Pancho dropped me off the same day I fainted on the highway and I walked into my house, dumped everything onto my bed and headed to shower in the house across the street and down the road. It was important to be looking my best because it was a special day! It was graduation!

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Fourteen students graduated and four of them wore yellow, marking them as the best students in the class. I was really excited and happy for them. I think I brought more enthusiasm than was normal.

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My favorite baby, Harley.

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My other favorite baby.

I just kept thinking about graduating from high school and college and how great and important those days were and how important education is and I felt a speech bubbling inside me but luckily wasn’t asked to say anything – I don’t know if I could have handled that post-Dengue.

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This guy sang and it wasn’t even awkward. 

But it made me realize how much I want to work with the school – the teachers, the students, the curriculum. I want to read to kids and start a library and a computer center (no one has computers, let alone internet.) I have many hopes and I’ve imagined so many things for this town but soon I have to start putting some things together!

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My project partner GLOWING as they announced her son was one of the best students.

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My beautiful project partner and her son: Yoha and Yosandres

Immediately after the ceremony everyone took off their fancy clothes and put on normal clothes and those who had graduated could go to the open one room discoteca/patio and drink with their teachers. Pretty cool.

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The graduates.

To keep the celebration going a bunch of the kids graduating decided to spend Saturday at the beach and they invited me! This meant I got to hang out with a bunch of high schoolers and all their friends while they got drunk. Woooo! The beach was beautiful and to my Dengue-ridden body the sun and the warm water were welcome.

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The Nagua beach.

We left at “eight” in the morning (more like 9 and we stopped every time we needed more rum) to get to the beach at 11 or so. Nagua is beautiful. You look across the water and the tiny peninsula of Samana stretches out into the ocean. The sand is so soft you sink into it and the water is warm.

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I spent most of the day in the water, forgetting that you can still get sunburnt while in the water. Towards the end of the day, people were dancing and drinking in a club on the beach and as we headed home we stopped at a big, cold river where we washed off the salt, changed, and danced more. I was so tired when I got home! When we finally got dropped off I walked home, ate soup, and crawled in bed.

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They told me to pose “with style”.

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