After the softball game Saturday’s schedule in Nagua continued at a local restaurant where we had lunch with the opposing team. To foster conversations between the players of the two teams each table had some people from each school and at least one person who could help translate.
The basketball game was in a local gym with a group of girls representing UAPA (Universidad Autonoma Para Adultos), and again the GC team was victorious. Although the opposing team didn’t have the benefit of sports scholarships, matching uniforms, or some other ingredients we take for granted, they played with an extra dose of heart and love for the game.
There was one competition that GC could not win at: dominoes. This is a national pastime in the Dominican Republic on display, it seems, in every neighborhood at any time. While UAPA wanted a larger competition between players from both schools, the number of experienced players in the GC group totaled …. just one. Keyaira protested that she didn’t know how to play very well, but then went on to win her first 3 matches. Against a second opponent, however, although she racked up a respectable number of points, it was inevitable that the team from the land of eternal dominoes was going to take the trophy.
On Sunday, before heading back to Santo Domingo, we took a side trip to visit the museum and former home of the most famous women in Dominican history, Las Hermanas Mirabal (The Mirabal Sisters), familiar in the U.S. to those who have seen the movie In the Time of Butterflies (with Salma Hayek and Marc Anthony). The students learned that 2 of the sisters had studied to become a lawyer and an engineer at a time when there were almost no women in the entire country in those professions. They had become politically active against the 30-year-old Trujillo dictatorship, which lead to their being beaten to death.
On the way back to Santo Domingo our bus broke down twice, providing us with 2 unexpected opportunities. One was a chance to slow down and take a longer look at the beautiful mountains in the center of the country. The second breakdown was near the humble shack of an elderly gentleman living beside the road. We marveled at how he was so proud to show us his home and simple garden.