Wednesday, July 31, 2013

it is possible!

I'm tired and I want to kill the Fuzzy Family today.

Apparently, so does Old Ghost Face.  We're all a little cranky.

I'm sure it was Pathetic Puppy who tore into the garbage.

The Thug has been hunting cats all night.  That is of course, when he wasn't panting from the heat.

The Donkey has been jumping on to the bed, causing Sir Bark-a-Lot to do what he does best, and Jake-a-Like has been sprawled along my body, making me warmer than I thought possible.

This is the first day here that I can actually say, "I'm too hot."  This will be the first day I'll experience what gratitude for a pool really means.

It's not so much the heat, so much as what comes with it.

Our air conditioner doesn't work when there's not enough city power to juice the batteries.

That means nobody in the village has had any power for a good day and a half.

At least we had enough to run our water.  People in the village have nothing.  It fucking sucks and don't get me started on how the government doesn't care about the people here.

Anyway, it was hot last night, but I don't usually mind the heat.

However, when there's no air conditioner, it means windows are open.

When windows are open it means mosquitos come in looking for snacks.

When they use my body for a meal, I'm up all night scratching.

Every available body part was eaten.

I was ready to tear my skin off last night.

Then, couple that with sweating and bug spray, and you have a sticky mess of dirt that beads and rolls on your skin as you scratch, making it look like you have miniature mouse shit all over your body.

Of course, the mosquitos are NOTHING compared to the ants that bite.

Seriously.  Way to harsh my mellow.

Thought I'd have some wine to help me sleep through the heat, and the ants thought it was a great idea as well!!!

In no time flat, I was flailing from being covered in ants who were biting my hands and arms, and those bitches hurt!!!!!

Then there's the itch that comes with the welts due to their chomping.  It's like the devil himself has crawled under my olive casing, adding salt and vinegar to the wounds.

When the ants nip me, I scratch until I bleed, leaving my derma with great gashes guaranteed to weep with pus later in the day.

These are the kinds of days I wish I didn't have to wear a bra.  A bra in the heat is pure hell.

It's not just the fact that it's tight up against my sweaty skin, but trying to get it on is like a game of twister.

It sticks to my shell before I can get it into place, then trying to adjust it once it's stuck is game of skill.

Forget about trying to get a sports bra on.  That will NEVER happen.  It will just roll along my skin, looking like the world's thinnest tube top.

It's the kind of day where you can shower away the sweat, but once you dry yourself from the shower, it's back in mere seconds.

It could be that I can't handle the heat because I had no sleep last night from the dogs' antics, and Papi up all night trying to get power back on.

That could be why I'm not enjoying this amazingly beautiful day.

Or, it's the fact that the heat has made it hard to sleep, leaving me a bitchy mess.

Today, I made my coffee extra strong.

Not to mention, I don't give a shit what I'm 'supposed to wear' as a white person to keep me safe from predators.

At this point, I'm wearing my fucking tank tops and cool, short, breezy skirts.

I'm bitchy enough that if anyone violates me today I won't have any problem telling them to fuck off.

Even if it's in English.  They'll know what the hell I mean by the nasty look on my face.

Maybe I'll pack my stun gun.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go scratch.

Indeed, it IS possible for ME to be TOO hot.

i sleep soundly and beautifully through the night

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


I took the opportunity to sleep in today.

Considering I wasn't going to a lesson.

I was awoken at 5 minutes past 11, the time that our lesson would be ending, by a phone call.

A repeated phone call.

No message.

Someone was definitely trying to get a hold of me.

Perhaps they didn't see the email Papi sent?

Papi decided on the sending of the email in the middle of the night while I was sleeping.

I had another friend, who lives here, suggest to walk away and never look back, because we couldn't trust the guy may look for revenge.

But it was too late.

Papi already sent the wife an email.

It was quite nice, just saying that where we come from, this behaviour isn't acceptable, even if it is normal in this culture.

He explained that I had previous troubles with this sort of thing and that it's not good for me to be in this kind of environment.

However, he sent it to her DR1 Forum email.

Not sure how many times she checks that, but we'll see.

None-the-less, with no message on my phone, I have no option but to assume the repeated phone calls are from the predator.

I can't block it until I know for sure, but I can't answer it, because I surely can't talk to the guy.

Hey, I could always change my number a 3rd time.

It's not like I have the hundreds of people in my contacts list that I used to.

I've spent the last couple of days appreciating the ocean and relaxing in the pool.

It has been really good for me to rest and remember why I'm here.

Yesterday, when I went to the ocean, a few of my students from The Garage Band were there with their mothers.

The greetings of hugs I received were so wonderful, and they made up for what I went through on Friday.

They ran to me from down the lane, arms open with glee!

As I kneeled down to accept the offering of sentiment, I was swarmed and squished and loved.

The transfer of energy was of immense value to my heart.

These children are so damn grateful for their lesson and I had a surprise to tell them!

We have our first donation of a percussive instrument!

The Carpenter had come by yesterday afternoon with a gift for myself and the children.

A Güira!

It is an instrument that originates from here in the Dominican Republic, and I love it!

I just might play it in Papi's ear to get him out of bed today.

I want to get him up go to Sosúa beach.

I want to enjoy my days.

I'm not here for bullshit from predators.

I'm here to live a beautiful life, with amazing musicians and loving children.

Oh, and a few psychotic dogs thrown in for good measure.

The Thug is working out quite wonderfully!

Well, other than the 'want to kill the cats' thing.

my life is a joy filled with fun, love, and friendship

Monday, July 29, 2013

what next?

To get through this, I need to remember that there are some really good men here that would protect me.

I think I'm going to ask them to help me communicate better with the creeps here.

They know what to say.

They know what to do.

They know how to help me protect myself without getting decapitated by a machete for doing so, and perhaps build my confidence in this new culture.

I have my Spanish lesson on Thursday.

I think the focus will be about what to say and how to say it.

I won't be going back for the lessons with the kid.

We have a day to figure out what to do about it.

Do we write an email to the mom?

That could cause real problems.

I saw a picture of her before her boob job.

She wasn't anorexic then, she seemed healthy.

She didn't have botox then, she had natural facial features.

Her hair wasn't dyed a brassy blond then, it was light auburn hair.

She was a drop dead, natural gorgeous, with beautiful energy in this photo.

She's still gorgeous, just more like stripper gorgeous.  However, she doesn't seem to have the light she did in the photograph.

She's probably trying her best to get the attention of her husband who is too busy looking at all the other women around, not her.

If I say to her that her husband disrespected me, would that cause harm to her already fragile state?

Would it cause problems in their relationship, and in turn, the scary guy would figure out where I live for his revenge?

I don't know what this man does for a living, but my instincts say it isn't good.  Not to mention, his own child doesn't even know.

That doesn't sound reassuring to me that he's an upstanding citizen.  He scares me.

Or do I just not show up for our lesson, block their phones, and hope I don't run into them down the road?

That's not really what Papi and I want to do, but the people on the DR1 Forum seem to think it's 'the Dominican way'.

It just seems rude.  I'm not rude.

Or do I lie?  Say that I had to take on a full time job?

All I know is, I can't go back there.

He IS a predator and I refuse to be prey.

A sweet girlfriend of mine commented yesterday, stating that it wouldn't matter what I wore.

She's right.

I can't go back.  I didn't stick up for myself.

I blushed, giggled and shook my head.

To a predator, that says, "I won't fight you, go ahead."

