Only two weeks left until I return to the U.S. for a while, and then it’s on to Thailand, Laos and Singapore. I’ll be fairly busy here, getting things together, filling out forms and reports that are necessary for the completion of the current contract and for the start of the next. I’m also preparing a workshop to give for teachers in Samana, in the northern part of the country, as soon as I return in the second week of October. The tough part about that is that most of the English teachers there speak no or very little English!! I’ll have an interpreter when I need one, but it’s still going to be a difficult task. It should be very interesting, if nothing else.

My teaching schedule here at the Yankee camp is winding down. Friday is the last day for my regular classes, although I’ll be teaching some classes next week to some of the new players who will be signing contracts on July 2nd. I’ve given them a few classes already and they’re a pretty sharp group of youngsters, aged 16 to about 18. They’re very charming and polite, and, as I’ve found out with most of my other students, they actually know more English than they think they know (if that makes any sense).

In the other classes, to avoid going into a chapter that I know we wouldn’t finish by the time I leave, I’ve been showing some excellent English language videos about baseball, especially about old-time Yankee teams and players, which the students enjoy. It’s fun and it’s English! To check their listening comprehension, I ask questions afterwards and lead a discussion about who is better; e.g., Babe Ruth or Alex Rodriguez? (Babe Ruth, by a mile.)

Anyway, like I said, I have a lot to do, including getting everything packed. I never have made a practice pack yet, but I have to do one this weekend in order to see how much room I’ll have for souvenirs going back to the ‘States and for class materials to bring back to the D.R. When I go into Santo Domingo for the Ambassador’s 4th of July Fiesta, I plan to do some souvenir shopping earlier that day and the next. Actually, from looking at the U.S. Embassy website, it seems that there is not an official ambassador appointed to the D.R. at the moment. The Charge d’Affairs, Mr. Roland Bullen, appears to be the Chief of Mission at the moment. (Someone correct me if I’m wrong.) The party will be at his residence, I assume, and Rex Moser tells me that it’s a great affair. I’ll let you know in a later post who of influence and power I end up rubbing shoulders with. 😀

My Laotian friend Nai is in the hospital with malaria. He sounds ok over the phone, but I definitely am worried about him. I told him that if he was still sick when I got to Laos, I would take him to Bangkok to find a GOOD doctor to help him out. I’m not sure that I trust the Lao doctors or their health care system, an unfortunate drawback to living in this charming but impoverished, Third World, Communist country. (Sigh) More later.