nearly a year without an entry
01.07.2015 - 18.04.2016 30 °C
I feel as if I have abandoned this blog completely.
I don't know if this is because I haven't been traveling so much? Perhaps because coming back to the Dominican Republic has felt ever so slightly like I have come back home and am no longer traveling? Which is crazy, because I am forever doing new and exciting things here and experiencing different cultures.
Billy and I are still loving life, and are actually running a hostel and our own school now. Maybe that is another reason why my blog has been left behind - a lack of time and energy to sit down and write about my own daily adventures when there is so much to do for everyone else?
I do know that I will be forever sad if I do not try to update this somehow.
One of the great things that happened was being given permission to redecorate part of Billy's house in Santo Domingo:
We went to Bahia de las Aguilas with Mati and Ola and a group of great people for a few nights of fun in paradise
I watched the allblacks win the world cup with Billy in his all natural All Blacks teeshirt and a friend who I met who is from Argentina, yet he travels with an Allblacks official teeshirt!
Billy and I found my favourite waterfall and second favourite place in the entire country (second to bahia of course)
I had my first hot shower in 5 months and didn't get out for 45 minutes straight, only to get out and have 5 more equally long hot showers in 48 hours.
Billy and I head to Cuba in 10 days for two weeks and then straight to Haiti for a week or so when we get back. I have promised myself I will keep this going with all of the adventures of our time in Cuba and Haiti. But before I do that, it would be nice to add a few pics in here to kind of keep track of the past year.
Major events since my last entry :
1. I had a cockroach removed from my ear after waking up at 5am with the feeling of something at the entrance to my ear... I put my finger there, felt something and then SCREAMED the house down as it entered my ear canal. Billy tried everything to get it out - sucking at it, pincers, and then pouring water to get it out... which resulted to it's flapping to death in my ear. The worst moment of my entire life, followed by 5 hours and visiting 5 hospitals to finally find one that could help - talk about third world problems!
2. My parents came to visit me - which was incredible! We toured all around the Dominican Republic and had lots of family time together and with Billy's family before heading to Puerto Rico where we adventured and went to an offshore island called Vieques. The highlight there was going to the worlds brightest bioluminescent bay where we could kayak underneath the stars and watch the glowing plankton light up our trail. It was so amazing to splash and pour the water everywhere and watch the tiny lights flash! Even better was kayaking really fast and watching the fish dart away from us. I was paired up with some guy who was more than happy to play the fool with me, and we were trying to go as fast as possible when we were sure we saw a stingray lit up underneath the water! Sadly photos just do not work, but wow was it incredible!
3. Billy and I opened up our own school in Santo Domingo that works with children who are working in crime and sex work as a way to put food on the table for their families. Most of our children are living illegally in the country due to the political beaurocracy between Haiti and Dominican Republic. Our school teaches our children alternative ways to make money, using recycling and trash to create necessary items to sell within their community. We have just renovated the bathrooms, the kitchen, and put up the school gate. Thankfully to many kind hearted donors we have stationary, books, school equipment, and a full professional baseball set of equipment!
4. Billy and I moved out of Santo Domingo back to Cabarete and to the castle where I worked at the beginning of 2015. When we took over, there were absolutely ZERO guests and a lot of debt. Somehow we managed to completely turn everything around - we cleared the debt super quickly and for 3 months of high season we managed to have people begging to sleep on our couches because we were so full. We have been having the most amazing time here, enjoying meeting all of our new friends from all over the world - as well as relishing the opportunity to save money, learn to surf, and live closer to the cleaner and greener part of the island with swimmable ocean very nearby. We have a wonderful team of staff here with us and we are very lucky to have been given this opportunity to live and work here in the castle together!
5. I had one of the most amazing birthdays of my entire life - three birthday cakes, an entire week of celebrations, and a huge party to celebrate! I was completely spoiled by so many of the wonderful friends I have met here in Cabarete and felt incredibly lucky to be surrounded and cared for by such amazing human beings.
6. My birthday of course followed Christmas which was incredible at the castle - a sit down lunch for 45 people was served, present swapping game was played for an hour, and we even had our very own santa Klaus who delivered the gifts! We had a Christmas tree made from Rum bottles which was one of the highlights for sure.
6. I learned to drive a motorbike - one with gears but no clutch... next step, one with clutch!
7. I am super excited about the next few months ahead - Cuba, Haiti, cousin Sarah visiting me for a crazy time through Vegas and LA, Mexico to visit my wonderful friends there, and then back to LA to see Grace who is coming all the way over for her 10th birthday Disneyland spree with me. I just can't believe there can be so many good things about to happen in such a short space of time.
I promise it won't be another 8 months before the next entry... even for my own records if nothing else