Blogs from Dominican Republic, Central America Caribbean

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Friday June 28, 2019 - It did not all work out beautifully. But it wasn’t too bad. I woke up early, packed up, watched a couple episodes of Modern Family, as I try to catch up on tv shows this summer. I asked one of the ladies at the guesthouse to call the bus for me to tell them that I was coming, but they could not get through. Not that it would have mattered much anyway truthfully. I left around 9:15, bought a baguette sandwich for the road, and waited for the guagua (minibus) to leave for Samana. This one wasn’t so much a minibus as a pick-up truck. I sat in the cab but could have sat in the back. No thanks. I was the only passenger for some time, and we drove at ... read more
My transport to Samana - the white one
My transport from Samana to Cabarete
My crib


Wednesday June 26 - I didn’t sleep great, but I definitely slept more than last night. It was hot, despite two fans. But at some point, the power went out and then the fans stopped. Not an emergency, but not as pleasant as it could have been. I actually drank a lot of water yesterday and had to wake up twice to pee, despite the sweating. The first time I woke up with a headache, and the second time I still had it so I took an advil, which did not do the job. I had the headache for most of the day but it did go in the end. I got out of bed around 6am and decided I would take the 8am bus with Caribe Tours to get to Samana rather than the 10am. ... read more
The way home
La Playita
La Playita


Monday June 24, 2019 - The school came to a close with a couple very busy weeks. First there was a week of exams, with a lot of grading and report writing. Next for me was a week in the Vosges in France hiking and camping with the Duke of Edinburgh students. Not much down time there. Back at school afterwards there was Sports Day, two days of classes, and the last day of school which included an hour and a half ISB Idols talent/variety show that my student council puts on. They do such a great job and it went extremely well, but by the end I was exhausted, and not just from the teacher dance in the show. Friday we finished up cleaning up our classrooms and had a staff bbq. I spent the ... read more
My night at the Marriott
My airbnb in Santo Domingo
Plaza de Independencia


There is a breeze coming through the gate doors now, lessening the oppressive heat that stays in this casa much of the day. There is no connected air conditioning here, which was an unwelcome surprise, not at all what this B&B had advertised. There are ceiling fans in most of the rooms, allowing for restless sleeping, plus the fans - especially if you are directly beneath one - make the heat almost tolerable. We sweat so much, which is actually good for releasing toxins, but we need to drink tons of water to replenish fluids that are continually lost. Since I've been here in Santo Domingo I drink at least twice as much as I do at home, and still I'm probably dehydrated. Our poor kidneys are overworked! My youngest daughter Laila and I had planned ... read more


Puerto Plata not Cap Cana, Dominican Republic So today is Cap Cana, Dominican Republic…er…maybe not. We have been told the weather is a problem at Cap Cana and we would not be able to tender everyone in, too rough, so… we’ll be going instead to Amber Cove, Puerto Plata, a UNESCO World Heritage Center, on the northern shore of the Dominican Republic. Fine by us. We have not been to the Dominican Republic and are looking forward to it, no matter the location. Today is intermittent rain and hot sunshine. Normal. The port areas of Amber Cove are like many in the Caribbean nowadays. It is developed for the cruise ship passengers…clean, safe and a place to spend your money. But, for us, we want to see the countryside, the town and talk to the people. ... read more
Picking through the dump
Off to the store
Cope Catholic Church


Just back from a 2 week getaway to escape one of the most unpleasant months of the year at Sauble...cold, high winds and no neighbours. Carolyn & Ken (family) had been to Cayo Levantado twice and recommended it...we agreed! Click on the first pic to see each one better.... read more
Dominican Getaway
The dock and main lobby
Huge room


Friday was a bittersweet day. We had to say goodbye to the community of El Capa, which is where we spent most of our week. The families were so welcoming - bringing us coffee, corn and plenty of hugs. They look out for each other and made us feel right at home. We weren't strangers we were friends. We spent the morning celebrating what we accomplished together. From laying floors, painting houses, playing with the children and building friendships; there was nothing but smiles filling the community. We all gathered around to share snacks and give thanks for our time together. Many pictures were taken to acknowledge our work and coming together. We definitely took with us love in our hearts and an experience that will forever change us all. Today is our last day in ... read more
Our team in El Capa
Our team with El Capa Community
The Caves


We are officially more than halfway through our Build! Time is flying by! Today we poured two concrete floors in homes that had dirt floors. Having a concrete floor will reduce family illnesses by 85%. We are blessed to be able to help these families have more sanitary living conditions. The owners were so excited and welcomed us with open arms. We also enjoyed spending time with the children in the community. We colored, blew bubbles, and threw around a frisbee. The children were such a joy to be around and even though most of us speak no, or very limited Spanish, we found ways to communicate with them. In the evening we attended a cooking demonstration. We learned to make a traditional Dominican dish using plantines, pork rinds, and spices. It was very good!... read more
Mixing concrete
High five!
Taking a short break!


Today was our last full day at the build site. We started a new job digging the foundation for a home in San Juan of la Maguana. Our job consisted of digging 3' holes and shoveling out the dirt. It typically takes the locals here about three days to complete this portion of building a home. We had great weather with lots of sunshine, which made our work even more grueling. Lots of sun screen, water and taking breaks helped to keep the team motivated. We ended our work day cooling off with Bon Ice Cream. This truly is a team tradition. Tonight we will enjoy dinner at the local Mexican restaurant El Espia. Tomorrow is our last day here in San Juan of la Maguana. Saying goodbye to the community will be bittersweet, but we ... read more
Digging the foundation
Hauling dirt
Digging the foundation


Today we went to the factory to make the concrete slabs for the prefabricated houses. We were blessed with wonderful weather. We mixed concrete, poured it into forms and smoothed it out. It will then sit for several weeks to dry. This evening we went to the Jinova Community where we met two families who received a prefabricated home earlier this year. What a wonderful opportunity to see the final product of the work we did today, meet the families and see how they have made the house their home. Tomorrow we will travel back to the community and lay concrete floors.... read more
Rock
Cement
Add Cement




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