Monday, January 27, 2014



There are some days when it's difficult to live in another country. It can be tough to work in a different language and culture, not to find what we're looking for at the grocery store, and to answer questions like "Why can't we see snow?" and "When can we go to Grandma and Grandpa's house?"

But there are lots of times when we feel spoiled. We live in a beautiful place and get to work with wonderful people. And, within a few hours, we can drive to a beautiful beach like this one where we went over the holidays. Its name, Playa Bonita, actually means "beautiful beach."

It was gorgeous!

And fun for the kids. I'm not sure what they enjoyed more--swimming in the ocean…

…or digging in the sand.

This little guy was amazed at a tree growing out of the rocks.

And this one's highlight was standing up on the surfboard!

Although we were eaten alive by mosquitoes, it was a trip that we won't soon forget!

We are blessed!

Marcie Cooper

Monday, January 13, 2014


Happy New Year!

How many times do you think you will eat rice this year? A few? A lot? Three hundred and sixty-five? I think that people around here will eat rice almost every day--if not twice a day! I have been on school field trips where almost every kid had a container of cold rice packed for lunch. They offered to share but I was happy with my sandwich!

Over New Year's we had a chance to travel to the east part of the island where we had never been before. On our way, we drove through field after field of rice. I had always wondered where it was grown! In many places, men were hunched over planting it by hand. What a lot of work!

People all around the country live off of this staple food, including the staff and students at our school. Our cooks prepare so much rice that they have to stir it with a giant paddle. We appreciate their hard work!

When they occasionally make pasta or hot dogs, the kids wonder where the rice is. They just don't seem to get tired of it! Our kids don't either. Our little one doesn't even really like potatoes. It must be because he was born here!

Whether you're eating rice or potatoes or whatever your staple food might be, I hope that you have a wonderful year!

Marcie Cooper

Click here to read more about how Dominicans cook their rice.