Is It THAT Easy To Move To The DR?

miguel

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Jul 2, 2003
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WARNING, CAUTION, ADVERTENCIA, AVISO: It WILL be a long post. If you don't care to read a long post, and have the need to post about being a long post, stop reading just about NOW!.

Time and Time again I read here about people moving to the DR. SOME with a plan and SOME without one. SOME with motives and SOME without motives.

One of the things that amazes me is that the MOST of the ones that moved without a plan, are the ones that try to make it seem like they are having "the time of their lives" when in reality they are having the time of their lives for just a few weeks and then, most likely, all will go downhill when they are "hit" with the reality that what was paradise when they were on vacation, it's not such a paradise when you have to live there and you have to deal not just a different country, but with a different culture and a very different way of life.

Tell you what, I will straight to the point:

IT'S NOT EASY TO MOVE TO THE DR. Not unless you have been planning it for a long time. That some are "cowboys" and have been able to make it, sure, but I bet that for every one person that makes it without planning it, there are hundreds or others that where not able to make it.

One of the reason that I am starting this thread is because of SOME of the members on this site that have made the mistake of relocating to a country that they just about know nothing about. SOME of these people just do not listen to advices when they are given to them. SOME of these "know-it-all" think that just because they liked the country when they were on vacation, that that's enough reason to leave everything behind and leave the comfort of their homes and countries to venture into the unknown. SOME of these people would meet a dirty sankie at a resort and all of a sudden, that's enough reason to make life changing decisions and leave their countries, family and good jobs in order to relocate to a country that they know nothing about. They are willing to live in poverty in order to be with the "love" of their lives.

I really do not understand how wonderful a country can be when, after you relocate to it, you are living 50 times worse than when you lived in your own country. Why would anybody in their right mind leave everything behind to go to a place, any place, where they will struggle to get a job, struggle with the language, struggle with the people and above all, struggle to adapt to a different culture. It's bad enough that MANY people have problems adjusting even after planning for a long time. Imagine someone who did not plan it.

I know that there are MANY members that have relocated and are happy. I will just write about the most resent one.

Take Larry, for instance, the guy moved to the DR a few weeks ago(close to 2 months, I think). He seems to be happy. But the fact of the matter is that he visited the DR many times. He was familiar with his surroundings. He knew that the DR is a different monster when you are on vacation and when you are actually living there. I am more than sure that he did his homework and planned it. I would be more than surprise if he DID NOT have a apartment and a job waiting for him when his plane landed in the DR.

But for every Larrys, there are MANY horror stories. SOME stories are posted here and MANY are not. Let's take, for instance:

A member's friend decided to relocate to the DR, if I am not mistaken, after visiting the country once. I believe, if my memory serves me right, met a man and started to live with him right away. Not only this person knew NOTHING about the country and culture, but she knew NOTHING about it's people. I am so sorry to say that her boyfriend and his other girlfriend, those mother F'er, killed the poor girl.

Then we have the case of a member who relocated to the DR only to be rescued by other DR1 members because her "love" was not only taking her money and taking advantage of her, but was also beating the hell out of her.

Then we have other cases where the member have met a sankie at a resort and all of a sudden, they know more about the DR than anybody else. SOME end up marrying the sankie because "he is different". These are the worse cases. These people are in complete denial. SOME of these girls are treated like schit by their "love", some of these girls are being abused mentally, emotionally and physically. SOME of these girls are made to be "objects". SOME are told what to do, who they can see. SOME are prisoners in their own homes. SOME are not even permitted to leave the house or to go anywhere without her "love" or a member of her "love" family. Now, is this paradise?.

Once, a member sent me a PM telling me that after she moved to the DR, that she was not going to be able to go online because her husband was not going to allow her and that he would get mad. I told her that NOBODY should tell her what to do and then I "washed my hands". I know for a fact that this member is being abused and is not having the greatest time with her "love" right at this moment !!. Guess what, if you get to the DR and your "lovely" husband does not have an apartment or house waiting for you the second you land there, that's a big red flag. Is this paradise?. Is it worth relocating and marrying someone that you know nothing about?.