Which is how I was violated so many times in my life.

Which is why I now have P.T.S.D. around predators.

Why on earth do I freeze?

But honestly, I just wanted to teach the joy of music to a child that was JUST starting to REALLY enjoy playing staccatos and slurs.

I didn't go to be violated.

Today, I go teach piano at Dream Project, then when I'm done, I'll play some tunes with the MusicMan who doesn't disrespect me.

He sent me an email asking that I bring my bass today so we can play music together.

He is one of the good men.

He is someone who sees me for who I am; a human being who just wants to enjoy music.

There are good men out there, and I will be grateful for them every minute of every day.

i refuse to fall victim to a state of panic

Sunday, July 28, 2013

the creep

your sunday sillies

So, I really wanted to sleep in today, but Papi was up to talk about what happened to me the other day, still processing the anger he feels, and the need to defend me.

I can't get back to sleep once I've started talking, so here I am.


Thinking about my experience.

I knew the guy was a creep, but I had to deal with him to teach piano to his daughter.

He was always commenting on what I wear.  I wear clothes that keep me cool.

Apparently, it's not right for a gringa to wear clothes that are to help with the heat here.

He would say, "I like your shorts," or "I had to laugh when you came in, because the wind lifted your skirt."

I would just take it, because I know that Dominicans are very forward that way, but thought that if I didn't give any indication that I was interested, he might get bored and cut it out.

Then the other day, I went to go in to teach, and when I let myself in the front door, there he was, sitting on the couch with his 'man zone' standing at full attention, sticking out of his pants!

I averted my eyes, thinking that the 'poor guy' would be embarrassed that I saw 'his issue'.

Looking down at the dog, I diverted all my attention elsewhere, giving him a chance to put that thing away, and went straight in to teach the child.

However, I learned the other day that his boner was NOT an embarrassment.

It was intentional.

Friday, having finished teaching his daughter, it was time for me to get paid and go home.

He walked me to the gate, with his usual comments about what I was wearing, "I like THAT dress you have on."

I tried to take it as a compliment, "Aw!  Thank you!" the way any polite Canadian would.

That was the wrong thing to do.

He immediately pointed to his crotch, "Look!  This is because of your dress," and there it was; his fucking pecker pointing straight out of his nylon pants that are meant for the gym.

I suppose they're great for an erection too.  They show the full meal.

Then as I shook my head and walked away as quickly as possible, he pointed to it again, saying, "This is all YOUR fault!"

I drove away as fast as I could, but I realized that I still have a lot to learn with my P.T.S.D.

I freeze when predators come too close, and can't defend myself.

I get this ridiculous nervous laugh and I can't control it.

I've always done it.

I get nervous, I laugh.

Some fucking defence mechanism!!!!

"Hey Andréa!  What's your super power?!?"


Yeah.  Really good.  Couple that with the flashbacks I've been having all weekend and we're close to a Hurricane Andréa sighting.

Now, I see him as a full on predator.  That's what predators say, "It's YOUR fault I raped you, because of what you were wearing.  I couldn't help myself."

I can't go back, and I feel bad for the kid, because she was just getting somewhere with our lessons.

Then what we learned from the people on the DR1 Forum is that because I'm white, I can't wear tank tops, shorts or skirts above the knees.

If this was Canada, I could report the guy and be done with it.


They'd laugh me out of the office and do the same, or worse to me.

We are not in Canada.

I am a white woman.

I am fair game for the huntsmen.

i take comfort in the fact that i can always leave this situation

Friday, July 26, 2013

the thug.

I was so afraid.

We drove 2 hours to meet the rescue dog and I knew I'd fall in love, but that didn't change the fact that perhaps he could be aggressive toward our others.

He was obviously used as the bait in the dog fights they have here.

The scars.

Oh, the scars.

Hundreds of them and some, really deep.

It's heartbreaking.

When he was dumped at the side of the road, the people who found him rushed him to a vet to take care of the horrifically terrible gouge on his chest.

They kept him in their yard while searching for someone to rescue him and give him the loving home he needs to repair his past.

They weren't taking any chances with their own Fuzzy Family by introducing him to them.

I don't blame them.

However, I suppose the poor thing was just not a very good fighting dog, as they wouldn't have just tossed him and his chain off to the side of the road if the fucktards thought he was worth keeping.

So, that gave me confidence that MAYBE, just maybe The Thug wasn't going to kill our dogs, but you still never know.

We picked up Pathetic Puppy from the AAAS after being sterilized and damn!  The Thug got a woody upon seeing her.

The Thug spent the rest of the ride home wanting desperately to get to the girl in the back.

I sat with her to protect her from the horndog in the front, and held on to his leash in front that was tied up to the holy-fuck-handle.

That damn handle comes in handy for more than just white knuckling it while Papi drives like a lunatic.


I still couldn't be sure if The Thug's pecker hanging out was for excitement of love, or excitement at getting in a fight.

Well, when we got home, we put Pathetic Puppy upstairs for her post-op rest, and released The Thug out to the rest of the hounds.


He fit in right away.

Everyone likes him.

Everyone got along.

The Donkey is thoroughly enjoying running around with him and The Thug is thoroughly enjoying marking everything he possibly can.

I hope the hundreds of scars on his head and body fade, as much as I hope his memories of a previous life do the same.

He's quite lovely and cuddly, even though I am definitely allergic to him.

I have welts and hives all over.

That doesn't matter.

Just means I'll have to wash my hands and arms a little more frequently.

Or hop in the ocean.

So far, he's working out just fine, and the AAAS will be PROMPTLY removing his balls tomorrow to dispel his testosterone.

Something else that is working out fine, is having let out my now not so secret secret.

So far, I haven't had too many people tell me I'm doing the worst thing possible.

The shame and embarrassment are pretty hard surrounding this.

Yet, that glass of wine after a long stressful day being lost in the bumpy, dirt roads of the Dominican Republic mountains, with a battered, emotionally damaged dog who would give Dave Batista a run in the ring, was just the thing I needed to defuse the day that never seemed to end.

It truly is all good.

i am supported

Thursday, July 25, 2013

a wee secret

So, the funniest thing happened.

Well, maybe not the FUNNIEST thing, but Papi and I found it entertaining.

It was time to bring the horrible, 4 legged cretin out for their walk.

It's our time for our walk on the beach, dogs' time for insanity.

So, there are some neighbours who rent out their place quiet frequently.

Nice place.  Big mansion.

The most recent renters were in the ocean enjoying their Dominican vacation and we opened our gate to release the hounds.

When those mongrels run to the ocean, it's like a tornado has hit the 'hood.

None of the locals appreciate our massive hounds running out the yard, but what can we do?  They need to let off steam.


We followed out the hairy ones and when the vacationers saw us, we were worried they'd be afraid of The Donkey.

She's pretty big.

Forget about fear of the dogs!  They immediately began gathering their items and moved them all in to the yard.

I'm sure they didn't think The Donkey would steal their phones or shoes.

The Guard was alerted about us walking on the beach and out he came with his shotgun.

It was too funny!

People were afraid of US!

Us.  The scared shitless Canadians who need to alert the thieves that we have guns to be sure they don't try to attack us.

Us.  The two who are so worried about their safety that we have a wall to be sure the violent ones can't just stroll in with their masks to hide their identity after they violate us.

Us.  The two who may have tattoos, but honestly, are so timid.

But just to give them something to remember for their trip, Papi decided to make their trip something to post on Facebook.

