Sunday, August 23, 2009

Taxi prices, mosquito bites, haitianitos

So JP and I tried to go to mass this morning because we were told that there were masses at the cathedral at 9 and 10 (aren't you proud, Severins?). Naturally, that information was wrong, and mass was at 12. We made it to another church though, La Iglesia de Altagracia, which was also beautiful. We were two of abut 30 people though, which was a little weird, and we were unsure if we were allowed to take communion or not because we hadn't been to confession (the practice in Latin America) but we went up anyway because most people did. Either they were really good Catholics  or the confession thing isn't as big a deal here as it was in Ecuador. There was a really bad echo in the cathedral though so I would say I understood about 10% of the mass, and that 10% I understood because I know the words to mass in English. Not a huge success but it was nice to get out into Zona Colonial and have a non-touristy reason to be there. We had a lot of trouble getting a cab to come home because they were all trying to overcharge us. My favorite though was when we asked a guy to take us home for $150 pesos, which is the normal price, and he said it cost $200. We said, "We normally pay $150" and he said "Well sometimes the prices vary, gasoline gets more expensive". We told him that we had paid $150 that morning, and he still didn't budge, which I was pretty impressed by. Anyway we finally found a person to take us home for the real price, and then Doug and Stacy came over. Melissa, Stacy and I were going to go to this pool at a hotel called Dominican Fiesta. That's right, the name of the hotel is actually Dominican Fiesta. We got a cab against our better judgement because it looked like it was about to rain, and when we go there we found out it cost $625 pesos (remember, divide by 35, and you'll realize that is almost $20 USD) to get in. We turned right back around and got another cab towards home. One cool thing about the hotel though was that there was a little fish pond in the front filled with fish and turtles. We stopped on the way home at this place called Sonoma, which is a really good coffee and sandwich place, and got lunch. Melissa went home because she was getting eaten alive by bugs, and Stacy and I went to this cake shop and then I walked back to her apartment to see it.

Funny side note:
Melissa attracts so many mosquitos that no one else around her gets bit. This is not an exaggeration. When she was sitting there getting eaten alive we were fine, and shortly after she left we started getting bites. We don't know why this is. She doesn't like to use deet all the time, so she has been rubbing herself down with limes (apparently this is a natural remedy) before she goes to bed. I think this is hilarious. She thinks it is a burden. 

Anyway, when I came home I talked to Melissa for awhile about how we were going to get ourselves into this community for awhile, and then JP came home and we went grocery shopping. There are tons of haitian kids on the streets here begging, and it is really hard because if you give them money they just have to hand it over to their boss, plus it encourages their bosses to get more kids on the street begging, but you don't always have food to give, which makes you feel like a monster if you refuse them. Today was great though because the two times I saw them I was leaving the restaurant with leftovers, and leaving the supermarket with tons of food. I have them my leftover sandwich and JP and I broke up a baguette and distributed it. It's so nice when you have something to give them. I think I might get a bigger purse just so I can carry granola bars or something for them. They are seriously the cutest kids I have ever seen in my life too. Anyway, overall good day. Also, I guess Stacy knows one person who knows others, so we are going to meet them and this should hugely improve my small network problem. Little by little my Santo Domingo world is expanding. Thanks for all the suggestions! I love you guys, keep the emails coming, I love hearing from you. Also, did anyone get the cave bar title of my last post? To understand better youtube "Gay Bar Homemade Video". 


  1. Caitlin, I love your fearlessness and adventurous spirit-- never lose that!

  2. Caitlin - finally got this blog link from your Dad. Great fun. Keep us poor frozen Michiganders entertained!

    Uncle Buck