Then we have other cases of members who "think" that even if they have never been to the DR, that it's ok to relocate. It's hard enough to have a plan but it's "murder", in most cases, when you know NOTHING about the country and it's culture and it's people. SOME of these people are given advices, left and right, by MANY DR1 members but all of a sudden, we don't know what we are talking about and they are, even if they know nothing about the DR. Guess what, darn it, just because you know ONE Dominican, in your home country, DOES NOT makes you a Dominican Republic expert!!. SOME of these people are just plain ignorant. SOME of these people will leave their homes and loved ones to go to a place where they will need help on EVERYGHING. They will need help in finding a job and a place to live. Since their trip was not planned, SOME of these people end up working anywhere and for any amount of money. SOME move just about anywhere or into any place that the rent is cheap. SINCE most have nothing to offer and are living, in many cases, worse than a poor Dominican, and since SOME never took the time to familiarize themselves with the DR's "everyday life", they star 'hanging out" with ANYBODY that would give them the time of day. SOME of these people will look at a sankie as being the "nicest person". No matter what we tell them, we are ALWAYS WRONG. Only after they realize for themselves that in the DR, a person's reputation means everything, is when they realize that maybe, just maybe some advices that some DR1 members give out, are true. As AZB says time and time again, NO educated or rich Dominican would ever be seen "hanging" with someone that will bring his/her reputation down, be that a foreigner or a Dominican. ANYBODY that sees you 'hanging" with a lowlife in the DR, they will not only think that you are also a lowlife but MOST of those people would not associate with you!.

A very good friend of mine relocated to the DR about 2 weeks ago. I have known this guy since 1974 (31 years). This guy was the slowest planner that I have even known. He started saying that he was moving to the DR about 10 years ago. He also used to say "I have to plan it real well. I don't want my wife and kids to live in poverty so for that reason I will do whatever I need to do to make sure that I will live much better than here. The US is not kicking me out so there's no hurry to move right way". This guy was aware that even though he is Dominican, he lived 31 years of his life in the US. He knew that he needed to learn about the country and it's people all over again. Little by little he started to "prepare" his move. He was a 16 wheelers driver and worked 12-15 hours every single day. He bought lands, he sent a few trucks to sell, he sent a few cars to sell, he sent anything to sell that would make it better to live over there. Finally, at age 44, he "retired" and moved to the DR.
I spoke to him 2 nights ago and even after all his planning he said to me " man, you are right, the DR is a different monster. It's so different when one is on vacation. Thank God for all my planning. How can some people relocate here without money".

The bottom line is that if you live worse in the DR than before you moved there from your home country, chances are that the "moving" there was NOT worth it!. And don't tell me that "but I am happy" crap because I am yet to know of anybody who is happy not knowing from where the next meal is going to come from or if the 4,000 pesos paycheck will be enough to pay all utilities. Is it worth it?. I surely don't think so.

That said, I will keep on planning my "move" to the DR. Btw, I have been planning this move for many years. SOME do it without planning and pay the price ( but let's be realistic, SOME do make it without a plan but the number of those that don't are much, much greater). But, like my friend, I am a very slow planner since I know that the DR is a different monster!!.

In my book, ANYTHING that is not planned, it's not easy!.

Now tell me, is it THAT easy?.

Ps: crap, now I need a BIG drink!!. Lol.
 
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suarezn

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Feb 3, 2002
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As usual I agree with MOST of what you said.

There's this part of me that thinks...If i was young and had nothing to lose, why wouldn't I move to The DR to have some good fun, even I didn't have much money. If it didn't work out then I would just go back to my country and it would just be another learning experience.

Now, for those like you or me who plan to make the full move eventually we have to really plan. I've been planning my move back for several years now and it probably won't happen for at least another 5-10 years. In my case I want to make sure both my kids have at least finished high school and gone to college. In addition I need to make sure I'm financially stable when I get down there. The DR is an awsome country to live in if you have a steady form of income, but as we know you cannot go down there expecting to live on a salary from a job you may get.

To that effect I've been slowly preparing for this move. The first step was to build my house, which is just about done. So, I already have a place to stay at without having to pay rent.

Next on the list will be to develop some kind of business that will provide steady income. I already have several ideas as well as contacts. In addition, work as hard as you can here in The US and save all I can, so that when I make the move I have enough to live off interest payments without having to dip into my nest egg.

There are still many questions that I need to answer on my own. Things such as, even though I built my house in my hometown of Cotui, do I want to live there permanently?) What kind of life do I want to lead down there (it's ok to go and have fun for a while, but after a month or two or partying it will probably get somewhat old so I will need to find something to keep me busy).

The bottom line is that you make a really good point in that if you really want to experience "paradise" on a longer term you need to prepare as much as possible and even then prepare to be disappointed...
 

Ken

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Jan 1, 2002
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Good post, miguel.

There are some basic points that are made over and over again, but unless you follow them, you are likely to have serious problems:

1. Don't make hasty decision about important matters. And do thorough research before making the decision. By thorough research, I don't mean asking a few questions of this board, or even reading the archives. They can be part of the process, but you must be here to do the sort of research necssary.

