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  1. #1
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    Talking Moving to Santo Domingo in August; Advice and Connections

    Hi All,

    My boyfriend and I were just offered very good teaching positions in Santo Domingo. Our purpose of going is twofold:
    1)To experience a new culture and volunteer, and
    2)To pay off student loans

    So, my questions:
    1)How afraid should I be of safety issues? I'm going to stick out like a sore thumb there - blonde, fair skin, slender, and tall. I go running several times a week; will I be able to do so alone in Santo Domingo?

    2)How easy/difficult is it to become involved in volunteer organizations? Do locals welcome foreigners? Do you know of a place that I can be in contact with when I arrive?

    3) I have a lovely little bunny that I'm bringing with me. Any advice on moving pets?

    I've read through several of the forums, but I'm still trying to separate fact from fiction. I like to think that I'm not a typical American; I really do want to experience the culture and contribute to the well-being of the locals (as well as benefit from their knowledge and experience).

    I'm thinking of taking this job in lieu of a very nice graduate school funding offer, so any help is appreciated!

    Thanks all!
    Last edited by Chirimoya; 04-06-2009 at 07:34 AM. Reason: removed specific info

  2. #2
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    With the money your going to get paid you and your bunny will be living large. Sure some things are more expensive over there, i.e. gas, imported food, where you live and furniture, carrots, JK . There are some bargains to be had as well. Plus you got no kids. I am NOT an expert in living over there. I visit perhaps once a week, per year, however from what I do know you can save a lot if you husband your resources appropriately.

    If you are going to be teaching, depending on what type of school it is. That will also afford you the chance to meet people from different areas of society. It sounds like it's a monied school since you are gonna be banking. So you and your bunny'll make tons of cool contacts.

    You will stand out, get ready for the stares and the catcalls and the hoots of RUBIA!!! Just ignore them, be tough yet cool about it and handle it like a dominicana would, lift up your nose, wrinkle your lips and walk away, no eye contact. My brother in law is from Canton, Ohio. Big, tall, blonde, blue eyed, german dude and the stares he got from the women and people over there baffled me. But I saw so many other white Americans and Europeans that Dominicans must/have to be used to them by now. I've found this website invaluable, since I am moving in January over there too. So enjoy your trip trust very few and be selective of your circle of trust. Like Reagan said "trust, but verify"

    Good luck Stacy!!!
    P.S. Read SKings recent post "Now I've gone and done it" very insightful

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lando calrisian View Post
    ....With the money your going to get paid you and your bunny will be living large......
    You may be paying close to half [your salary] in rent and utilities, depending on what area of Santo Domingo you will be living and whether or not you require all of the comforts you are accustomed to at home ie. air conditioning, 24/7 electricity etc. Utilities can be quite costly here. Cars are also costly. My point is..... what you are trying to do is possible, but I do not think you will be "living large".

    Don't worry about fitting in; you never will so don't dwell on it.
    Last edited by Chirimoya; 04-06-2009 at 07:35 AM. Reason: removed specific info

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the reply, both of you!

    I really don't want to "live large," but I'm glad to know that I will be comfortable.

    Also, I got a little taste of the yells in Mexico a few times, including pinching, so I think I'll be okay with it. I like the advice of just pretending I don't see them.

    Lando - thanks for the info on that thread, I did check it out. Congrats on moving this coming January - exciting!
    Last edited by voleibolchica; 04-01-2009 at 12:28 PM.

  5. #5
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    You won't be living large, but it could be worse. Your best choice for running is Parque Mirador Sur and Avenida de la Salud. Lots of people go running/cycling/rollerblading there and even as a tall rubia you will not stand out. I would advise not taking valuables when you exercise, unless you stick to the busier times.
    Also, a lot of teachers supplement their incomes with after-school tutoring.
    Last edited by Chirimoya; 04-06-2009 at 07:35 AM. Reason: removed specific info

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chirimoya View Post
    your best choice for running is Parque Mirador Sur and Avenida de la Salud. Lots of people go running/cycling/rollerblading there and even as a tall rubia you will not stand out. I would advise not taking valuables when you exercise, unless you stick to the busier times.
    Also, a lot of teachers supplement their incomes with after-school tutoring.
    Good to know! We aren't planning on buying a car, because we're hoping to be close enough to our school to walk to it. I'm not sure what the exact area is, but it's good to know that there are safe placed to run.

    Do you think it would be a bad idea to run with an iPod? I have a little shuffle that is my running buddy.

    How much do you think it will cost to rent a one or two bedroom apartment in a safe area?

  7. #7
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    People run with cellphones, iPods, Rolex watches... but I wouldn't, personally.
    Last edited by Chirimoya; 04-06-2009 at 07:36 AM. Reason: removed info

  8. #8
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    Like I said I'm planning on moving there in January and I am going to be working with a 1600 per month budget but I won't be paying any rent, so I will be living not large, but maybe grande your gonna do it with a little bit more, so who knows? Er'body's different. I copied this from one of the other posts and it gives you a small break down of costs and other related info. Maybe you have already seen it and it's redundant, regardless here it is. I repeat I ain't an expert just mi poquito de salsa.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by billyidol
    What a load of rubbish........$2000000.00 us to live comfortably in the DR!!!

    i bought my land and built my house and pool $150k (house size 2000sqft)

    for example purposes only; if you had $200k with ANOECA @ 14% interest on US dollars= $28000 a year or $2330 interest approx a month

    The following are MY expenses;
    living expenses for a one person per month in US dollars
    association fees (include water,security) $225
    elect $60 + extra for the pool of $70 = $130 (electricity is expensive)
    pool cleaner $50 (use a dominican company not expensive foreign rip-offs)
    food; $160
    cell; $30
    house ins'; $50 (house value, $80000)
    personal ins'; $30 (single person)
    gardener;$20 (to cut my grass on my small property 15 minute job)
    maintanance of home $30 (cleaner to clean my house 1 day a month from top to bottom...7 hour job)
    cable tv; $17
    Transport; i have a motor bike; negligible anount of money
    Fun; up to you
    internet; i dont have it

    Total; $743 US$ for MY BASICS per month;

    It is understood that not everyone will live like me and that FUN expenses vary markedly from person to person.
    This amount of $743. 00 i spend is based on fact ...i personally spend an extra $300 a month on fun and eating out (hamburgers and crap bought at the irish pub in cabarete).

    Total ($743+$300)= $1043mth or $12516 a year

    If you had the above amount of $200,000.00 us$ with anoeca and a monthly interest income of $2330.00 us$ - $1043= Savings will equal per month $1287.00

    In MY opinion, living in the DR is very much an option if you follow the above plan

    i can assure you i am VERY comfortable living in the DR.
    I would also add if you did have $2000,000.00 and had it invested ( pre current economic situation, of course!) at 5% interest = $100,000.00 you could live virtually anywhere in the world.
    In finishing i absolutley disagree with the posters comment that you need to have $2000,000.00 to live in the DR...........absolute rubbish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    cheers
    BI




    home;

    I'm taking the next flight out of this town. DR, here I come.

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