Back in 1992 when a business partner and I were operating Treetop, a large and popular bar in Sosua against his warnings and those of other ex-pats, I hired a ?puta? (prostitute) as a waitress. I knew her fairly well; she had often stayed at Tropic Breeze a hotel we also operated at that time, with an affluent young German who often visited Sosua. When he returned home, feeling that she really had the potential to do something with her life I hired her. The first week all was well; she was efficient, personable and reliable. Then one night she came in in a foul mood and started banging glasses around and giving customers a hard time. I took her aside and told her she might as well go home, there wasn?t any point in her working that night. She said no she wasn?t going anywhere, so I fired her on the spot. Over the next few weeks I heard through the grapevine that she was back hooking in Charamicos. I also heard that the problem was that she was pregnant by another man, and she knew she had blown her chances of marrying the man she had her sights on. About a month later the phone bill arrived. On it were several calls to Germany. I remembered that at one time she had asked to use the phone to call a sick grandmother in Santiago, and knew she was the only one who would have made the calls to Germany. Fine, my partner and the others had been right. Never hire a puta. Of course this was years ago and was just one of many daily problems paying your dues to do business in the DR. and was quickly forgotten. This past November while visiting Sosua a friend and I went to a fine restaurant in Charamicos for dinner. When we entered the restaurant the hostess took one look at me, threw her arms around me and hugged me. ?Oh Richard,? she said, ?it?s so good to see you again.? She said. It was then that it dawned on me that this was the woman I had hired so many years ago. As my friend and I sat at our table looking over the menu, she came to the table and put down a folded piece of paper and left. When I opened it up, inside were 150 pesos and a note. Thank you Richard for believing in me, here is the money for the calls to Germany. It said. When she returned, I asked her how her life had been. She took out a photo and showed me a picture of her now eight-year-old son, a handsome boy with obvious Caucasian and Hispanic features. When I returned the money (more than a day?s pay) to her, I told her to use the money for Christmas for her boy and that I knew he would grow into a fine man because he had a fine and honest mother. To me this shows how honest Dominicans are. Here it was 8 years later and she still remembered the phone bill and was prepared to make restitution. To me it was also an early Christmas gift, Just knowing that my decision to hire her 8 years ago had been the right one.