2. It is usually better to rent before you buy so that you when you make the investment, you are sure this is where you really want to live even part of the year. Life here is not the same as in your home country and not all people are able to make the adjustment.

3. Have an escape route back to your other life so that you lose as little as possible if you find that vacations are fun but living here is not. Once you are firmly planted, you don't need the escape route, but until then, just knowing you have that option makes it easier to adjust to life here.

4. If you have to work to support yourself, make sure you come with enough money to live on for at least 6 months. I saw a foreigner from some Balkan country begging outside of Player Supermarket one day. Don't find yourself in that guy's shoes.

5. And for the females, Dominican men are charming and sexy until they get you under their thumb. Then they expect you not to care they are out charming and having sex with other women.
 

Robert

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suarezn said:
If i was young and had nothing to lose, why wouldn't I move to The DR to have some good fun, even I didn't have much money. If it didn't work out then I would just go back to my country and it would just be another learning experience.
Exactly what I did. Came for 2 weeks, stayed for 2 years first time around :)
Came back again after doing the same in New York and Miami for 3 years.

Often, it's more about you than the destination.
 

Jon S.

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Rob, please make this a sticky. Best thread I've seen in months. Might be the thread of the year.
 

Fred

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Feb 20, 2002
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Excellent Post

Its about time someone gave these"Dreamers" a kick in the pants. They really need a good dose of reality.
 

THE GAME

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all i can about this is that if someone is moving to dr to retire and they have to work then they not really retiring.... if they are moving to dr to work they're in the wrong country.

people move/retire to florida so they don't have to work anymore.

so to all those that come to nice, sunny, warm DR and work,,, well they just
not really retired. If people struggling to find jobs, or to pay for stuff is b/c they did not come to dr to retire or probably they did and found out that things aren't really that cheap in dr, only a handfull of things are cheaper.
 

bob saunders

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I agree totally. We are planning to make the move in about 3 years. I'm lucky of course that my wife is Dominican, with an Established business(private school) in Jarabacoa, established group of friends, some with high connections, property, and will have a steady income from pensions and business. Will there be some difficulties; Of Course, but these will be mimumized by my wife's experience. For me, the difficulties will be: lack of Englisg books(novels), possible Bordom, Some cultural differences(most, i'm aware of) and staying alive on the roads.
 

miguel

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Jul 2, 2003
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I hear you!

suarezn said:
As usual I agree with MOST of what you said.

There's this part of me that thinks...If i was young and had nothing to lose, why wouldn't I move to The DR to have some good fun, even I didn't have much money. If it didn't work out then I would just go back to my country and it would just be another learning experience.

Now, for those like you or me who plan to make the full move eventually we have to really plan. I've been planning my move back for several years now and it probably won't happen for at least another 5-10 years. In my case I want to make sure both my kids have at least finished high school and gone to college. In addition I need to make sure I'm financially stable when I get down there. The DR is an awsome country to live in if you have a steady form of income, but as we know you cannot go down there expecting to live on a salary from a job you may get.

To that effect I've been slowly preparing for this move. The first step was to build my house, which is just about done. So, I already have a place to stay at without having to pay rent.

Next on the list will be to develop some kind of business that will provide steady income. I already have several ideas as well as contacts. In addition, work as hard as you can here in The US and save all I can, so that when I make the move I have enough to live off interest payments without having to dip into my nest egg.

There are still many questions that I need to answer on my own. Things such as, even though I built my house in my hometown of Cotui, do I want to live there permanently?) What kind of life do I want to lead down there (it's ok to go and have fun for a while, but after a month or two or partying it will probably get somewhat old so I will need to find something to keep me busy).

The bottom line is that you make a really good point in that if you really want to experience "paradise" on a longer term you need to prepare as much as possible and even then prepare to be disappointed...
Camarada, you are right, when a person is young, YESSS, go see what's out there. By all mean. One thing is to have fun while one is young and another thing is what SOME of these "movers" are doing. SOME of these lovestruck kids are leaving everything behind for the wrong reasons. One thing is to have fun and see what's out there and another thing is to go on a darn vacation and meet someone while there and within a few seconds, make a life changing decision.

When I was younger, 100 years ago, I did EVERYTHING that I needed to do. I did not wanted to grow up. Even if I was having fun, I tried to NOT put myself in a position where I was going to get hurt or where I was going to hurt someone or where I knew that my actions were going to cause my darling mother, RIP, any suffering. I remember taking a few months leave-of absence from my job, taking my 2 great kids and my mom to the DR and teaching them(the kids) about their roots. I took them to mountains, valleys, poor people's homes. I showed them that just because they had an easy life, that there are many that are not so fortunate. In a way I was having fun and at the same time teaching some valuable lessons. Before you knew it, my kids knew a lot about the DR and it's people. I'll tell you, my daughter and son knew about sankies and sankiettes from an early age, even if they were born in the US, LOL.

