Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dominican Republic

A few weeks before I left Haiti, my friend Estera hopped down from DC. We met up in the Dominican Republic, the nation that shares the other side of the island with Haiti. It was fabulous to discover a new place with an old friend. The people of the DR are a beautiful mix of colors and races, like in Brazil. Estera and I still stuck out as pale tourists, but it was a relief to be able to drop my guard a bit from Haiti.

The Dominican Republic is acutely more developed than Haiti. I went wild seeing all the chain restaurants I hadn't seen in months--Baskin Robbins?! KFC?! What is this place?! I was happy to see their lush greenery, developed infrastructure (lane markings and street signs!) and significant amounts of foreign investment. At the same time, it's disheartening to see what Haiti could be...

Yep, that's my boarding pass--laminated and re-usable!

This nice Dominican soldier volunteered to take a picture with me at some important monument. :)

Mangoes are gifts from the gods!!! (At least Estera and I think so, and eat them freely on Dominican national monuments.)

That plant must have said something really funny.

Roadside snow-cone stand!

The oldest cathedral in the Western hemisphere! Santo Domingo, the capital city, was a base for many of Columbus's explorations.

The island of Hispaniola. Haiti takes up the western third, the Dominican Republic is the eastern two thirds. I'm pointing to where I live in Port-au-Prince!

A group of friendly Dominicans kindly volunteered to take our group of gringas out dancing! Despite my warnings of being an awful dancer, they persisted in teaching us the meringue, and it was a grand time!!

Playa Rincon-- a totally isolated beach in the northeastern corner of the country. We had to take a boat just to get to it! I have never been so red in my life as I was after a day here--like a LOBSTER!!

Hanging in the back of a guagua, the trucks that criss-cross the country, our favorite muy cheapo form of transportation. (Thank goodness Estera could speak Spanish and help us get around!!)

You're never too old to be a monkey in a banana tree.

Estera busts a dance move after we hiked to the base of a waterfall. Hot!! :)

1 comment:

CristaLita said...

It seems to me that you enjoy to travel and adventure. I like to adventure as well, but haven't had the chance to do so.

Thanks for sharing.

I'll be following your blogs from now on.