On the flight into Santo Domingo I was lucky enough to sit by an awesome older Dominican woman named Librada. I introduced myself and told her I need a little practice with Spanish before I got off the plane. I didn't quite realize her level of English comprehension until she went on to talk my ear off for most of the flight, all in full on Dominican Spanish. As I listened, I caught the gist of most of what she said and enough to understand that she loves cooking, especially fish, mangu, and habichuela. She talked a lot about food and drinks until I could finally ask her about baseball.
I told her that I loved baseball and would possibly even like to live in the DR some day working for an organization after I'm done with school in Michigan. When I mentioned Michigan her eyes lit up and told me that she has been to Michigan a few times to visit her friend... The mother of a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. I tried to figure out who it could be when she couldn't remember his name. My best guess was, and still is Al Alburquerque but she wasn't sure if that was right.
She went on to tell me a story about how her nephew played baseball with Robinson Cano when he was younger. He now plays in a league in Europe after a short stint in the minor leagues. After she realized how much I loved hearing that story she told another one of how her sister lives right next to Pedro Martinez's mom. She talked about how poor Pedro was when he was young that he couldn't even buy a bicycle he wanted... I don't think he has to worry too much about that now. She even gave me her phone number before we got off the plane telling me to call her whenever I was in Miami so she could cook for me. I gave her mine as well and told her to call me if she's in michigan so I could get some free tickets to a Tigers game.
We arrived at the airport and took a short bus trip to TIerra Alta (SF Giants complex). On the drive over we caught our first glimpse of how the conditions are for the majority of the population.
The conditions are definitely a lot different here at the Giants complex compared to just a mile down the road. We are a bit secluded from the area in the pictures, divided by about a mile of forest. Here we stay in one large room with the team and have access to a pool, a basketball court, and a cafeteria where we will eat 3 meals a day. Can't wait to practice tomorrow and see what God has in store for us the next few days here!