Wednesday, February 26, 2014

our worst day here

It's going to take a while to write this post with one hand.

My right arm is out of commission, which is very upsetting as Sunday, I received an invitation to my first piano gig on Saturday nights, and now I will have to delay that gig for at least 2 months.

Remember those Rottweilers a few houses down?  This attack was the worst yet.

We were trying to be responsible dog owners and had The Thug wear a muzzle for our beach walk.

When he ran to the neighbour's gate, we thought it would be fine because we were told the wicked woman had moved with her dogs.

She was back, and so was the pack.

They grabbed The Thug by the muzzle and all three of them started to tear at the flesh on his face and head.

Our poor baby had no defence because of the muzzle he was wearing, and the dogs pulled at him so hard his head was pulled right through the fence.

Now they had the advantage because his head was stuck and the three of these dogs really went to town ripping and tearing at The Thug's face, ears, eye and mouth.

We threw rocks, sticks, hit them on the head with the ends of the leashes, until finally, I tried to reached in to pull one of them off.

Instead of helping our sweet boy, I wound up with the Rottweiler's jaw clamped on my forearm.

Flipping my arm about like it was a rag doll, he looked like he was having a great time with the newest toy to enter his space.

Yet, the original toy, our dog, was more enticing and he let go of me to further work on ripping the face off our dog.

I ran screaming to the village for help and lucky for us, everyone came running.

By the time we all got back to the fence, The Thug had gone limp.  I truly believed he was dead.

Not only that, Papi had been bitten as well.

But the men grabbed coconut palm leaves and used the hard ends of the leaves to ward off the dogs.  Looking like lion tamers with a chair and whip, they held off the dogs while a few of us kicked in a part of the fence to help pull out our big boy.

There is nothing heavier than an 80 pound Pitbull who has gone limp after you've had your arm bitten by a Rottweiler.

But I didn't feel the pain of my arm at this point.  My whole mission was just to get my baby out of the fence so that they couldn't remove his entire head from his neck.

There was so much blood I couldn't even tell what his injuries were.

As the owner sauntered toward us, I yelled, "Get these doors fixed!  NOW!" followed by, "Now I need the hospital!" and finished off with giving her the finger and a scream of, "Fuck YOU!!!"  That's a language she understands even if my Spanish was lacking.

Unfortunately, on this North Coast of the island, there are no emergency vets.

We had to leave our sweet baby with Dominican Daddy to watch over him, while we rushed ourselves to the hospital to deal with our own lacerations.

Without getting too graphic for you, we both found that the flesh of our arms was exiting our wounds.

Fleshy bits where they shouldn't be.

It takes 30 minutes to drive to the hospital here.  It was the longest 30 minutes ever.

When we got there, because I couldn't move my fingers, they thought I had a broken arm, which would not be hard to fathom, considering who bit us.

However, I have learned since my motorcycle accident that I have the world's strongest bones and nothing was broken.

I visited The Thug at Dr. Bob's again today to see how he was doing.

He is completely despondent and wouldn't even lift his head when he saw me.

I truly believe he thinks we've given up on him.

Tomorrow he comes home.  Tomorrow can't come soon enough.

Papi, The Thug and I all have some healing to do.  Emotionally and physically.

People in the village have gone back and asked her to fix her gate, because her dogs have not only bit our dogs and us, but they have also bitten a child.

Her response?  "It's not my problem.  This is my house.  I don't need to fix it."

In this crazy, wild west of the Dominican Republic, it is not abnormal for people to be killed when an entire village is outraged.

I just hope they don't poison the dogs.  It's not their fault.  They have not been socialized.

She is the one who is evil.

And I will never put a muzzle on my dog again.

i treasure every day i am living

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

non-consensual flogging

We only wanted to have fun.

We wanted to experience a cultural celebration called 'Carnival'.  It is a month long celebration of Dominican Republic independence.

We took a chartered bus to La Vega with locals for the excursion.  That was fun.

The people we traveled with were lovely.  One man, whom I'm sure is in the closet, needed a hairband for his braids.  I obliged.