He decided tonight was a good time to do our monthly air warning.  You know the one?  That we do to warn others that we have a deterrent, so don't try to harm us?

I can just see their Facebook post: "Just heard a gunshot!  OMG!!!"

The point is, it's important not to judge a book by their cover, but our new vacationers did.

And we do the same.

I'm pretty sure everyone does it.  We are not alone.

We're afraid of so many people, and that's judgement in itself.

Yet people are afraid of us.


I just found it quite entertaining.

It reminded me not to judge, because I am judged as well and it feels bad.

Everyone needs that reminder.

We all do it, and anyone who says they don't, are lying.

I am so grateful for those who didn't judge me this week.

I had a secret to let out to those that are very close to me.

It allowed me to be honest about something I've been holding back.

Something that I needed a little bravery to tell you.

I suppose now that I've started telling you, I'll come clean.

I am no longer clean 'n sober.

Please don't judge me harshly.

I've already been doing enough of that myself.

I'm OK, so don't worry for me.

I'm really doing OK.

i trust myself

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Favourite top, eaten.

Razor, chewed upon.

Holes, dug.

I put chicken wire down on their favourite digging zones to dissuade them, after getting so angry at them for ruining a top I'd worn only twice, not to mention, everything else they got into yesterday.

None-the-less, we prepared for a walk down the beach.

But then the issue happened; Sir Bark-A-Lot got his little toe twisted and stuck in the wire.

He ripped his toenail right out of his toe!

Blood!  Screaming!  Papi and I panicking!

We cleaned him up and left him behind to lick his wound, while we took the rest of the cretin for their run about.

Jersey Girl saw me and invited me for a visit afterward.

Sounded like a great idea!  I needed to just not be around all the animals for a little while.

Upon returning from our little visit of chit-chat, I was full of sand from walking on the beach, and dogs jumping all over me.

I tried to run a shower.  No fucking water.

No problem.  We have a pool and I'll just dip myself in there and rinse all the sand off.

A quick skinny dip.

I mean, I didn't want to get my hair wet or anything.  Just a dip.

I brought my towel, and in all my nakedness, looked at the gate in front.

Seems the coast was clear.

I can run to the pool without anyone seeing me and once I'm in, we're high enough that anyone walking by won't see me in my birthday suit.

I got in and sat on the stair, and began to pool bathe.

Then I heard it.

The Guards next door were up on their wall peering in at me with no clothes on, excited about their show!

I immediately shrunk into the water and tried to hide what I could.

Fine.  The rest of their show would only be a view of my bare ass.  That's all.

I called to Papi, asking for help, or even suggestions as to how to escape this dilemma.

Neither of us wanted to say anything.

Papi didn't want to, because they have machine guns.

I didn't want to, because I didn't want it to turn into a game for them, prompting them to believe I was naked just for them.

I wanted to tell them to turn around while I got out, but thought they would just laugh at me, thinking I was playing around.

I was only grateful that the pool light wasn't on for them to see every little bit I've got!

As the sun sank further, I waited for them to lose interest, all the while, I hadn't moved from that spot.

They must get bored at some point if I wasn't going to give them a show, right?!?!

The moment they looked away, I grabbed my towel, jumped out and ran inside.

Only problem is, for someone with P.T.S.D., it will now create a fear of always thinking I have stalkers again.

I will be constantly looking out doors and windows to see if men are staring in, looking for another show.


Not to mention, I have to drive past them every day on my way to teach.

I suppose those tinted windows will come in handy for a little while, as I calm down from the fear of 'worst case scenario' looping in my mind.

I don't want to encourage anyone.  There are enough people getting raped here without the incentive of being in a pool naked.

When I got up this morning, I heard the dogs barking off the balcony.  Sure enough, I looked out to see them watching our yard again for another show.

Looks like I'll have work to do with my P.T.S.D.

there is a great reason that this is unfolding before me now

Sunday, July 21, 2013

the loo

I am going to have thighs of steel from living in this country.

Lord, the bathrooms in the Dominican Republic.

No, you dare not sit.

There's no toilet lid.

And be damn sure you bring your own toilet paper or at least serviettes in your purse.

Last night, Papi and I went out to listen to some music and hang out with locals.

Well, that meant no purse.

Nothing that could be stolen.

No purse meant no toilet paper.

No toilet paper means it's time to drip dry.

But the squatting.

Yes, I am grateful I'm keeping up on my yoga, because I need that strength to use the washrooms here.

Then, it's most important to wash your hands after you've had your toilet squatting workout.

Oh, good luck with that.

I carry around hand sanitizer.

However, last night they had an interesting set up.

On the ground was a tap for buckets and hoses.

There was a small area to catch the overflow and a bucket for you to dip your hands in.

No, no thank you.

I think I'll take the fresh stuff.

Then there's the soap, in a container too big to lift.

Then you think, "But if I try to lift it, I'm touching the handle after the last person who had to squat in the toilet as well!"

Imagine the germs on that thing?!?!?!?

My O.C.D. brain had a HUGE battle of what to do.

I did it, because I figured I'd scrub until all those germs were gone.

Scrub and scrub and scrub I did, bent over, hoping none of the boys outside were trying to look up my skirt.

Oh, the bathrooms.

I think I had a bit of trauma from it last night, when I had a nightmare that we were moving things around in the house and it meant I had no loo anymore.

I was sure grateful when I woke up to my bathroom with toilet paper.

Grateful for a toilet that you can flush the toilet paper down, instead of placing it in the garbage can given to you, because the builder used tiny tubes, making the toilet paper get stuck and sewage floods abound.

We have a toilet seat, in which I know every bum that sits on it.

A sink with running water to rinse off the soap.

A towel to dry our hands.

You have never known gratitude for a bathroom until you've been in a developing country.

People in our village don't even have a toilet.

They walk down to the river and do business there.

Or, if they're too tired to walk that far, they pee on our wall.


With the amount of rain we get it will all be washed away.

It's just not nice to see a great big dump that you KNOW is human in the lane.

One of the kids stepped in it yesterday before I could scoop it up with a shovel.

Take a moment to give your bathroom a great big hug.

You don't know what you have.

i am grateful for what i have

Friday, July 19, 2013

6 months

Tomorrow, we will have been here 6 months.

I knew my life would change, but I didn't know to what extent.

Who knew I could get used to microwaving my water for coffee when we've run out of gas?

This princess has never lived in the country.

I have learned to have a bath in a bowl when the electricity stops.

I have learned the importance of positivity in life when cruelty erupts from people I thought were friends, showing their true colours because they don't have to face us every day in our hometown.

My, how easy it is to lash out at someone via the internet!

I have learned that we lived like royalty in Vancouver, even though I'm grateful not to live with the cold &/or rain.

I do love the rain here, even yesterday, when it was pouring so hard that I looked like I'd taken a shower with my clothes on just running 20 feet to the car.

At least it's warm and it doesn't hurt my bitch of a back.

I have learned how to roast my own coffee, dry my own coconut, and make my own fruit juice by hand.

I've also learned that washing my clothes by hand rubs my skin raw.  I have learned there are some things I can't do.

I have witnessed how horribly government can treat their people, and every day, I ask my angels to allow everyone in the country access to healthy, clean water, health care and electricity.

Every day, I try to think of more ways I can help the village without going further into debt.

I am grateful that Papi researched the dangers and took measures to give us great deterrents for the violent thieves.

The violent thieves are not those that live with us in the village.  Well, other than The Guard who has been to jail.

