Category Archives: Travel

The Slow Chug of an Old Engine…

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7 am walking along the beach.

Wow, April is almost over! It seems like it has gone by so slow, yet so fast at the same time.  I had some spare time today and that got me to thinking about life and stuff.  Many of you know that in order for me to function, I have to continually be out-smarting myself.  But really I think it is a pretty common tactic among us humans.  For example, how many of you set your clock at least a few minutes fast?  This is so, even though you know the time is incorrect, for some reason it will motivate you to hurry up.  I do little things like this all the time.  Another one is to set dates for certain goals.  When I first moved to the DR, I set a goal of almost a year and that would be in the Spanish Congregation.  My mind was made up and my return ticket was purchased and that was set.  A few months in, I realized that I wanted more than a year.  So I set the new goal of returning after a short trip home and I gave myself the remainder of April to get prepared for whatever lay ahead.  And so now, Starting May, I have my new goal of at least a year in Sign Language.  The thing is, even though I gave my self the remainder of April to get prepared and moved and whatever else needs to be sorted out, I am so anxious to be doing 110% now!  ARRGGG! I need to work on patience.

I think part of this anxiousness is also due to my 4 day vacation at Lifestyles in Puerto Plata! I mean who takes a vacation 5 days after a vacation??  But it was planned ages ago and so I was forced to sit in a beautiful resort and to live like a queen for three days….But seriously, the  beaches were beautiful, the food was amazing and never ending, the drinks were included and also there was plenty to do or not do.  But the company is what made it worth it.  There were so, so many witnesses there! In our group we had The Bells, Teresa, Britney, Marty, Aaron, Graham and his two friends, Sally, Adrean and Mario, and their two friends from Virginia Jeremy and Anthony.  Then we also ran into the Strongs, the Barons, a recently graduated couple from Gilead and on their way to Haiti, as well as many, many others.  It’s hilarious how we made sure to carry along at least a watchtower with us to attract any Witnesses.

We Jehovah’s Witnesses pull some funny moves to see if someone else is a Witness! One was, “Umm, excuse me, what Bible translation is that?” Or maybe we see a possible Witness and we start to say certain words really loud to see if we get a reaction.  Words like, “convention”, and “meeting” and “kingdom ministry”, etc.  That was actually how we met the Gilead couple.  Marty, Aaron and I were having dinner at one of the many restaurants and we saw them sitting at the table across from us.  So we start talking, very loudly, about the upcoming English Convention and how we were looking forward to it.  But maybe the restaurant was too loud.  So then Marty pulls out her Jeremiah book she just happened to have in her bag.  Along with her Bible, and her Study Watchtower and puts them on the table.  Eventually the brother looks up and catches Marty’s (probably very creepy) stare and then his eyes move the the library she has displayed on our table.  It was pretty hilarious.

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Sally and Mario lookin fly!



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After breakfast we heading to the beach beds and did the Bible reading!



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Fun in the sun



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This kid was teaching me to boogie board…I failed miserably.



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Two brothers from Virginia visiting. Anthony on the Left and Jeremy on the right. Along with Marty these guys are the Spade champs!


But the resort was well worth the incredibly cheap price.  It was a little frustrating that I showed up at the resort and realized that I needed my passport, which was conveniently left in my room back in Santiago.  Without it they would have charged me $40 extra per night! So I had to go all the way back and get it.

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On my way back to the resort after picking up my passport. I saw a tiny glimpse of what I like to call “Jehovah Rays”!

So now I am wrapping up April and all the slacking off and I am so ready to start May of with a BANG!  The Sign Language congregation is wonderful and I am so happy to be apart of it.  Today I went out with Nikki, a sister originally from Florida, but she has been here many years.  And a Dominican sister named Judith.  It was a great morning, we did some street witnessing and also one of Nikki’s Bible students.

Well that is all I have for now, but I hope you enjoy the pictures! WHOOP!

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Teresa and Britney



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The view from my beach bed



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Glorious morning walk


Dinosaurs! RAAWWRRR!!


DINOSAURS!! The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Jarabacoa is Jurassic Park and Dinosaurs. In fact,  The waterfall Salto Jimenoa Uno was used in a scene of the movie.  With absolutely breathtaking views of giant green mountains and magnificent waterfalls, it is no wonder that this is my favorite place on the whole Island.  When I first visited the Dominican Republic last year we stayed in Jarabacoa for the first 5 days, and I remember how sad I was to say goodbye.

It is no surprise that Jarabacoa has become a tourist hot spot; there is so much to do!  Horseback riding, hiking, river rafting, paragliding and loads more.  Yesterday I was able to go and visit for the first time since last year.  Isabel and Bella took their guests who are staying with them, Michelle and Maurice up to visit a sister there, and they stayed the night on Sunday. Then Marty, Aaron, Graham and I headed up early Monday morning to meet them for lunch.  It was a bit of a kufuffle getting there since you first have to get a bus to La Vega and then from there you take another bus to Jarabacoa, but we made it just the same.  To give you guys and idea of what travel costs here, I had to take a concho from my house to the guagua station: 20 pesos. Then the bus to La Vega: 80 pesos.  From La Vega to Jarabaco: 90 pesos.  moto concho to the sister’s house: 25 pesos.  So the trip up the only cost $5.30 usd!

For a late lunch we went up the mountain to Jamaca de Dios, a fancy restaurant with a amazing view.  Graham and Aaron thought that they would take motos all the way up the side of the mountain.  So we sent them off and followed in the car.  However, once we arrived at the entrance to the mountain, there the boys were, slightly dejected: no motos allowed.  So we cram them in the car with us and attempt to chug up the mountain.  When the car made a funny noise and stopped, I took that as a sign that we needed to get out before we ended up rolling back down.  So Laurine ( a super sweet sister from Santa Barbara, CA visiting her Aunt Jovita who lives here) and I made the trek up the mountain with the boys.  It was definitely worth the effort, the view was breathtaking.  As we were enjoying our meal we could see Para-gliders launching off the mountains and some even coming quite close to us!  Also, it was actually cold up in the mountains, in fact they had to light their deck heaters for us.

It was a great day.  Unfortunately the ASL group there has been struggling because there isn’t as much need, otherwise I would seriously think about moving.  I hitched a ride back with the Bells and played the Jurassic Park theme for the rest of the day.  Check out these awesome pictures!

Laurine, me and the boys (I was uncomfortable with the invasion of personal space)

Laurine, me and the boys (I was uncomfortable with the invasion of personal space)

Strike a pose!

Strike a pose!

Graham lookin pretty conspicuous....

Graham lookin pretty conspicuous….

Trust Aaron to capture the worst face I pull all day.

Trust Aaron to capture the worst face I pull all day.

Laurine has an AMAZING instant camera

Laurine has an AMAZING instant camera