Moments later, he gave me his bracelet, simply because I told him I liked it.

There was singing and carrying on, and of course an en route visit to an outhouse so I could practise my Dominican squat.

When we arrived, I noticed vendors selling footballs of varying colours, filled with water giving them solid pressure.  I couldn't understand what they were for, so I simply shook my head when anyone tried to sell me one.

Many people had them, but to me they seemed pointless, until we meandered through the crowd, and I would randomly be hit in the ass by them.

It really hurt and I was stinging from the floggings within minutes of arriving there.

But it was time to go to the parade where my eyes were treated to colours of costumes that were incredible!

Gorgeous!  My only intention was get every costume on my video to show everyone the detail that went into these outfits.

I found out later why every single costume had an evil face.  They were the Diablos Cojuelos, and demons they were.

As I tried to film these demons, it donned on me as to why I was occasionally hit by these strange footballs by various men in the audience.

I began to be brutally belted by the Diablos Cojuelos.

When I was hit by one, I would turn around from the pain to protect myself, only to be hit by another man standing waiting for his turn to beat me.

They hit me with those rock solid footballs with all their strength.

This I know because I saw how hard they hit other women as well, and in a country where you're born with a baseball bat in hand, the swing is strong.

Yet, the women around me only received a seldom hit.

I stood out in the crowd because I am a gringa with blonde hair.  I was a target, and my beatings were repeated well beyond 20 times.

No matter where I went, children and men would attack me with these balls.

At one point, I found a tree and stood in front of it, pressing my ass up against it with my arms fastened tightly around the back in hopes I would be safe.

There was even a point where I was being chased by a few of the Diablos Cojuelos through the crowd, and people parted to give them access to get to me.

Then they cheered as I was assailed repeatedly.

One of the hits I took was so painful I came close to vomiting and passing out within seconds.

Someone told me to sit down, but I was in so much pain, I couldn't even sit to save myself.  I explained this only to have them laugh, thinking I was kidding.

I was in tremendous pain, so much so that it hurt to walk and I could feel the swelling of welts through my shorts.

Inflammation of blood created pressure as it bled beneath my skin, and even the lightest touch from someone brushing against my ass sent pain shooting through my mid-section.

There was one more problem:  I still had to get back to the bus for 6 o'clock.

As I darted through the crowd, I did my best to keep my backside protected by grandmothers, food carts, walls and trees.

I was in full panic anticipating the next beating, looking over my shoulder in fear for 2 hours.

During the weaving in and out of the crowd, still being occasionally hit by anyone who had enough space to do so, we found our group.  The tour guide for the day was sweet enough to give me a barrier to watch for anymore sneak attacks.

Our group on the bus really didn't understand the gravity of the attacks I endured.

Girls told me they hurt as well, but they sat on her bus seat pretty easily, and jumped around with energy.

It took me quite a bit of time to finally settle into my seat.

I had to do it millimetre by millimetre until my entire ass was placed.  I sat, breathing through the pain.

We finally got home from our long day at Carnival and I went straight to the bathroom mirror to look at how badly I was violated.

Here is the 'end' result:

However, yesterday, it was even worse.  The bruising has spread down my legs and the the sides of my hips, and it's almost impossible to find any white skin back there.

I don't think I'll be going back to 'Carnival'.  I'm done.

I'm also not too sure about being in large gatherings with men here anymore.

It's too unpredictable and I don't feel safe.

my life has value and others appreciate who i am

Thursday, February 13, 2014

a raindrop in the ocean

Tomorrow is save the puppies day.

So many dogs here are wild, and the ones that have a family generally aren't spayed and neutered.

This means, many puppies.

Here, people think the only solution is to drop them off in the wilderness, allowing them to die.

Sometimes, they're nicer and kill the puppies quickly so they don't suffer by starvation.

Well, one of the people we have painting Casa Paraíso has 5 puppies.

We can't take one of them, as we have already agreed to take one that is currently in another dog's womb.

