Hard when we always talked at least 3 times a day. =]
     Mom you get the next call, hopefully it will not be a tear session. But if it is, it just indicates how close we all are. I have the most amazing family. I love you guys so much!!!

Gosh, I’m just so proud of her. Here’s my response back:

Hello My Luv — 

I was totally planning on emailing you first… today in fact… but you beat me to it. I did put a post on your fb wall hoping eventually you’d see it. 
We love you so very much and are so very proud of you. I am so happy that you are loving the people, the trip, the experience — the coffee! Haha… Soak it all up, and don’t worry about us. 
You communicate in ways that are so much deeper than just by speaking. Your smile, your openness, your posture, your energy… all speak to others that you are special and are interested in them, which in turn makes them feel special, too. So when the language trips you up… just smile and play charades. That will be enough. 
I love you and can’t wait for you to come home and share your experience, but in the meantime, really, just enjoy yourself and the moment. We’ll always be here. 
Be safe. :>
Love you. 

I guess it’s quite common to feel isolated when you can’t communicate in a foreign country, which is why her traveling mentor/companion advised her to have someone available to email from time to time with her thoughts since she’ll be “in country” for six weeks.


Okay, now on to the fun stuff…

I don’t even “do” instagram but I found this hilarious anyway because most of it also applies to 99% of the photos posted to fb. (Warning, there is some strong language in this; so if you’re easily offended, don’t bother to watch it.)

Guilty, guilty, guilty! Will I stop? Heck, no!


We a very special place in our hearts for the Special Olympics and the Olympians. Turns out, I have a friend who has a special cousin. This video is so inspiring, and Katie has such a beautiful smile that I just had to share it. Thanks, again, Aunna, for sharing it with us!


Because we love a good video in support of our guys in blue… and gray… and tan…

Thanks for sharing, Josh!


In the category of THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A ROUTINE TRAFFIC STOP we have this video which contains graphic footage of shots fired.

My heart was in my throat as I watched this, because it is what I imagine may happen every time one of my officers encounters someone bent on their destruction. Thankfully, the good guys were wearing vests.

Thank you to “Through the Eyes of a 9-1-1 Dispatcher” for sharing it.


From my cousin Jonathan, we have this simply amazing video:

Love, love, love that one. Music is so important in my life, too; I hope someone thinks to “wake me up” with it when the time comes if I’m blessed to live that long. Henry has some pipes, too!

In fact, I have an iPod Shuffle that I was just looking at the other day wondering how to unload it, I mean give it to someone who would find it useful. I feel a visit to my local nursing home is my near future.


We’ll finish with the reason why I didn’t write my usual beginning of the week post… because I had better things to do, hehe:

USBC Women's National 2013

USBC Women’s Nationals 2013

Yep, that’s me on the far right. I was respectable in the team event, did okay in doubles, and absolutely bombed on the singles event. Oh well. Reno is always fun, as are my compadres. We had a great time.


Enjoy your weekend!