[Edited 12/12/2007–I forgot to put a subject line in this posting, so I added one on this date.]

First, thanks to everyone for the birthday greetings. I hope I’m still still posting to this blog at the same time next year.

Everyone departed from the camp today, leaving for their respective homes in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. Except for a few security guards, I’m the only one here tonight, and I’m feeling quite lonely and alone. Teaching everyday it’s easy to become friends with at least some of your students, especially if you’re living with them 24/7, so, naturally, I miss many of them already. Most of them will be returning to the camp in February, so I’ll see them soon. I said goodbye to as many of them as I could before I beat a path to the Boca Chica beach, my last visit there for a few months. Unfortunately, there are no good beaches in Santo Domingo. Perhaps I’ll have to return on a free weekend or, better, spend several days on one of the Dominican Republic’s world-class beaches of Bavaro or Punta Cana around Christmastime, a slow season, believe it or not, because many tourists stay home for the holidays.

Baseball Hall-of-Famer Reggie Jackson has been working at the camp the last few days and I caught a glimpse of him as he ran by me going to his ride to Santo Domingo. Victor Mata, whose official title eludes me, but which I’d guess to be Head of Baseball Operations at the camp and who is also one of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet, said goodbye to me this morning. He also asked if I had gotten an autographed baseball from Reggie. No, I hadn’t. He gave me one and also another signed by future Hall-of-Famer Mariano Rivera. Wow! What a couple of surprise gifts. Thanks, Victor.

Like I stated before, I’m the only one here. It sure is quiet. You can almost here the cold, lonely stars whispering their way across the heavens. The surrounding dark and mysterious forest and scrub land is silent tonight with the lack of any breeze. I often wonder why there is a large fence topped with barbed wire surrounding the complex, separating it from the encompassing countryside. Why do we need security guards? Is there something we should guard against or fear? Well, anyway, it is sure is quiet.

Whoa, what was THAT sound? Just a sec while I take a look outside . . .

Hello . . . Who’s there?
. .
What the hell is THAT?

Oh, my God . . . . . . . . . . . . !!! It’s . . . . .