Taking one more would put us over the edge with insanity.

6 Bathroom Buddies are enough.


Anyway, when our great painter/Spanish tutor came to work at the house today, he said he and his cousin were going to bring the dogs into the wilderness to let them die, because they can't keep them.

I begged them, "Please, don't do this today.  Tomorrow I will bring them to the AAAS and surrender them."  I explained he'd have to surrender the mother as well for the babies' sakes.

He agreed to the terms.

I know full well that even though I can't do this with every single cat and dog in the country, at least I can do it for one litter.

Sometimes, I just can't handle all this.

The other day, I was frantic when I saw a girl throw a dog into the water with all her force.

I'm not talking play.  I mean it looked like Serena Williams serving in a tennis match.

The rip tide here on our side of the island can drown a human, never mind a small size dog.

Didn't matter to her.

Every time the dog would run back out of the waves, she would pick her up (usually by the collar, choking it) and with every bit of her strength, she would throw it into the ocean one more time.

The dog would eventually surface, gasping for air, ears back and whites of her eyes showing.

This is how she was 'washing' her dog.

I expected her to stop after the 2nd time, but upon the 3rd, I ran to her, screaming in my broken Spanish, "Please stop!  Look at your dog!  She's shaking because she's afraid to drown!  You will kill your dog!"

Then to add an empty threat to the monologue, hoping she wouldn't take me up on it, I added, "If you don't want that dog, I'll take her.  She needs love.  You're going to kill her."

The girl simply apologized to me as if it was only a matter of my problem being sensitive, not having any regard for the animal and what she was doing to it.

Everyone else who watched her do this thought it was normal.

They laughed at me and my panic.

This is one of the hardest things about living here in the Dominican Republic.

The lack of respect for animals.

Then there's road kill.

There are no predators here, so when there's a dead dog at the side of the road, it sits in the sun until it rots.

You see road kill at least once every 2 days.


You see the remains for a good week after, and being that there is only one road you can travel, you are forced to see it time and again.

The last remains we saw were there for so long that after a while it was completely unrecognizable as a dog.

How does an animal lover get past this?

You don't, I guess.

I suppose all I can do is bring those 5 adorable puppies in and surrender them and the mother, in hopes that they will all keep their lives and find a family.

Tomorrow, we save 5 puppies and a mother.

It's like a rain drop in the ocean compared to all the other that are dying.

i accept what i can not change

Saturday, February 8, 2014

here we go!

There's a new round of kids coming in to Dream Project.

Tiny, pumped for the challenge, sweet kids.

They're going to audition for the music program this week.  It's so exciting for them, as much as it is for me.

I love teaching little ones from day one.  It's makes me tingle with happiness when I see their eyes light up after they realize they've played their first song.

It's akin to how I'm feeling about playing my first gig in Spanish this week.

It was kinda sprung on me, but Tuesday I get to showcase some of the songs I've been working so hard on.

It's a gastropub called, 'Voodoo Lounge'.  My kinda place.

It's got comfy couches where you can really sink into the cushions to listen to live music.  You just have to try to ignore the mosquitos who have built condos under the cushions just waiting for a ripe ass to bite.

MusicMan and I are going to play a few songs along with another teacher from the Bachata program at Dream Project.

However, the timing is a bit off.  I was going to put music on the back burner for a month, because we're quite busy prepping the house for sale.

Yes, we're selling Casa Paraíso, for so many reasons.

We love this house, but since the day we've moved in, it has been all about the house.

Repairs, workers, commotion.

We were looking to come here to rest from working so hard for 4 years after the motorcycle accident.  Instead, we've spent the entire year focusing on this house.

It's beautiful down here on the ocean, but to every good there is a balance of bad.


It's killing everything, including this house, and we just can't afford the upkeep.

Plus, I'll tell you, I will be so relaxed when I'm not dodging the chorus of children screaming my name at the gate all day, every day.

I can't even enjoy my yard, because the children think that once I'm out there, I'm their property.

"Gringa!  Open the gate!"

