Blogs from Dominican Republic, Central America Caribbean - page 8


I believe that I have a day that encapsulates my life: El dia perfecto Alarm beeping, 7:20am. I grudgingly swivel my head around to turn off my alarm. While rubbing my eyes, I get out of bed and willing step through my door to sit down at the table for breakfast. Literally, 2 minutes later, my Dona, Dona Chede (its her nickname, very common here to use), puts in front of me a breakfast of avena, some kind of sweet bread, and a mixture of papaya, pineapple and mystery fruit #3 (lets just say I forgot the name and really I only know the name of this fruit in spanish, but it tastes so similar to me). First, lets talk about avena…Genus English….Oatmeal…..Genus Tal’s dictionary…Not fucking oatmeal. Oh don’t get me wrong, I like it, really ... read more

In need of some sun, sand and surf, and on the cusp of a milestone birthday, I decided to spend a week at a surf camp, where I enjoyed the sunny, 30-degree Dominican sun, met some new-found friends, caught a wave or two, and enjoyed exploring the local beachside town. A link to a travel article I wrote for a local paper is available here: read more

Week 2 proved to be the light at the end of the tunnel. We all were battling upset stomachs, struggling to learn the language, and learning about all of the bugs and the type of bites that left you looking as if you had contracted some sort of disease. This week was a shortened week as we only had 3 days in the clinic and then we would be off to an outdoor adventure resort called Rancho Baugiate in Jarabacoa where Jurassic Park was filmed. Hallelujah! We had all become familiar with the transportation by now and had ventured out a few times to try out the restaurants and enjoy the culture. The downtown area of Santiago was very nice and the food was delicious. It felt good to shower thoroughly and put on something other ... read more

Hopefully my pictures will speak for me throughout this blog but I will do my best to describe this amazing country. After a whirlwind of packing, re-packing, and a long plane ride from Seattle, WA to the Dominican Republic (DR) I finally landed in the tropical and sticky climate of what was to be my new home for the next 5 weeks. It was a site to see 18 "gringos" congregating in the airport attempting to speak their first words of Spanish to each other. We arrived at the ILAC Mission center around 9 p.m. with large amounts of luggage and mosquitos in the air. We quickly became aquainted with the thin mattresses and large mosquito nets. The next morning we arose, earlier than planned, to the farmhouse orchestra of cows, chickens, roosters, and who knows ... read more
ILAC Mission
ILAC Mission
ILAC Mission

Hello all! It's been a few weeks and a busy time in the office, but I snuck out for 4 days to go to the D.R. for their 2nd Intl. Bachata Festival the weekend before last. After an 8 hour busride I was in Santo Domingo for an incredible first trip to other country that shares this island. Not only was the contrast in city infrastructure striking between Haiti and the D.R., but even on the busride over there was a notable difference in the agriculture: organized fields, tools, tractors, irrigation systems for rice fields, etc. (another convo about international investment and country histories would be great to have here, but I can't do it justice now...). Anyways... It was the first time I've ever paid for a hotel in my adult life (granted I shared ... read more
Dancing dancing dancing
Workshop time
Hotel! Buffet! Hot water!


The Dominican Republic was awesome. I was in Santo Domingo mostly but took a day trip to Santiago de los Caballeros. Santiago de los Caballeros is about 2.5hrs by bus from Santo Domingo and the city is very rich in Arts and Culture. I visited lots of Arts Exhibitions. In Santo Domingo, I stayed 10mins walking distance from the zona colonial and again I enjoyed being close to the colonial zone. My host was great and I felt like a part of the family. I didn’t do lots of touristy stuff here; I just hung out with the locals and immersed myself in the culture. This meant that I attended classes with my host at the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD), I took the guagua (public transport) and went to a local discoteca. One of ... read more
On the streets toward the Malecon
Photo 28
Photo 3

It has been one week since I've returned from the Dominican Republic. It was with great longing and sadness that I so recently returned to normal life. Two weeks ago, six students, two adult leaders, and I set out on a mission trip to bring fresh water to the town of "El Puerto." I've never gone on a mission trip before. In fact, I've always been wary of the idea of evangelism. In the past, the word "missionary" would conjure up notions of conquistadores, cultural oppression, and religious intolerance. However, as I’ve grown in my faith, I’ve realized the value of sharing, service, and cultural exchange central to journey I was called to undertake. Everyday was a 10 hour work day filled with arduous labor and open fellowship with the community around us. Truly, it was ... read more
The Drill II
The Drill III
The Well

Sorry for the long delay between posts, but I had something written down before leaving for my volunteer visit, but the power went out and my work just wasn’t saved. And of course, I was lazy in trying to write it again cause it was late and well, I was tired. Okay so back onto my story to grandma’s house. So we pick up the story, where the dashing protagonist has left his quiet, safe, and lawful home to aid a fellow knight in his battle against the evil dark lord in the lawless town of La Barrera. Before arriving to give aid, he proceeded to have a long journey. This first started with a meetup with a fellow trainee, Jeff, and eventually , this dashing, roguish protagonist, (you would think I should put Tal here, ... read more

So I got my phone today! My number is 809-723-2761. All calls and text messages that anyone makes to me is completely free so you can always do that! Of course I will be getting a calling card soon to talk to you guys out of the DR! Also, I know that there are ways to call abroad for very little or free! Talk to Maria she is super jewy! Got to go now!... read more

Okay, I want to start off by saying that in 2 days I will be getting a cell phone so you guys and girls will be able to call and text me! So far, it feels like I have been shackled because we are not allowed to leave the city or even go downtown. All of us are in the surrounding neighboorhoods outside the city, but tomorrow we start to learn more about public transportation by taking different public transports. I have talked about the carro publicos, but now we will be taking the guagua. It is like a full size van and of course like the carro publico, they stuff as many people into that van as possible so if there are like 12 real seats there will probably be like 16 people. I have ... read more

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