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Thread: Out of the Campo and into the fire

  1. #1
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    Default Out of the Campo and into the fire

    After seven month's in the Campo near Imbert, my wife and I and the three kids decided to move from our hacienda house in the country to the beaches of Sosua. We came to the DR from Wisconsin with the hopes of starting some sort of business, and eco resort, as many do. Luckily, I rented and the only money I lost with the move is my deposit from breaking a lease. We had a few acres, a cool house with an open kitchen, but no pool, no english speaking friends, no good school, and had to drive forever just for gas, groceries, and such. It was tough there, but an adventure!

    We wanted four walls, a pool, more consistent power and water, and better schools for the kids. It was also a money saving move as of course we were not prepared for all the 'hidden costs' of living on the island.

    Been here for less than a month, and I am not sure which I prefer. If I could move this house to the Campo, I'd do it. Hopefully it is just some more growing pains, and more culture shock! It is amazing how much different it is here compared to a real Dominican town.

    At first, I wasn't getting water. It took almost a month to fill the pool, and we spent many days without water. I come to find out that my new 'amigo' living in the guard house next door had been shutting off the city lines in an attempt to extort me. He started within 48 hours of us moving in!

    Power has been okay, up until last week. A week ago today, the lights went out for the night, and I know have only 80-100 volts. After finally getting the pool filled and cleaned, it is green again because I do not have the voltage to run the pump, or the A/C's, washer/dryer ect. All of the little niceties we left the campo for are worthless at the moment. We have called Edenorte every day for a week. They finally sent someone three days ago. He showed up, said I have a problem with the meter but he can't fix it because he doesn't have a key to the box. He assured me someone would be coming the next day, and no... Back the in campo when the power went out, we just walked up to the colmado and paid the most sober person their 200 pesos to climb the pole.

    It is nice to be able to walk to the beach, but I going to miss the calm blue waters of Punta Rucia.

    Moneywise, holy crap it is more expensive here. It sure is nice to be able to shop in a grocery story instead of the market, but it comes at a cost! Restaurants are also a lot more, but the quality is better. I do miss having all the cheap little food stands in Imbert.

    The biggest change here is the people, the Dominicans mainly. In the campo we actually had some Dominican friends, people who were interested in more then just money. Not to say I didn't pay a little Gringo tax, but nothing like here. Everyone has their hands out. Back in Imbert, the colmado owners wife would take my daughter and watch her while we had drinks. Same in the little grocery in town, we could grocery shop baby free! The people seemed more genuine, and less jaded.

    So, here I sit in my nice ocean view house with a green pool, just enough electricity to write this email, an expensive cuba libre, and little interest in going to town to be begged at by motoconchos and putas.

    As a new friend of ours send when we first moved here, "Welcome to bloody effing paradise."

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  3. #2
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    Sounds like you should have move to Las Terrenas or perhaps a larger center that is not Tourist orientated like San Francisco de Marcoris or Santiago.

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    Not having enough voltage isn't rare in DR. Like you, we had the same problem. We had a voltage regulator installed on our line [before it reaches the breaker box] and it fixed everything. We paid 4000 pesos for it.

    Before that we used a portable voltage regulator, about size of a shoe box, heavy to move around. I think that was about 3000 pesos at one of the big ferreterias. You simply plug it into any outlet, then plug whatever appliance you need to run into it. In our case, that meant the washing machine and the microwave. It won't run a 220V appliance, not sure what your pool pump is.

    DR is definitely an experience, and there is a sharp learning curve. After almost 40 years, I'm still learning. So is Mr. AE, and he was born in SD, but has become rather Americanized after 4 decades in NY/NJ.




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  7. #4
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    That's why I moved back to Munoz after 1 year living in Puerto Plata.... I had left Munoz because I had the impression I was far of everything and missing something... Oh God was I wrong....

    Living in the city is not for everybody, especially if you started your life here in the campo... I'm back in the campo and HAPPY to be... People are real in the campo...

    Good Luck !

  8. #5
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    Yea, I think my next move will be up into the Mountains a little, some land, and build my own little paradise. In a half dozen years or so! I'd get the best of both worlds, the people and personalities of the Campo, and a modern house with four walls!

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  10. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlterEgo View Post
    Not having enough voltage isn't rare in DR. Like you, we had the same problem. We had a voltage regulator installed on our line [before it reaches the breaker box] and it fixed everything. We paid 4000 pesos for it.

    Before that we used a portable voltage regulator, about size of a shoe box, heavy to move around. I think that was about 3000 pesos at one of the big ferreterias. You simply plug it into any outlet, then plug whatever appliance you need to run into it. In our case, that meant the washing machine and the microwave. It won't run a 220V appliance, not sure what your pool pump is.

    DR is definitely an experience, and there is a sharp learning curve. After almost 40 years, I'm still learning. So is Mr. AE, and he was born in SD, but has become rather Americanized after 4 decades in NY/NJ.
    Yea, I honestly don't really know what is going on, and I have a pretty decent handle on household electricity save for inverters. Of the two lines coming into my main, one has a consistent 120 volts. The other has either no power, or some days 60-100 volts. In the main breaker box every other circuit has either 120 or 60-100. There is one single pole 30 amp breaker that shuts off the entire house. I was able to move the water pump to one of the good circuits, so I have water. There is another breaker box in the house that has three lines coming in and the return. Two have 60-100 volts, and one has full power. Half of my house has full power, the other half doesn't. Of course they half that doesn't is the kitchen and living room. The pool pump is 110V, but on the circuit with less power! None of my 220 appliances run, of course, and if I turn on too many lights or fans into the 'bad side', the whole thing goes. I am just surprised, I went from an 'D' zone to an 'A' zone and I am having more problems.

    My concern is that there was a very short honeymoon period! I hope time and education makes life easier...

  11. #7
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    Fascinating story. I like it. quick question? Why did you move to Sosua where--as you say--everyone has their hands out--and not to one of the gated communities outside of Sosua or Cabarete?

    Frank

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    I am in Playa Laguna, so no one has their hands out here. But, going into town isn't as pleasant

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  14. #9
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    Sorry to hear it didn't work out in Imbert, especially as I was looking forward to visiting your proposed eco-place.

    Hope your eventual home in the DR is the one you dreamed of. You may not be there yet, but you are getting closer!

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    I did the reverse. I started out life here in Sosua and then decided I was living a permanent vacation and if I wasnīt careful I might have screwed my entire life and earnings away. I knew Sosua wasnīt real life and was happy with that as the move was because I wasnīt happy with the way real life was turning out for me. But eventuallt even screwing my life and earnings away became very very boring and unattractive, the most beautiful women became the most ugly and uninteresting. The people became extremely transparent as I became more sober. The same old same old conversations with the visitors became scripted before I had even opened conversation with them. And so in the end seeing Sosua with eyes wide open and in reality my intelligence kicked in eventually and I moved away into campo where a guy can shake your hand, look you in the eye and I could kind of half believe his genuine motives.
    Campo is also tough as very little happens, I often find myself living a day or two either side of the actual day.
    And life in the Capital is just so stressful, so difficult to get anything done without some form of confrontation I have kind of abandoned my place in the city and havenīt bothered to go back for almost 4 months now.
    I enjoy campo pace of life which is basically a pace of doing fock all, but I do enjoy that Sosua is there for when doing fock all becomes a bit too much fock all.

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