"No, my friends, the gate is open on Saturdays."

Except today, when I found I woke in the middle of the night to feeling quite under the weather.  I haven't slept properly in days and it's not allowing for a healthy immune system.

So, I put a sign up saying, "No class today, I'm sick.  Sorry."

Which prompted every child to come to the gate screaming my name to try to get me to come out.

I tried to ignore them and went to find some more sleep, when I was awoken by The Carpenter who didn't tell me he wanted to work on Saturday as well.

I need peace.  I need sleep.

I also look forward to not having Housemaid.

I'm not into people in my house every day, and stopping by unannounced.  I'd rather clean on my own.

You see, it's kinda hot here and in order to exercise, I have to do it in the nude as clothes really get in the way when you're sweating so much.

So, I have to always be on the lookout for Housemaid letting herself in our house for whatever reason, whenever she chooses.

Unfortunately, it's not like back home, where people usually call before dropping by.  Most people here can't afford the phone call, so they just show up.

That whole Seinfeld thing where people just drop by and expect you to be decent and available?  I'm not into it.

I remember when I was younger, I wished people would just drop by, because then it meant I was loved.

Now?  If you love me, you'll understand that I require a lot of alone time.

Furthermore, I don't like being caught in the nude.

The constant wave of people in my house is not my kinda thing.

These are just two of the reasons for selling Casa Paraíso.

It's been lovely.

Alas, it's time to move away from the cows and closer to the city.

And now, let the house insanity begin!

i live in peace

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

shine on beautiful soul!


I get it.

Some people are overly mean to overweight people.  That's really terrible.

I understand that sometimes it's an eating disorder, just as much as it is food addiction, but other times it's someone who's body is just built that way.

We are all different.

I have this food addiction and I do everything to abstain from the foods I gorge on.

Some people don't care that they're overweight and that is GREAT for them.

However, some of us have other feelings about it.

I, personally, have way too much pain in my knee and back when I put on weight.

Not to mention, I have a different sort of eating disorder that makes me lose my mind.

I would prefer to fit into my clothes so that I know I'm a healthy weight, even if the mirror doesn't allow me to see the same reality.

If I don't, I'm affected by obsession and can't function properly because all my energy is spent freaking out about the pants that don't fit, then I start having anxiety.

It's not fun.  I'd rather just stay at a healthy weight to send the Anorexia Monster back to its hole.

I have a very sweet friend who is working on losing weight.

She has been proudly posting the results of her efforts with glee!

I, and so many others, are so proud of her.

Then, we have the 'mean girls'.

They are being just as catty to her as they were to me and Papi.

Just as negative and hurtful.

The same fucking assholes as we all know they are.


Leave her the fuck alone.

She is doing a good thing for herself.

It doesn't affect YOU.

It makes her feel better.

But of course, 'you', have to try to make her just as miserable as you are.

You're going to run out of people to pick on, you know?

Maybe you'll all just have to start pegging off people in your clique one by one.

Then you'll be left with the king prick who will be lonely at the top.

Perhaps then, that person will have the leftover clique to ostracize them!

Oh, the irony.

Anyway, I'm fucking pissed off that people will harass my friend who is not hurting anyone, but only bettering her own life.

Me and Papi seriously don't think we will ever want to live in Vancouver again with these cretins.

These are some of the meanest people I've ever encountered.

Even being part of The Pariah Club didn't work out for me.

They ostracized me as well.

I doubt they're doing that to this lovely soul.  They are pro-health most of the time.

But still, the other uber-PC people?

I'm not shocked.

When this sweet soul started posting about her journey, I was counting the days before the 'mean girls' reared their ugly heads.

Sure enough, they appeared, spewing filth and negativity.

My sweet friend, you are awesome.

You are doing what so many people struggle to do.

You are paving a path to encourage others to feel better in their lives as well.

Healthy is strong.

You are lovely and don't let any of those creeps bring you down.

I, like the others who are ostracized from that 'community', wish you the best and are rooting for you.

We love you.

Shine on!

i achieve my weight loss goals