Things are heating up in Santo Domingo. Literally. The heat is creeping back after a 2-month respite. We’ll be into the 90s here by the weekend, and that means my favorite part of the year is over. But, with the heat comes the rain. And rain is good here – both to cool it off a little and knock some of the dust down.
We continue to plug away here… getting closer and closer to my start date with the Embassy. I’m currently waiting on my security clearance, and we’re playing with several different scenarios for after that happens:
1) Buy a car (a beater), insure it, maintain it, let the nanny use it to drive Son around (school, club, beach, activities, etc.), give it to her as a bonus for staying with us until we leave S.D.;
2) Use one of the Transportes de Escuela in our neighborhood for to-and-from school, use cabs for the club and activities; or
3) Hire a driver to bring Wife and I to work, bring Son to and from school, pick me up at 1:30 p.m., pick wife up at 4:30 p.m.
All three options have pros and cons. The first is the most ideal to me, as the initial lay-out for the car will be in the vicinity of $3-4K. Maintaining an older Toyota/Mercedes/Volvo (yes, those are my 3 preferred marks) here should be cheap, it’s only going to have about 50 miles a month put on it (unless the nanny uses it to go home to Santiago). Option 2 costs a little more, and we’ll be out of luck once school ends for the year and Son wants to go to the club most days (i.e. cabs to and from at RD$150 a pop). Option 3 is just ridiculously expensive for us, as it will cost more to pay the nanny, maid, and driver than I can make in a month, which negates the big reason for me to work in the first place.
Anyone have any experience with getting a second car at post? We don’t plan for it to leave the country with us… just wondering how much of a nightmare it COULD be. Do we get Dip plates for it? Anything special we need to to w/r/t the Mission to make it happen?
On to other topics…. we’re heading up to Samana with another Embassy family this weekend to see the whales. Did you know that 80% of the WORLD’S humpback whales migrate to la Bahia de Samana each February and March to spawn? Neither did I until I got here. Hopefully I’ll come back with some amazing pictures and good stories. I’m actually really excited about this trip because it’ll be a very cool opportunity to see adult humpbacks and their calves up-close and personal. We’re going to charter a private boat to take us out to whale-watch, and rumor has it we will be able to see the whales from our balcony at our hotel. Boat drinks and whale watching. Excellent combination.
Winter bid lists came out over the past couple of weeks, and they look pretty good from what I hear. Our sponsors had a pretty easy time coming up with their top-ten list, and others seems to be saying the same thing. I can only hope that our bid list looks similar, though Wife is talking about doing an Ops post in D.C. for the next tour, so we may come back States-side for a bit. I’m not sure how I feel about that, as I’d like to continue on in Spanish-speaking countries so I can master the language and so Son can be fluent. I do think Spanish skills will be important to him as he gets older, and my hope is that he keeps it up, regardless of where in the world we end up.
Ahh, not much else going on here… just super-excited for the nanny to start and for me to start working. Grown-up time is important, and once the nanny starts, Wife and I may just actually be able to get out of the house for a, wait for it, DATE!!! *Gasp* It’s been a while (i.e. like since July of last year) since we had some quiet time away from Son, and I’m looking forward to it.