In just a few short days, we’ll be a the “6 months left” mark. 3/4 of the way through our first tour. We’ve already made a ton of preparations for our time back in D.C. for training, booked a house for home leave, started saving the money that we’ll need for home leave (moi, SAVING?), and have begun looking forward to Surabaya. It’s like I have post senioritis (which my MacBook is screaming at me to correct to “enteritis”, LOL, fitting).
We’ve been actually getting out of the city more than usual, and I have pictures to prove it!
We all took a trip to Isla Saona on a catamaran a few Sundays back, and it was absolutely beautiful. about an hour to sail out, 4 hours on the beach, and a high-speed boat back with a stop at a sand bar about 400 yards offshore where we could swim with giant red starfish. The time at the beach was unfortunately marred by some idiot tourists, but that’s a long and involved story. Let’s just say that I was deeply troubled by this event and leave it at that.
Over MLK weekend, we took another trip to Cabarete. We found a nice villa right on the beach which we shared with another family. The dogs and kids had a lot of space, we had some yummy food and wine, and it was an overall pleasant weekend.
This past weekend, I was invited to play softball with Robinson Cano again in the second annual Jackie Robinson Cup. We had a much better time this year, as no one took it seriously. Last year, apparently some of the players thought we had a chance against Cano and his band of ridiculously-talented semi-pro and professional baseball players, and there was a whole lot of animosity in the dugout. This year, we knew we’d get our asses handed to us, said “f*ck it”, and there was much rejoicing. It was a lot of fun to play more or less a pick-up game against one of the top-three best active baseball players in the MLB and a sure first-ballot Hall-of-Famer.
As we’ve come into our last quarter here, I find myself really getting itchy to both see whatever I can see on this island and to get the hell off of it. I’m trying to get together some gear and a partner to do a weekend-long rally drive up the Haitian border with some other FJ Cruiser owners, I’d like to get out to Pedernales and Baharona, cross into Haiti through Dajabon, and also try to get up to Monte Cristi. Then there’s the Pico Duarte trip (highest point in the Caribbean), and Jarabacoa, and I’m really starting to wish my time (and funds) weren’t so limited here. But then I try to get stuff accomplished here in Santo Domingo, and quickly remember why I want to leave so badly.
So, if you’re thinking about the Dominican Republic as a viable option for a posting, it’s lovely. I love this country, I hate this city. My fondest memories will be of our adventures to the beach and the countryside, and I will do my best to block out my experiences here in Santo Domingo.
I guess that’s kind of the life of a FS family… you just need to take it all in stride.