Monday, 2 April 2012

The Last Post

Well, this will be our last post. We have been here for nearly 6 months and now it is time to return to Canada. I'll try to add as many pictures as I can this time. We will certainly miss San Pedro de Macoris. Regardless what people say about San Pedro the people here are it's true riches. We will miss them. We do plan to return after 6 months. It will be sometime in either October or November and we can pickup where we ended. It's been great. Adios, Rick

We had two good photo trips that I will share with you. One to Santo Domingo to a Jurassic Park exhibition and another to a open air market here in San Pedro.

Here we are driving into Santo Domingo towards a beautiful world class Botanical Garden park. We have just left the main highway turning off the overpass towards the park.
Just a comment about the city. It is large and modern with a population of 3,712,391 people in 2010 and it is not without contradictions and problems. There  is a growing middle class and a healthy upper class (people with a lot of money) however there is also a lot of poverty and areas that are quite run down or areas not served well by the city. But even in the poor areas of the city or any city here, poverty can also be divided into middle, lower and desperate. Most people  
seem to be working toward the goal of  building and owning their own casa. Time will tell how well the government does as it attempts to raise the standard of living  of the Dominican people.


Today Jurassic Park is the featured attraction

Transportation through the park is by little trains with rubber wheels that pull carloads of people around the grounds

Where is our driver going?

Oh Oh, It's flat. This train is not moving for a while

This tree is at the entrance to the Japanese Botanical Gardens. Good thing the flat happened close enough to walk to it.

This beautiful young woman is celebrating her 15th birthday with her family. In the Dominican young women and their families seem to spare no expense for their daughters birthdays. They were at the Japanese Gardens taking pictures and having a good time.

Gloria standing by a very large tree that people apparently like to scratch their initials on. A very 
impressive tree.

A good picture of Angie our daughter Angela's niece.

Back to Jurassic Park

A photo that I played around with as you can tell. This a zip line for the kids that are brave enough to try it.

The natural forest at the park

Trees with flowers, some are really beautiful

A blurry but interesting picture. It was dark when we left the park and then had to deal with a huge traffic problem as people headed out of Santo Domingo.

The Market place San Pedro de Macoris

I wanted a few more pictures before I left San Pedro de Macoris, so I hired my moto concho for 3 hours to drive me around a certain area of San Pedro were I could take more pictures that I could use later on. As we were traveling down the road I glanced to my left and saw this open air market.

The market covers one block on one street that has been blocked off for their use. The produce for the most part looks good and fresh. The prices are as they say here, cheapie, cheapie

For a few pesos people are able to buy fresh food everyday
The surprise came when Wagner led us off the street and down a dark corridor. Inside there were numerous corridors leading every direction and dozens and dozens of small shops selling everthing you could imagine.

Need fresh meat, no problem

On the other hand . What about a cows head to make soup

                                            That,s better now it can see

And that's the market. YA'LL COME BACK NOW!

Rick and I have been blessed to have the opportunity to come to the Dominican Republic to help share the Gospel.
There was a time when we could have bought a retirement home near a golf course and a large lake. The price was more than right. The more I thought about being put out to pasture in later years seemed very unappealing. We wanted to do something for the Lord with all the free time we were going to have.
In 2009 when we attended our daughters wedding in the Dominican we felt a desire that we should return to make a difference here. Everything fell into place. Missionaries from Haiti wanted to rent our home in Devon, and since he is a carpenter we offered them a-steal of a deal on the rent- in exchange for renovating the house. They agreed. The next day a dealer bought our new car back and we no longer had payments to make. As matter of fact we made some money.
Our daughter who is in the airline industry found a fabulous seat sell. We were on our way! 
Since that time we have been busy handing out Spanish tracts everywhere we go.
The Dominican people who are very gracious and polite usually begin reading them immediately. Rick was giving them a English/Spanish version of The Four Spiritual Laws and was surprised because the people would often be coming to him saying, "I want one of those."
The Christians here have laid the groundwork as more and more new churches are being built and many home churches are also being created. There are street preachers preaching through megaphones in the morning and also holding street meetings in the evening.
Many local Christians are walking and handing out tracts. They call it trabajo por Dios or (working for the Lord).
We have been sharing with the moto conchos-these are  men mostly young men who have bought motorcycles to use as taxis. They work long hours 7 days a week. For some reason they seem to have been forgotten. There are thousands.
A trip is usually around 50 pesos per person which is about $1.25. Not much. 
Some work all night long while others work days. Our  moto taxi says working nights is very dangerous.

Even pregnant women use moto conchos to go work.

Check back with us in October we 'll have more updates.

Rick and Gloria.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Independence Day Dominican style

It is Independence Day in the Dominican Republic. All over the country people are celebrating the hard won Independence, an Independence that called for the sacrifice of many lives.

Yesterday Gloria put up a medium size Flag on our balcony. 
Dominican People walking by would see it and give us the thumbs up sign. 
Today the celebrations start and it seems the best place to be will be downtown at the City Center Park

We are at the park and our motobike taxie driver Wagner, will be with us for most of the day. There are thousands of people downtown taking part in the celebrations. Flags are everywhere. There are marching bands, and hundreds of marching school children. They will all be marching toward the Malacon.

The big celebration and parade was held in Santo Domingo and I imagine there were all kinds of marching bands. Here in San Pedro de Macoris the marchers were mostly young men and women .

Whats a parade without dozens of lovely young woman. There seems to be no shortage of young people, and they love their  many national holidays

Drummers are an absolute necessity

Ready set, wait!

One of the many schools involved in the parade. Follow the drummers

 All kinds of people turn out for a parade

The parade winds through the street and finishes at the large white Cathedral near the Malacon. This is were the crowds gather, it is a two lane street that runs for 5 or 6 miles along the Caribbean. On the ocean side there are dozens of tiny booths that sell booze.  Sometimes, late in the evening it does create problems but during daylight hours it is not bad.

As I said the  Malacon is a twin roadway that runs for 5-6 miles along the edge of the ocean. The road is closed off to all traffic allowing people to celebrate in a safe environment. The road is filled with all kinds of people, some dressed in costumes, vendors walking up and down selling their wares, food vendors in small portable kitchens preparing local delights that any one can afford and if not, Dominicans will buy something for you.

The hundreds of children here are having a great time. The beach is full of kids either playing in the ocean or flying kites. The kites are usually made of plastic bags and what ever else they can find. There are literally hundreds either being made or in the air. The largest one we saw must have been 20x15 feet. I not sure if they flew the thing. I really think something that large is dangerous to the people on the ground.

Even mom gets involved.

It seems everyone likes to have their picture taken and they all like to pose.

A fiend of Wagners our moto taxi driver.

Posing seems to come naturally

All I said was, "can I take your picture."

Well that' all folks!