The thieves come from other areas, hearing about someone who may be alone and/or have something they want.

A target, who has easy access to get into their home.

Our home is not easy access.

It doesn't mean we're exempt, as the greatest trick the thieves have is to poison the dogs and come back the next day while you're grieving to rob you.

However, scaling a wall may cause them to be seen and security cameras may cause them to be identified.

We have deterrents.

woman in Cabrera was murdered this week.  She was stabbed and her throat slit.  Perhaps a crime of passion?  Perhaps not?

During the past week's shitstorm of nastiness, someone told me I was a bad person, assuming I have guns "... to keep out the poor."

No.  We have guns to defend ourselves from the violence that has risen 3x since our decision to be here.

Just because someone is poor, does NOT make them violent.  You hear me?

Some thieves come in a uniform, originally meant to portray, 'We're here to protect you'.

The police arrested 3 people for the murder this week, but did they take the opportunity to arrest anyone they had a grudge against?  Merely to give the facade that they have done their job?

I have learned it's possible to trust a doctor with my health here.

Mr. Lumpy is gone!  Just over 2 weeks of using his recommended vitamins and amino acids and Mr. Lumpy is 100% gone!

I wonder what chemical poisons they would have given me in Canada, so the doc would get one point closer to a golfing trip or cruise for prescribing them?

I have learned that I cannot live to please anybody, because I can't, and I'm the only one I have to please.

I have learned what culture shock means.

I have learned I am truly that strong person people have told me I am for the past few years.

I have learned the importance of love, even when it's only by way of texting, or a quick G+ chat with family.

I have learned some of the most generous people out there are those with the least to give.

Generosity has nothing to do with money.

It is honestly the spirit.

i am happy in my own skin and my own circumstances

Thursday, July 18, 2013

it's simple

He is American and talented.

He sang his American national anthem.

From the stands, those who have been taught racism rang out, "BOOOOO!!" because of the colour of his skin.


Today, important once again to search for simple joy.

Puppy nibbles on toes.

His little body twists and turns with exultation for no reason other than to express his merriment for living.

A walk with Papi and the Fuzzy Family down the beach as we giggle at their antics of jumping in and amongst the waves, rolling, tumbling.

We floated around in the pool, I drinking lime water for my stomach that seems to have come into contact with some bug, from somewhere, Papi drinking soda, of course.

We taught Pathetic Puppy and Jake-a-Like how to swim and exit, so that they could save themselves if they ever fell in to the pool.

This, while The Donkey swam laps around them.

I taught children piano, watching their pride glow as they felt the strength of playing the line right.

One little soul pulled on my heart strings.

We both wore glasses.

She liked mine, I liked hers.

She helped me with my Spanish, I helped her with her staccatos.

I felt connection to her awkwardness, and the wanting so badly to be loved and have approval.

Something as effortless as encouragement in her fledgling musicianship made us both feel strong.

It gave us an acquaintance where nothing mattered for that half hour, but the lesson and sharing the music.

MusicMan gave me a great hug when he saw me yesterday.

He had gratitude for me being there, I had gratitude that he was happy to see me.

Simply joy.

He told me he spoke to the BigWigs and it looks like I'll get paid for my work in September.

I'm already being paid in my heart, but a little reimbursement for my gas will be the cherry on top.

I was tired and weak when I arrived at Dream Project.

I left energized and ready to make more of my day than I had in a few days, from feeling so weighted in my heart.

When I arrived home, The Carpenter followed me in to our driveway with an offer: if I pay for the wood, he will make seats for the children of The Garage Band no charge.

It's happening!

People are starting to help with the children.

I only took the first steps.

But now, I am seeing others follow for their support.

Soon, they'll have a place to sit as they sing.

Simple joy.

This is only the beginning.

I'm so happy for them, and yes, for me.

It means their energetic, wiggly little bodies won't be squirming all over the place.

They'll have somewhere to plant themselves to listen a little better to instructions.


Something so uncomplicated, yet another step toward more jubilance, love and gratitude.

It's simple to find, when you focus on the good.


i feel good doing things that improve the well being of others

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

be kind to one another

I remember once, I had to stop watching TV, because of what I saw.

Someone had killed a bear that was rampaging through neighbourhoods in search of food, and unfortunately, killed someone in that desperate search.

They pulled the bear up into the back of a pickup truck as if it were a sack of garbage.

I conceded.

I decided my heart was just too sensitive to deal with seeing these kinds of things.

It was good for me.  I threw away my TV and got on with life, realizing there is so much more to do than watch the bad news.

I realized that I would hear about the news if it was important enough.

Right now, things are important enough, and I'm having a hard time understanding the state of the human race.

Not to mention, automatically being clumped into the same category of supremacists because of the colour of my skin.

I read so much of what people posted about the brazen racism that is unfolding in this world in silence, as I felt I wasn't entitled to an opinion, even if I agree.

Some people were blatant about not being entitled to an opinion, when people said, "White people are not allowed to comment on this, even if they are in support."

However, even though they are excluding an entire race, we are not allowed to call it racism, discrimination, nor segregation.

It still hurts no matter what anyone calls it.

Indeed, two wrongs never make a right, but I kept reading, no matter how much it hurt to read how someone was treated for being a person of colour.

Then I googled one simple word and found more malice in antisemitism.  Don't read THIS if you are as sensitive as me.

Hatred comes in so many forms, and I realize now that people will use it in as many ways as they can.

I haven't been able to write the last few days from the pain of how people can treat one another.



How can people JOKE about the killing of a child?

I need to stop this roller coaster of witnessing venom in every corner.  I'm far too sensitive for this.

I need to continue with being who I am, doing what I do, knowing that I am not harming anybody with my intentions.

Rather, I am doing anything I can to uplift another person, knowing the damage others can bring by putting one another down.

I need to continue with the words of Mother Teresa, even if I'm not the religious person she is.  She is right, and spirituality comes in many fashions.

I feel, right now, that the world is on the brink of 'Divided We Fall'.

We have to come together to help each other and stop fighting.

The bad will take control if the good don't link arms in strength.

Please.  Be one of the good to help stop the hatred toward one another, no matter who we are.

We need to stay together to stay strong.

I'm taking a short break from surfing around Fecesbook for a few days.  I am far too sensitive for it.

I'll keep writing here.

I've been too afraid to voice my opinion, until this morning, when I realized that if there are people spreading hate online, I have every right to spread love.

This is not entitlement of being white.

This is entitlement of a human being.

Today's mantra from Ellen DeGeneres:

be kind to one another

Monday, July 15, 2013

life is too short

No volunteering with medicine for dogs yesterday.

A monsoon hit!

Pool got filled, plants got fed, and me?  I spent the day in bed.

I thought I would cancel the day after I shed a few tears.

People can be so mean.

I left the queer 'community' once before, because it just seemed so toxic.

I returned thinking that perhaps it was just those that I encountered at that time of my life.

Well, this time around, I found even more poison than I did before.

I don't know what it is, but some of the meanest people I've ever met are in the queer 'community'.

At the same time, I've met some of the nicest people as well.  People that would lift me up higher than anything the nasty ones could put me down for.

With the proverbial 'mean girls', bullies and power mongers, there will never be anything I can do right.

No matter what I do in my life, they will take it, turn it, twist it into something else, to attempt to prove me to be bad and selfish.

But not the lovely people.

They confirmed what my heart knows; I'm a good person.

Nobody can take that away from me.

