Saturday, January 26, 2013

Our DR Family

The first day we arrived here, the housekeeper was so damn sweet.

She had figured out how to say, "Welcome to your new house, Hector and Andréa."

Here, in the Dominican, people can't say Papi's name very well, so when they look at a document with our last name on there, they immediately jump to thinking his name is the first part of our last name, 'Hector-Brown', and call him 'Hector'.

So, our non-English speaking housekeeper made a cute little sign that had our welcome on it.  You'll be able to see it in Episode 2 of our YouTube reality show!

Right now, as I write this, I'm uploading Episode 1.  I'll tag it on here when it's actually finished uploading.

Anyway, on top of making us a sign, she also had a meal of rice and fried eggs ready for us.

Lotsa salt!!  Holy!!  But we were so damn hungry and tired, we ate it with zeal!

They are so incredibly sweet.

When the internet person came to hook us up, she came running down the road to make sure he was a 'bueno persona' because she's so protective of us.

This wasn't even her working day!

She just wanted to make sure she knew the person who was in our house, because she wants us to be safe.

She is definitely our DR Family.  She comes by to help us without pay.  Just to 'help' us.

One of her 4 boys, the smallest one, will bring me fruit fresh off the trees and the smile on his face as he gives me a mango is incredible.

He is so proud to be able to give me something and it shows.

He has nothing, but to make me happy with a mango made his (and my) day.

We really haven't had a chance to rest, until now because I'm so sick I can't do anything.

We run around to get the puppy better, get the cat his dental surgery, get the internet, get our cable, cleaning supplies, food etc.

Oh, update on the stove.  We now have one burner!  So I made us a nice pasta meal last night with meat sauce.

Not that I got any nutrition out of it.  It just went through me, but it felt good to put something other than corn chips in my yack.  I'm sure you don't want to hear about how I'm living on the toilet.  I've resolved to not eat anymore, so that I can have a rest from being sick.

Anwyay, there are so many 'priorities', it's hard to figure out what is first!!

~ Stove fixed.
~ New bed so I'm not in agony.
~ New doors that bandidos can't just push open because the hinges are rotted from the sea.
~ Bars on the windows so that we can sleep with fresh air.
~ Taps that work, water pressure AND hot fucking water for a shower people!!
~ Lights.  Oh, we have about 3 that work.
~ Dressers so we can finally put away our clothes.

There's more.  Oh, so much more.

However the 'more' is really just stuff that would make our lives 'nice'.  Like a lounging chair to sit in the sun.

I tried putting my towel out on the grass just to lie in it, but soon found I had laid right next to one of 100 ant chambers that are in our yard.

That 'relaxing' moment was short lived as I ran screaming patting myself off.

Then we got a hammock.

I lie elevated, however, I can't type on my computer while I'm out there, because we don't have a wall up yet.  The bandidos will see our computers and rob us, so we hide indoors.

Oh our wall?  In order to have a wall, we have to pay off the commissioner!  They say, "No!  You may not put up a wall and destroy our scenery for our native people!

That's sweet and all, but they will let us do it for a 'fee' of $2,500.


Bribery works here like gang busters.

Anyway, yes, we are off to a rough start, but my Eternal Friend, who just moved back from a 3rd world country giggled in an email, asked me if I really believed it would be easy.

I suppose I knew it would be work.  Just not this hard.

I'm trying very hard to stay optimistic and know what I've always known.  Things will always get better.  Always.  They always do.

giving up is easy.  i will delay the urge, just for today


  1. When I lived in Warsaw, I slept with ants for 2 years, woke up to pigeons clawing the aluminium window sills at 5am, or if I was especially unlucky, it would be the acordian-playing Polish beggar outside the window competing with the grinding of the knife-sharpening truck. Somehow, I learned to tolerate it most of the time.

    It's gotten much better in Warsaw this last decade, but it used to be that you could bribe anyone.. doctors for a better place on the wait list, police, teachers and so on. You can't wear gold jewelry in public, because you WILL get robbed. If you're a a young woman, you can't walk through parks in the city, even in daylight because it's unsafe. City water isn't drinkable from the tap without boiling the fuck out of it. It's "just how it is."

    When I came back to Canada, it was a shock. I mean, Poland isn't a developing country like the DR, but I know we have it REALLY GOOD in Canada. It's too easy to forget. Thank you for reminding me of how lucky we are to have it so easy. :)

    - Ania.

    1. i never really realized how good it is in canada, because i've never lived anywhere other than vancouver. so yes, this is an eye opening experience, and has allowed me to see what gratitude can really mean.

      i can't wait for a hot shower!

  2. well you don't sound as stressed out now, so that's good. I'm sure things will get better as you settle in xxx

    1. yeah ... my friend who moved to a 3rd world country told me it does take patience of steel for a few months, but after that we'll have the life we intended.


  3. Yes. You do sound less stressed and I am glad. Moving to another country is a big deal ... in every way.


    1. having never done it before, i didn't know what i was in for. we just jumped in both feet and here we are.


      it's something. now if only i could leave the bathroom to get things done ...

  4. Home sweet homo!

    House keeper is awesome neighbour.
    Can her & her husband go to Commissioner with you - to barter the bribe down?

    Are you n 'Hector' lol speaking mostly Spanish now?

    I think that kid has a lot more than 'nothing' - he has free fruit! Plus he'll have a pool to swim in soon and you feeding him n his friends healthy snacks! Lol

    When you replace hinges - can you beef up the door frames? Put in those locking metal (mesh or bars) door things. They let air in n keep people/animals out.

    For hot water - you can make an outdoor shower from black garbage bags. Catches rain and heats up in the sun. You can run a hose into the bathroom.

    If you have a junk yard, city dump or used appliance place - old metal washing machine drums make excellent fire pit / BBQ on old oven rack or a shopping cart. Lol

    Glad to know u guys are safe n furryfaces are happy.

    Yer pal

  5. I knew I was anxious for a reason before we left! Everyone said it was going to be great! THEY LIED!! Well for the rest of our lives it WILL be great but not for at least another 2 months :-)
    Well if my biggest problem is having to get up early to deal with the maid or pool guy I guess it isn't so bad after all ;-) I really do want to sleep in though :-P


your comments make this world feel smaller ... and you feel closer