Monday, 31 October 2011

Dominican Days

October 19, 2011                At 6 it was quiet outside except for the crazy rooster that crows all night, it doesn't seem to have an inner clock. At 6:30 a.m. everything comes alive. Motorcycles carrying between one and four people race by in both directions. Then the children in their school uniforms walk to their schools. To my surprise Ilda began sweeping the street in front of their house an area about 50 by 50 feet. Later I saw the large pile of debris she had gathered and swept into a pile the results of the protestors the night before. Further down I could see the road covered in broken glass as it shone in the sun. Soon after more neighbors began cleaning and sweeping in front of their houses. Their is no water today so washing clothes is out of the question. Angela and Victor skyped us from Calgary, I appreciate Skype for the time we spend with our children regardless of were we are.  Gloria
October 20, 2011:
We are still without water. Victor, gave us some of his water reserve and his son Daniel brought us a bottle of drinking water. It is 40 pesos for one five gallon bottle.Angie, Victors granddaughter brought her chalk board over and said she was our proffesor and began to teach us Spanish. I noticed that Victor had someone fixing a rocking chair and I asked him to build closet shelves for us in our bedroom. He is charging us 2000 pesos for them.  Gloria
October 21, 2011:
We have water. Although it is not fit to drink we can flush toilets, shower, wash clothes and dishes and other things. Ildas neighbor repaired her old washing machine which we now have. It works perfectly. I met Ildas friends which includes most of the neighborhood. Some she called out their names loudly because they all live behind tall cement walls and locked iron gates. One of the elderly ladies we met took off her shoes and climbed a large fruit tree in her back yard dropping guava and limes down to us to take home.
October 22, 2011:  Gloria
Today Victor announced that he was going to take Senor Pearson on a tour of San Pedro. They left with my husband riding on the back of Victors motorbike hanging on for dear life. Ilda and I went to her daughter Margarita's casa. Everyone in the DR is locked up tighter than Fort Knox at night, during the day women home alone lock their doors.
  One of Ildas friends daughter brought her tiny baby out of the house and said the baby is sick, some kind of stomach disorder, so we all prayed for the baby.
    Fort Knox.
    A Casa taken from above through our bathroom window

  One of our neighbors, when it gets dark brings out her megaphone and begins to preach the gospel to her neighbors some of whom gather outside  her home to listen.   Gloria
  October 23,2011 
  Sunday and we are off to a Dominican church with Ilda. When they knew we were from Canada they called us to the front to say a few words with an interpreter. We had no idea what he said in Spanish but it was well received with some applause.
   After church the carpenter was supposed come and install the closet shelves but Victor said not today, manana.
We are learning patience in the DR which is a good thing.  Gloria
October 24, 2011 
  Our morning routine is first to shower in unheated water then Ilda brings us strong Dominican coffee-which we dilute
with warm water before drinking then we try to spend some time reading the Bible on our Kindles, extremely effective and handy devices.
  We have a cinder block factory and a sugar factory close by and needless to say we have a dust and ant problem. The ant problem we solved with bug spray, but only dusting and mopping everyday keeps the place free of cinder block dust.
  Our carpenter arrived at 4 p.m. with the shelving that he had prefabricated and stained it was quickly installed and it looks great.
  Still no water. However there was a sudden cloud burst at 7 p.m. Ilda and I ran out with pails and large garbage cans to catch the rain water pouring from the roof spouts.
  Ilda and I are communicating much better now we actually had a few laughs together. We are teaching each other our respective languages.  Gloria
October 25, 2011
  We have decided to go to a supermarket in the middle of downtown San Pedro. Margaritta, Ilda, Angie, Rick and I decided to take the bus. The bus is a van with eight seats with a driver and a man who stands in an open sliding door cramming the people in, helping them off the bus and keeping an eye out for potential customers.
   Our receipt for groceries came to 3,077 pesos about $75.00 Cdn. The grocery stores have many staff in the aisles assisting customers and I presume watching for shop lifters.
  Margarita decided that we should hire a taxi, as it was too far to carry groceries from the bus stop. The cost of the cab was 200 pesos which is about $5 Cdn. Considering the distance we went it seemed like a steal. Needless to say we gave a good tip.  Gloria

Not every house is a fancy Casa. These are our neighbors on the left of our tiny apartment. Some Christians came and prayed for their health, salvation and I assume prosperty. We also went with Ilda to pray for them. The poverty here is real,some worse than others. However it would be wrong to think that it is as poor as Haiti or that everyone one is destitute. They are not. Most are working hard to make their lives better and most seem to be succeeding. For us it is not so much of a shock but a lot of reality that most people do not live as we do in Canada. Rick

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