I love Santo Domingo! The history and beauty of the city is overwhelming. Saturday, we went as a group to the city for the day and then me, John, Erin, and Kori decided to stay the night and catch a bus back to Santiago on Sunday.
It was amazing to walk the same streets Christopher Colombus did, stand in the exact location where it was announced that there would be no more slavery in any Spanish colonies, and to see the exact location where Trujillo was assassinated. It was also amazing to stand in the first cathedral and the first hospital in the Americas.
We had so much fun Saturday! We hung out at a local open air bar outside our hotel in the Zona Colonial and learned how to play dominoes (it's an insanely popular game here!) and listened to merengue and bachata music. We were the only tourists there and everyone was nice to us!
After we finished our game of dominoes, we left to go to some discotecas. First, we went to the "semi-legendary night club" Guacara Taina, which is a club 100ft underground in a cave! The place was incredible, but unfortuantely, there wasn't too much going on (perhaps 11:30 was too early to get there! haha), so we went to a smaller night club back in the Zona Colonial which was much more hoppin!
On Sunday, we let ourselves sleep in a bit and then went out to go visit some places we saw on our tour the day before. We spent a ton of time on the roof of an old fort relaxing in the sun and enjoying the view. We also went to the mosuleum that Trujillo intended to be completely his, but the Dominicans wouldn't permit him to be buried in the country, so now it is filled with people who were extremely important to the DR both in history and in recent times. We ate lunch in China town, which was an incredibly fun and confusing experience! We were never taught in our classes how to order Chinese food in Spanish! :) From there we tried to go shopping, but most stores were closed because it was Sunday, so we decided to walk through the city to the bus station instead of taking a cab. Along the way, we were welcomed to the DR by many people and ate at a Baskin Robins with two Peace Corps volunteers.
It was such a fun city! I hope to go back there a lot of the course of the semester!