Apparently, I'm bad for ENJOYING teaching children for free.  If I enjoy it, then it's only for my own gain.  Of course I gain!  How could I not?  These children make me happy and I teach them a skill.  We BOTH gain.

If I buy crab and lobster from Pescado Pal, the money goes to support his family and I get a meal I could never afford in Canada.  I don't haggle with him, I pay what he asks and we BOTH gain.

And to you who tried to silence me for my honesty?  I will continue to speak for those who are too afraid to do so, for fear of being hurt and ostracized.

I'm not afraid of bullies.  They're really nothing to be afraid of, as they are just weak people who try to build themselves up and above another person because their self-esteem is so low.

Strong people lift others up, instead of trying to pull people down to their level of misery.

I'd prefer to be equal, thank you very much.

My moment of hurt was healed by splendid hearts yesterday.

Then a little more so with a good chat with my Eternal Friend later on.

I am finding that the stronger and happier we are, there will always someone who wishes to attempt to take it away from us and steal our light.

I have even seen it in this blog.

When life is pummelling me to the ground, my readership spikes and I triple the amount of hits I get.

When life is good, it's the happy people who come to see what's up in our zany life of never ending entertainment.

Some people feed off the bad.

All I know is, I'm happy, and the 5 people I deleted from my cyber life yesterday will never take that away.

Hell, I could die tomorrow!

I'm not going to waste my precious last breaths on the 'mean girls' or the Hen Peckers.

I'll vent about it today, and then tomorrow, I'll probably have something wonderful to write about in this amazing life I am only fortunate enough to have created for myself.

You can hate me for enjoying my life if you want.  It's your choice as to how much sickness you want to spread.  I used to be that angry as well.  So, I understand.

We just had an earthquake while I was writing this.  Obviously, not too horrible for me to stop writing, but scary enough that it reminds me of how short our lives can possibly be here.

I forgive everyone who is troubled enough to try to knock me down, but I really don't have time for the negativity anymore.

Life is too short to look at anything other than the positive.

I'll continue doing good and receiving good feelings from it, no matter what you think of me.

Because you know what?

people admire me

Sunday, July 14, 2013

we are happy

... your sunday sillies: crash!! ...

Oh, how I love the children in The Garage Band!

Word is starting to spread and more are coming to join us.

Initially, I didn't want to teach the teenagers, I wanted to keep it to the wee ones, but I'm sure glad I chose to include them.

It was so nice to work with them, and I think they really enjoyed themselves.

I now have to split everyone up into 3 groups, because different ages need different instruction.

For instance, the 2 tiniest of them all.

The lowest to the ground prances around without any pants.

It makes sense.

If his parents can't afford diapers, then it's best to just let him do what he needs to do without the obstruction of clothing.

His pants would be messy to clean all day long, considering this little guy is only about 2 years old and accidents are in abundance.

So, there he was, with his little willy waving about in the air.

I figured there would be piddle all over our carport, but he managed to keep it in.

He wasn't there to do music, so much as just there to be with all the big kids.

The second small-fry was pretty in her best dress.

Can I tell you what an honour it is to have parents dress their children in their best clothes for the lesson?!?!

I showed up stinky, in dirty clothes, as I only woke up in enough time to get coffee into my system and open the garage door to begin teaching.

Having children dressed in fancy threads made me feel their gratitude for lessons.

In turn, I had gratitude for the children merely showing up!

Anyway, this little doll in her Sunday Best was really too young to keep up with everyone, but she tried.

OH, how she tried

Whatever anyone else did, she would attempt to copy, and do it with immense zeal!

Her voice was voluminous!

Her clapping was colossal and packed a punch!

Nothing was in the right time, nor were there proper words, but her intent was so strong that I could feel the music just waiting to come out when it's time for her to truly understand all the emotion that brews within her.

It made me tingle.

Even the dogs in the hood came by to watch.

Upon smelling the mutts that were invading their space, our hounds were barking at them through the door of the garage.

No matter.  We all sang loud enough to overpower their cacophony.

Speaking of the neighbourhood dogs, today is our day to volunteer to give them all heart worm medicine.

We were going to do it a few weeks ago, but I got so busy and so tired.

We are armed with hotdogs to entice them, and candy for the children as we go along.

Papi wants to win their hearts with candy, because he feels I get all the love and he's a tad jealous as we drive down our bumpy road, listening to the chorus of 'Andréa! Andréa! Andréa!' bellowing through the village.

Hopefully, as we pass through, I'll find the shyest of The Garage Band and give him a little boost of a quick lesson so that he will feel more confident next round.

The underdog.

I always love the underdog.

I want to help him shine amongst the others.

If you're reading this and you'd like to help the children by sending percussive instruments, we would all be so grateful.

Shakers!  Wood blocks!  Anything you have that you just don't use would be MORE than appreciated if you can send it:

Andréa Hector-Brown 
10800 NW 103 St. 
Ste. 5E
Medley, Florida 
United States

Right now, we just clap.

And we are happy.

i compare myself only to my highest self

Friday, July 12, 2013



Thank YOU.

I just got to the 100,000 mark of reads for this li'l ol' blog.

I wouldn't write if 'you' weren't here to read.

'You' listen.

Every little line I see that is here to visit, I feel like I have more support.

Even if you don't leave a comment, your presence is known.

And appreciated.

Thank you.

That's all I wanted to say today.

I have had a busy day with the teeny ones, so I had no time to write, but I thought it was important to acknowledge 'you' on this day.

I'll be back tomorrow.

Because of 'you'.

i am a success

Thursday, July 11, 2013

just love me

Well, Chantal was pretty calm on this side of the island.

Yeah, I drove through some heavy rain, and the thunder was AMAZING!!!

But there was no wind and nothing to write home about.

However, I guess I do have something to write home about; the lack of entertainment mother nature provided yesterday.

I was anticipating encountering my first true, tropical storm.

People on the south of the island got hit quite hard and unfortunately, one person died.

They had a lot of flooding and no power.

They looked a bit like Toronto or Calgary in Canada this past Spring.

Us?  Well, our gardens got quite the feeding yesterday.

Because Papi and I were not ready for our anniversary, our day was celebrated by lying around in bed, oohing and ahhing at the lighting and thunder, and watching the first episode of Dexter.

Ooooh that new character is a good one, but damn, that show is not the same with the bleeping of every 'fuck', 'shit' and blurring of boobs.

We also looked for our dwelling for our anniversary vacation, but everything is booked.

Talk about leaving things to the last minute.

We suck!

Mind you, things have been a 'tad' hectic around here.

I remembered about our anniversary the last week of June, then of course, stress set in and out the back door went that memory.

At least I beat Papi to the punch of being the first to say it on our day.

I waited and waited for him to wake up, and at the crack of 3 p.m. I turned off his air conditioning and up he was!

I also took the opportunity to yet again, email someone I thought was a friend, who owes us money.

Here is my newest 'rule' of life.

Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, put money between a friendship.

Give!  Yes!

We gave to a friend in need yesterday, when her poor sweet kitty needed medical attention and she had no money.

Yes, we give, and we receive when we are in need as well, no problem.

But selling, renting, or any other 'business' with a friend is now off limits.

First of all, we've been waiting for the money for a few months past when she said she'd pay, but the worst part?

I've lost a friend, because she won't even speak to me.  She won't even return my emails.

Most people, when I tell the story to them, they merely say she was never a friend to begin with and that I haven't lost much with someone who is dishonest.

