as i sit here looking out at the atlantic ocean, basking in a sea breeze and the afternoon sun, i’m slowly falling in love with this country. sure, it has its problems: it’s dirty, it’s poor, there’s ridiculous traffic in santo domingo, there’s an ineffective and indifferent police force, etc., but the people here are so nice and the lifestyle is so chill, it almost makes up for everything in the negative column.
we’re staying in cabarete for the labor day weekend (it’s cheap and un-crowded because it’s hurricane season) in a gorgeous 4th-floor walk-up overlooking the water. our drive here was our fist foray outside of the distrito naciónal, and well worth it. we took the new autopista samana through el parque naciónal de los haitses, then drove west along the north shore through a bunch of resort towns and stunning countryside.
our new house is beautiful. we moved in about a week and a half ago, are slowly settling in, and still awaiting internet. our UAB (air freight) arrived the day we got there, our HHE (household effects) the next day and our car 5 days after that. after two of the most stressful days in recent memory of directing movers and unpacking, we’re finally able to relax a little. my wife’s job seems interesting, and she seems to enjoy it, i’m learning the finer points of driving in la república and the geography of the city, and making friends with the geckoes who live in our back yard (they keep the mosquitoes – and hence the malaria and dengue threats – down). cell phone coverage is more or less ubiquitous, but if you’re not a dominican (or have official ties to a gov’t or residency), it’s difficult to get anything but a pre-paid account.
my spanish continues to improve, as i’m learning el vocabulario domestico – being responsible for shopping, directing our housekeeper, and dealing with random crap in a daily-operations capacity. i’m still not anywhere near where i want to be, but i’ll get there… i have 2 years to do so.
i’m now off to finish some beers, watch a little red sox baseball (using internet connection for all it’s worth), and go to bed. a long day at the beach calls tomorrow.