Why is it that nowadays, SOME kids are in such a hurry?. Why is it that in order for SOME of them to have fun, they need to be tied down and marry whomever gets in their paths.

Crap, I remember being young and having fuuuun. I made some mistakes down the line but man, it was fun, fun and more fun. When I was young and when I grew up just a little, now it was time to be with ME, MYSELF and I. I needed to make "them" happy. ANY girl that wanted to share my fun, she was told that "ok, but I do not want to commit to anybody because I am having way to much fun by myself. You want to "tag along, great but I am not in a hurry to start anything". Crap, I remember going to Mexico and spending time with the Indians, I remember going to Puerto Rico and spending time with the poorest people of Rio Piedra, I remember going to the DR and having the time of my life with SOME of the poor kids that I sponsor. And I not talking about visiting and leaving in a few minutes, I am talking STAYING all day and sometimes for days.

SOME of these "movers" think that happiness starts and ends with a man or a woman. I am yet to hear one of these "movers" say that they will move to the DR because they saw the poverty and they wanted to help and make a difference. NO, the are not willing to do such a thing but SOME surely are ready and able to move in order to make a fricking sankie happy!!.

Like you, I am slowwwwwwwwwly planning my move. I do have the houses there and I know that if I wanted to move over there right now, that I can but the fact of the matter is that there are other things that to me are much more important than moving now. Although my son graduated from college and my daughter is on her 3rd year, they are still my babies and I WILL NOT move anywhere until I know for a fact that I can adapt to life without seeing them whenever I want. I need to be 1,000,000,000% sure that they are fine and taken care of. I AM NOT doing anything that will hurt my kids, even if they are of age. We did came into an agreement where they will fry to the DR once a month, even if it's for 2 or 3 days to be with "the old teddy bear" ( at my expense, of course, lol. Well, I would not have it any other way).

Also, I am not a stupid person (shut up AZB, I am NOT), I know that I will need to get to know the country. I have not lived there in almost 32 years. I know that I will have to re-discover the country. I have to know, off hand, if I can hack it. There are times when I visit the DR where I don't want to come back but there are many times where I just can not wait to get out. See, that's what I have to see if I can do, live there. And in order to do that, I WILL have to go live there for a long amount of time, not just a few weeks here and there.

I am not in a hurry, the US, my family and my kids are not kicking me out!!. Since they are not, I will take my sweet time because when I am ready, AY PAPA, there will be no looking back!!. .
 
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planner

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Miguel, as always you make many many good points. I do not understand people who come here without a plan, without being based i reality and without resources. I too have heard many horror stories but few success stories! Even the ones who plan don't always make it. This is true in our personal and our business lives here.

If you decide to move here you really need to do your homework. You need to see firsthand and experience firsthand what living here is like! Get the hell out of the resort environment and rent a place for one two or three months. Then see if you still like it! Have a clear idea of what it will cost you to live here. Have a very clear idea of where you will work and how much you will earn. Then figure out if you can live on that without being supplemented by savings.

If you do not have very specific job skills or enough money to go into business or live off your savings then don't bother coming here! The odds are you will not survive.

Do NOT count on some guy helping you out. That won't happen.

Ken you also make very good points! I advise everyone to rent first - buy later. What seems like a great place or house, might not be so good in hindsight for a variety of reasons. And so true, the men are charming in the beginning, then reality sets in! Never ever move here because you met a man or a woman!

Miguel I understand and share your frustrations! Some days I just shake my head and wonder. Living here in Puerto Plata, we seem to get more then our fair share of these individuals who need a good swift kick!
 

Robert

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Some people can make it here without a plan, I did. It all depends on the person.
Of course, planning is the best advice :)
 

planner

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Robert you are one of the exceptions and very much an example for many. The big thing with you in my opinion is that you have really marketable skills. So many who come here have no skills!
 

miguel

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Indeed!!

Ken said:
Good post, miguel.

There are some basic points that are made over and over again, but unless you follow them, you are likely to have serious problems:

1. Don't make hasty decision about important matters. And do thorough research before making the decision. By thorough research, I don't mean asking a few questions of this board, or even reading the archives. They can be part of the process, but you must be here to do the sort of research necssary.

2. It is usually better to rent before you buy so that you when you make the investment, you are sure this is where you really want to live even part of the year. Life here is not the same as in your home country and not all people are able to make the adjustment.