However, I am sad.

I am always sad when I lose a friend that I love, and go through all the steps of grieving what's vanished.

No matter what it is they do to hurt me, no matter how much anger I feel, I am still sad at the disappearance of someone I considered a friend.

I just want to be loved, and I swear, it's one of my top missions in life.

Love me.  I just can't handle the rejection.

Yet somehow, not only am I rejected by one person, I seem to get entire PODS and cliques who ostracize me with one word from their leader who tells them to do so.

I suppose, people only do this to people who seem strong, to try to knock them down.

I suppose, people see me as strong.

I suppose, all those who tell me I am, are correct.

I suppose, what I gain when someone hurts my heart, is my spirit is pulled closer to those who are endless with their love for me.  It shows me just how good people CAN be in this world.

Still, my poor little heart aches when I have experienced the failure of a friend.

My dear, you have indeed wounded me.

Maybe everyone was right, that you never intended to pay us the money, even though you wrote us a contract.

Fool me once.

Indeed, your karma awaits.

i receive all feedback about a decision with love, but make the final call myself

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

happy anniversary my love

There's supposed to be a tropical storm that could turn into a hurricane.

No, not Hurricane Andréa.

I'm doing fine for a change.

An ACTUAL tropical storm.

Papi has been talking about it for the last week and I just keep rolling my eyes and pooh-pooh-ing him when he mentions it.

One of the perks of living on the North Coast, is we don't get hit by many of the storms.

So, I just keep giggling at him and smiling when he goes on about it.

Then, Jersey Girl wrote me an email giving me all kinds of tips on how to stay safe during the storm that is supposed to hit.

Well, she's been here for a while, so yeah, I'll listen to her.

We scrambled about, bringing in anything that could fly around and take out Pathetic Puppy's other eye,  closed the all the windows, then went to bed.

I got up this morning to a beautiful day.

Sun shining, waves calm, and then with no warning, it all went away and the rain started.

That's one thing that makes me feel at home here.

It's just like Vancouver in the sense that if you don't like the weather, wait 10 minutes and it will turn on a dime.

Only the rain here in the Dominican Republic puts Vancouver to shame, making Vancouver's rain seem like just a spit compared our monsoons.

Anyway, the thunder is rolling in and I love it!

But it meant that I had to come in from the outdoors.

I came in to find a chicken scratch note from my love.

Pathetic Puppy was at it again last night, only in an activity that could have killed her.

The tumultuous cane toad.

She was playing with it.

It could have killed her with it's defence mechanism of spewing poison.

So, my love had to give the baby a poison kit.

Having a gut of steel, this dog can take anything.

She seriously is from hell.

She's a bit like me.

You can't kill me, or her.

In Papi's note, he mentioned it's under a dog bowl by the pool.

Dominican Daddy is here doing his fancy yard work and I told him about the problem, but obviously not knowing the word for 'toad' in Spanish.

So, first thing in the morning, there I was doing charades.

He laughed, then merely lifted the dog bowl Papi had trapped it under and threw it into the ocean, shaking his head at the silly gringa.

We are so not used to this world.

One day, it will be second nature and I'll be tossing out the cane toad without a blink, ready for any tropical storm that threatens us and nobody will laugh at our dramatic ways, because we'll be relaxed.

One day.

Today is not that day.

As I watch the storm roll in, and Dominican Daddy work his magic in the yard, I'm still amazed that we are here.

We're actually here.

And today?

Today is our anniversary.

We were not ready for it, so next weekend we'll be celebrating.

We're going to go see a part of the island that had us dizzy in circles once.

This time, we're going to google it and get there and back without a problem.

We're actually going to have a mini-holiday and see this fine island that is now home.

Happy anniversary, baby.

We did it.

We really, really did it.

my friends do not judge me, nor do they influence what i do with my life

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

never a day without learning


Mr. Lumpy is actually shrinking!!!

All I'm taking are amino acids and Vit. E., however, in high doses.

But he's gone down.

The pain is less.

The itching is less.

The wall is fixed.

... sorry to switch topics on ya like that ...

The kitty litter boxes now have a box on top.

Cheesecloths, pot holders and anything else that could possibly have the scent of ANY kind of food on them are raised above donkey level.

Major puppy-proofing is in order.

Next, chicken wire for the ground.

This is a serious project.

You should see what I did to the balcony railing upstairs.

We had puppies on the terrace rooftop.

Not anymore.  A little bit of string is now cobwebbed through and there are no more puppies on the roof.

I also found out today that I have less time teaching at Dream Project than I thought, which pleases me.

I have a tendency to take on more than I should.

I get a little too gung-ho and take everything on at once, then realize it's not really possible for one person to do it all.

Yet, somehow, I do.

I thought this trait left me after the motorcycle accident, but in so many ways here in the Dominican Republic, I'm learning that I'm not completely healed.

I thought I could lift a 5 gallon bottle of water into the water cooler.

Because I am healed, right?


I'm still fragile, it's just that I don't have to take pills every day to ease my pain.

So, I have to remember, still, that I can only do so much.

Because lord knows, once that stress kicks in, my brain won't function and NOT A THING will get accomplished.

So, upon hearing that it's not going to be full time work this month and September, I was pleased.

More than pleased.

I need my time for my own creativity too!

That's the trap I fell into when I was teaching for a living.  All work and no creativity gives us a Hurricane Andréa sighting.

I never did get that digital piano from Santo Domingo on the Mr. Lumpy tour.

Papi and I couldn't find the store.

So I ordered one online.

It should be here this week and the MusicMan has me practising Jazz standards, which will give my brain a run for it's money!

Accelerated review of all that I learned in college that has completely left my mind!

I have to learn it all over again.

Anyway, the other part of having more time, means more time for training these demon dogs.

And puppy-proofing the house.

They are like having triplet toddlers who get into everything at the same time, and I only have 2 hands to catch them with.

That right there is a full time job.

I'll love them a little more when I'm not mad at them all the time.

They sure look cute when they sleep.

Maybe I'll put a little whiskey in their water.

i love to learn

Monday, July 8, 2013

kill them now.

I'm going to lose it with these puppies.

Yesterday, they wreaked havoc.

It wasn't just the 2 whole chicken breasts Pathetic Puppy ate.


Then it was the holes.

Not just any holes.

Holes dug through the ground and under the wall.

I had seen the holes earlier and thought it was the monsoon we experienced earlier in the day.

However, upon answering the door after it chimed, I knew otherwise.

There stood Dominican Daddy with Pathetic Puppy and the Jake-A-Like in hand.

It was clear at that moment that they found their escape.

I showed Dominican Daddy where the holes were and as we were discussing how to fix them, both those little fuckers used their new departure route, leaving the yard once more.

Oh, they were so proud of themselves.

So proud.  The looks on their faces!

"Look what we did, Mom!!!"



Look what you did.

Papi finally got up to help me with the vermin and I thought that their destruction may have been done for the day.

That was of course until this morning when I got up to find they had eaten some of the cheese cloth one of my dear sweet friends so generously mailed me.

You can't find cheesecloth on this fucking North side of the country, because people are too poor to buy it.

They just use their hands to do the work.

I had used some of it yesterday to make some mango juice.  Worked great!

I even washed out the cheesecloth to reuse it once more to save them.  I don't want to ever be without them again!

But no, the puppies like cheesecloth too.

They didn't eat it all, but I noticed the opened package was gone and asked Papi if it was true, that the puppies wrecked that as well.

