The sun was lighting up the western sky, setting the clouds on fire. I began running, exploring the barrio to the south, ultimately finding myself at a familiar intersection.
July's house is that way. But I could see the sun setting to through a suspension bridge to the west. I put the sun in my face and ran along the river a la puente.
La gente me miraba como si era loco. Supongo que no suelen a ver un hombre blanco y grande corriendo por sus calles, con sudor en su frente y moccasins en sus pies.
I reached the bridge and ran across it as the muddy river rushed by underneath and the glowing sun dipped under the western clouds. "Permiso, hermanos," I said as I came up on a group of young guys. They parted, surprised and slightly amused.
After coming back across the bridge, I found Calle Restauración and headed for the city's center. After turning at El Encanto (the Dominican Version of Walmart), I got a little mixed up and had to ask a man on the corner for directions to the monument. Surprisingly, he answered in English, even though I asked in Spanish. "Follow the road until it ends and turn left. There big" - here he raised his arms wide - "monument."
Following his directions, I found myself at the base of the hill the monument sits on. I did three sprints up the front steps. Seems like a popular workout spot; there were some locals there doing stairs and calisthenics. I suppose I should explain what this place is: it's a big tower over a building with statues of and quotes from the Heroes of the Restoration - Los Heroes de la Restauración. Basically the Dominican Washington Monument.
From the top of the hill, the sunset was incredible: although the sun had fallen behind the mountains, the western sky looked like fire. As I turned for home, the colors began to fade into night.
Genson, my seven-year-old house brother, asked where I went.
"Corrí a la puente y al monumento."
"¿Por qué fuiste al monumento a pie?"
"Porque me gusta correr."
"Morirás corriendo. Algún día, te vas a morir corriendo."
"Entonce', será una muerte buena."
I went inside for a shower, but the water didn't work. I was soaked in sweat. No AC, no shower. The joys of running.
Monica made me a greasy sandwich - great recovery food. Now Genson wants to play patilla - baseball with water jug caps and a broomstick. Entonce', he terminado de escribir.
If you want a translation, let me know.