It's true.

I want to kill them.

I want to take them to the sea and let mother nature wash them away.

I want to make puppy stew.

They are demons from hell.

Demons who just gave me the sweetest little kisses that took away all my anger.

How do they do that?

How do they make me love them after I'm ready to drop them off at the doggy shelter?

Today, I'll be buying chicken wire to put in the ground to deter them from digging anymore.

Maybe get some baby locks for the cupboards.


i refuse to give up because i have not tried all possible ways

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Garage Band

... your sunday sillies ...

Well, it wasn't the throngs of children I thought it would be.

No, it was quite a bit different than how I had it pictured in my mind.

I waited patiently, sitting on my little foot stool, outside Casa Paraíso.

In hand, I had my Sharpie Pen drawings of the first two notes I'd teach them, along with the list of names I had compiled of all those interested.

Nobody came.

Eventually, I saw one child nearing my direction.

Ah!  Dominican Time!  I see!

But alas, he was only going to watch them build the house next door.

So, I decided to take a stroll through the village.

Once more, I felt like the pied piper.

Not to mention, a little like the town cryer, "It's music day!  Do you want to sing with me?"

All I need is a solid brass hand bell to ring it on Saturdays when it's time to start!

One by one they'd follow, and when I was done, that list of 40 children was reduced to about 12.

No problem!  I'm good with that!

We all scampered to the beach in front of our house, and the children automatically planted themselves firmly on a log.

One problem: I had to yell above the waves!

By the time we were done, my voice was so weak, it sounded like it used to after an ear damaging concert when I was a teen.

No, this is not going to work.

I can't have them in my yard, because of the danger of the pool and puppies.

My foresight was right in that they'd be like Mexican jumping beans.  It's hard to teach, PLUS keep an eye on these little critters.

I don't need someone drowning in the pool or harassing a dog so much that they get bit.

So, next week, we're in the garage!  Our new digs!  The Garage Band.

No yelling, shelter from rain and safety from The Donkey who is sure to bowl over anyone who is close to the height of my hips.

Not to mention, we'll have the acoustics of an A-Frame room!

Furthermore, I won't have to watch them pee on our property.

I'm not kidding.

Middle of the lesson, they had to pee, and one by one they walked to the corner of our lot and peed on our wall right in front of me.

I think they had a bit too much fun doing this.

Papi was a bit appalled when I laughed about it, but I assured him, "Honey, they pee on our wall anyway, so it's nothing new.  The ocean is their washroom."

I can't tell you how many human feces we've seen along the shoreline.

Anyway, there are always a few trouble makers, but I'll tell you, if I'm not getting paid to teach, then I won't have them in my class.

I gave one a strict warning with the first set of 'rules', "You're here to sing.  If you don't want to sing, you go to your house.  I've told you twice, third time you go."

My Spanish was sufficient enough to get the point across, so he adhered to my wishes, however, I'm pretty sure I'll be learning his name first.

All in all, it was a fun 30 minutes and they learned 3 notes, 2 beats and a chorus of the song.

Afterward, one of the mothers, seeing that I was teaching children for free, took it upon herself to announce that she is Christian.

I suppose because it's something some people with religion do; help the children with no pay.

I told her, "I'm Jewish."

She touched my arm as if I needed consoling, and said, "Oh, that's OK.  You're still doing it for the kids."


I'm really glad that's 'OK' and that I have your approval!

She told me her son plays the piano at his school, so it looks like I have the beginning of the band I need!

Slowly but surely, we'll make it.

And I'm positive that more will join us next week.

I need that bell.

i believe in my ability to change the world on a small scale with the work i do

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Papi has been helping out with the dishes.

I am so grateful.

I have been so busy it hurts.

I'll turn him into Mr. Mom yet.

Maybe I'll have to get a little instructive on how to put away cutlery.

When he puts the utensils in the drawer, I open it up in the morning to find soup of forks, knives and spoons.

This way, that way, never in the proper piles.

It's torture for someone who is 'a little' O.C.D.

Anyway, I'm still happy, because it only takes me minutes to rearrange them into their allotted piles and start my breakfast.

Last night, I was up until 1 a.m. preparing for the kidlets.

I'm so excited to work with them today.

After seeing the kids at Dream Project perform their concert for well over 100 people last night, I am so pumped to get the village children up on a stage.

I dragged along Papi, who I thought would die of boredom, but I did it anyway.

When they were done and we were walking back to the car, he said he almost had tears in his eyes.

I said to him, "Do you understand now why I get get up 5 days a week at 6:45 and teach for FREE?"

Indeed, he understood.

I'll have it on the YouTube show in 2 weeks for you.

Papi has a GREAT idea for our little squirts!

I'm going to get them prepped and ready, then we'll take them to perform at all inclusive resorts.

They'll get an awesome meal!

Maybe I'll get their taxi paid for.


I wish I had a bus!

I counted 40 children I'll be teaching.

I figure by X-Mas, when the rush of tourists come, we'll be ready!!!

Today, I'm starting with a Marc Anthony song:

It's funny, because I've never been a fan and never understood the big deal about him, but it is probably because I didn't understand Spanish.

But I'll tell you, thinking of these little beans singing the chorus, just like the choir of angels in the background of this song, I have chills.

The lyrics of the chorus sing:

I will laugh, I will dance
I live life
I'm going to enjoy laughing

And blammo!  I love the song.

I'll have the older ones sing the hard parts.

It's going to be so wonderful!

Can you tell I'm excited?

Anyway, I don't really have time to go on about it, because I have to prepare.

My Spanish has a lot of work to do.

Good g*d.

Perhaps learning songs will further my fluency as well?

And today's positive mantra is influenced by Mr. Anthony himself.

i will laugh, dance and enjoy life 

Friday, July 5, 2013


I have so much to talk about, but somehow, I don't remember what I was going to tell you.

I do remember one item; tomorrow is the first day teaching the village children's choir.

I better have songs for them to sing, don't'cha think?  I haven't even started to prepare!!!

I've been a 'tad' busy, between Mr. Lumpy, driving to Santo Domingo, volunteering with Dream Project and everything it takes to be prepared for the above.

I'm exhausted, the dishes are piling up and the dogs are being neglected.

We haven't had the Housemaid in for a week, because we haven't been around for her allotted time.

Today is the first day in almost a week that I get to blog with my coffee.

These days, it's about running out the door with travel mug in hand, and waking up on the go while that coffee gets into my system on the road.

Showering?  Ain't nobody got time for dat!

I'm sure the locals are having lots to talk about with the stinky tattooed gringa they gossip about.

I'm pretty happy that the accident occurred 45 minutes away from here.

People in Nagua don't know us and I don't have to bow my head in shame in my own area.

Somehow, I have to look presentable for the children's concert today.

Those little beans at Dream Project are going to perform for a jazz band today.

I look forward to seeing the jazz band, as well as seeing them play for the pros.

The MusicMan is well connected and I'm very happy I've been able to be his assistant for the past few weeks.

The day before, I realized my Spanish has so far to go.

Sometimes, when I'm so tired that I can't even be bothered to shower, I just don't have the energy to study, or for that matter, REMEMBER Spanish.

Yesterday, I had a tough time at the school, and I had a tough time in my Spanish lesson last night.

Thinking that hard is difficult with limited energy!

Well, I might as well tell you about my corn.

I planted some seeds along the wall at the very front of the yard against the wall.

I didn't realized they're like banana trees, in that they're typically like a weed.

You plant in one area, and they spread out.

I have corn popping up in various areas of the yard!

I was wondering why Dominican Daddy wasn't plucking them from the ground, until I realized that they look identical to the other ones I planted.

I hope corn looks pretty, because they're invading our yard and it seems that they'll be spread out in no time.

But I know it wasn't corn I wanted to talk to you about.

Here I am, almost done my blog, and I still don't know what it was I was going to tell you.  It couldn't have been that exciting or I would have remembered right?


My poor injured brain has selective memory when I'm tired or stressed.  I could forget the most important of items.

I'm sure I'll remember later, when I'm in the middle of trying to understand someone's Spanish shpeel and have no idea what they just said, because I was daydreaming about some event of days past.

It will be another moment of me cocking my head, raising an eyebrow with a pained face, saying, "Que?"  That's my go to now for everything.

I was so happy to be able to get up and blog with coffee, thinking it would be a lovely writing session today, then I just sat here staring out at the ocean, watching and listening to waves crash, stunned.

If it weren't for the coffee, eggs, toast and lime infused water I was stuffing down my yak, that bewildered gaze probably would have been accompanied by me drooling all over the dogs that jump on my lap the moment I sit down at this table to write.

Ever have a donkey on your lap?

The Donkey honestly believes she's little.

Anyway, maybe tomorrow will be a little more informative and I'll remember the news I was going to share.

Until then, all you get is puppies, corn and one haggard femme.

i feel good about myself and the lessons i learn from life

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Our Angels Came ...

There are so many accidents here from people driving crazy.

We saw a car that had flipped and landed back upright, as we were returning to Santo Domingo yesterday to talk about Mr. Lumpy.

I could see that it was due to speed, rain and a corner that someone took too fast.

I said to Papi, "Why can't people learn from this?  Why doesn't word like this spread around?  When someone flips, the wouldn't they say to someone else, 'don't speed in the rain'?"

Papi shook his head, to agree: people just don't think, then added, "I dunno."

Not 3 minutes later, I was begging to Papi, "Please slow down.  It's raining and those corners are tight."

Papi doesn't need to slow down!  He knows what he's doing!  He know how to take a curve!  Right?!?!

Directly after my plea, we neared a bend that had me holding on tight to my 'holy fuck, you're going to give me a panic attack' handle above my head, when I felt it; the car started to hydroplane.

I began my usual, sharp, deep breath in, that is the beginning of a panic attack, and I heard Papi say, "Oh fuck."

We fishtailed, with our ass end looking like it was going to turn a full clockwise circle, but Papi managed to straighten out.

That is of course, just enough to over compensate and we spun the other way in a full counter-clockwise whirl.

There we were, heading to the side of the road without any ability to change course.

That's when all my years of accidents kicked in.

I'm not sure how, but some strange way, I always remember what I learned from mountain biking: remain like jelly and go with the crash.  Roll with it.

That's what saved me from breaking every bone in my body in the motorcycle accident, as I tumbled over the hood of the car that hit me.

This time, I was able to speak those words of wisdom to Papi.  "Relax in the crash!!!  Just go limp!!!"

It's amazing what you can do when you love someone and want to be sure they're all right.

Then we had the softest landing I've ever had in an accident, even though it left my already fragile body giving the locals their first sighting of the Limping Lesbian.

Into the marsh of someone's property we went, after crashing through their makeshift barbwire and driftwood fence.

We were only about 12 feet away from a concrete pole that could have really done us in, when I realized our angels were working overtime on this one.

The first thought that crossed my mind was we were going to sink and not be able to get out of the water.

The first thought that crossed Papi's mind was, "How is the car?!"

I feebly got out of the car when everyone stopped to see the grongos locos in the ditch, asking, "Please, we need help."

They mistook my horrible communication that we physically needed help.

No.  We were actually OK.

We just needed to get out of the ditch to get to the appointment to talk about Mr. Lumpy a little more with the doctor.

Amazingly enough, this country has a service for idiots who wind up in the ditch, and it's free, yet they won't pay for any medical issues you might have in your crash.  Healthcare is not covered.  Only crashes.

Along comes an ambulance, that we waved off, and then 30 minutes later, a tow truck.

I suppose, Dominican Republic doesn't charge for morons who go too fast and crash, because there are so many.

They pulled us out, and we drove away quite slowly in embarrassment to the nearest gas station, where we tied things up with rope that were hanging from the underbelly of our car, and snipped off the hubcap that was hanging like a loose tooth.

Then we were off to Santo Domingo, in which we found our way to just fine.

However, leaving?  That was another story.

We weren't so lucky to leave without circling the city for an hour before finding the super highway we needed to get home and get me on pain killers before I lost my mind from the searing, shooting sparks going down my legs, and up my back all the way to my cheekbones.

Anyway, the doc gave me a prescription for Mr. Lumpy, which amazingly enough included very high doses of vitamin A, to help shrink it.

I have to go back in 3 months to check that it worked and do another mammogram and sonogram.

Yes, I have to see the scary, mammogram commander.

Hopefully my Spanish will be better and I can win her over with my fluency!

Hopefully, Papi will take this as a warning from the angels, and drive these deadly roads a little more sane.

i am safe and sound

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

tumour titty

So, it's good news.

It's benign.

But I still have a titty tumour.

Not cool.

The doc was really good.

He got right in there, pushing around Mr. Lumpy, pinching, squishing, demanding it move one way or the next.

I was wiggling my toes while I twinged in pain, as Papi watched, wondering why I was worming about.

Doc said right away that there doesn't look like a problem, but sent me for a sonograph and mammogram to be sure.

That was when I learned more about tumours.

The woman who was doing the work was great.  She showed me WHY I don't have to worry.

She pointed me the screen and told me, "If there was a problem, it would look like different tissue here."

I said, "But you can feel it!  Right?!"

"Yes, I can definitely feel it, but it's a breast fibroid and is not something to worry about."

"So," I asked with hesitation, "does that mean Mr. Lumpy just hangs out forever? And if it grows and I look like I have a 3rd breast, I just have to live with it?"

She laughed, "Well, sometimes, they remove it."

Ok.  When is this magical 'sometime'?  I want Mr. Lumpy gone.

He hurts.  He makes my nipple itchy.  He is starting to show and I'll have to pad the other boob to make it match if he keeps growing, which he seems to be doing.

Then there was the mammogram commander.

She wasn't so nice, nor did she have any patience for a gringa with limited Spanish.

She flipped my boobs around, slapping them onto the mammogram plate, pushed me with force when I didn't understand her mumbling, fast, Spanish requisitions.

There was no making this woman like me, and definitely, I would let her push me around the way she wanted, because she was scary.

No matter.

The way she pushed my boob into the automatic pancake machine, I knew they'd see something if there was something to see.

I thought she was trying to get my armpit in there as well.

I couldn't run out of there fast enough.

I go back tomorrow for results, but don't have to see her.


Papi and I will be up before the sun once more for a 4 hour drive to hear confirmation of what they already told me.

They were very nice.

I have no more fear.

Just a little bit of unrest at the fact that I have a titty tumour.

It's definitely hereditary.

My g'ma had 10 of them removed.


Is this what I have to look forward to?

Mr. Lumpy's offspring taking residence in my udders on a regular basis?!?!

I'm not impressed.

I suppose I'll be padding my bra in a few months.

Unless of course, I get one on the other side.

That would even things out a bit.

i love and respect myself