3. Have an escape route back to your other life so that you lose as little as possible if you find that vacations are fun but living here is not. Once you are firmly planted, you don't need the escape route, but until then, just knowing you have that option makes it easier to adjust to life here.

4. If you have to work to support yourself, make sure you come with enough money to live on for at least 6 months. I saw a foreigner from some Balkan country begging outside of Player Supermarket one day. Don't find yourself in that guy's shoes.

5. And for the females, Dominican men are charming and sexy until they get you under their thumb. Then they expect you not to care they are out charming and having sex with other women.
Ken, from 1 to 5, you are dead RIGHT!!!!.

But haven't you notice that regarding SOME "lust movers" you can:

1- Write "common sense" on a piece of paper,
2- "Nail" that paper to a piece of wood (4x4),
3- Swing the stick and hit them on the head with it and they still would not know what "common sense" means.

SOME of these people do not care to do any type of research. SOME could not care less where they work or where they live. ALL they care about is to make their "love" and themselves happy. Don't forget that being desperate and "in lust" means everything to SOME of them. SOME just don't give a crap until they find out that their "paradise" has turned into a nightmare and they have to return home with their tails between their legs.
 
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AZB

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Miguel finally put it all together in one huge post. This thread could add up to 50 pages of informative data but unfortunately those hippy minded people will do whatever their minds are set up to do. For the blond bombos, unfortunately, the mighthy black ghetto tube steak packs more power than all the realities of moving to this island that you all can present. These lonely lost souls (men and women) will do what their poor minds have set them to do. They must be so unhappy or living such empty lives at home that the moment they a local ghetto hooker or worse a ghetto slimy beach sankie (lowest in dominican socio-economico level), they make up their minds in leaving everything behind, their families, career, friends etc to move to this island in some town called montellano to marry the son of a sugar-cane cutter.Shame shame shame. I just don't get it when these losers call their stinking uneducated sankie a fiance or boyfriend. they pay for these guys and support their families and even move in those sugar-cane cutter's neighborhoods. I just don't get it. You think those corta cana respect people like them who pretent to become one of them?
Mind boggling!
Keep up the good work miguel.
AZB
 

miguel

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Yes, but....

Robert said:
Some people can make it here without a plan, I did. It all depends on the person.
Of course, planning is the best advice :)
That SOME have made it without a plan, absolutely. But they are in the minority, BIG TIME.

I will bet you my Pinto and Yugo against your Rolls Royce and Ferrari that you made your decision to relocate with "your head on your shoulders" and not because of a woman!.
 

Robert

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planner said:
Robert you are one of the exceptions and very much an example for many. The big thing with you in my opinion is that you have really marketable skills. So many who come here have no skills!
My background is medical lasers, not much call for my "original" skills in the DR :)

You have to market yourself here. It's more about YOU than any skills or paper you carry.
 

Robert

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miguel said:
That SOME have made it without a plan, absolutely. But they are in the minority, BIG TIME.

I will bet you my Pinto and Yugo against your Rolls Royce and Ferrari that you made your decision to relocate with "your head on your shoulders" and not because of a woman!.
True. Replace the "a" with a "the" and you will be little closer to the truth ;)

Some people can see and make opportunities and others can't.
I worked here for free for the Santo Domingo News for over a year, I did odd computer related jobs on the side to earn money.

Sometimes it's more about what you can learn from someone and who you can network with, than being paid.
 

miguel

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True!

Robert said:
Some people can see and make opportunities and others can't.
I worked here for free for the Santo Domingo News for over a year, I did odd computer related jobs on the side to earn money.

Sometimes it's more about what you can learn from someone and who you can network with, than being paid.
SOME people, truly can sell sand in the desert. SOME can't.

In the DR, I have said it a million times, it does not hurt to know the right people. But it just happens that SOME of those that move without a plan, all they know is to "network" with the lowest of the lowlives. I mean, if you hang with a toilet cleaner, a "wachiman", a sankie, a police officer or a shoeshine person, history will tell you that they will try to get you a job in their fields.

But as I said before, MANY can not "see" pass their axxes. I have come to understand that most people relocating to the DR without a plan, MOST do so because of a "lust" one. Can anyone explain to me the why SOME of these people would leave everything they have in order to go live at, as AZB said, in Montellano or any other poor barrios with someone that they met a few seconds ago while on vacation whose are as poor as poor can be.

I guess that as long as we are human, we will never know what "motivates" SOME people.

There's a reason why SOME of these people would rather start a thread asking where they can get a cell phone for their "lust" one or looking for information about such and such sankie in the DR instead of going to a great, great thread on the Living Forum, tittled "1st Annual Children's Benefit Auction" and help out some needy kids. Why?, because they only care about themselves and their "lust" ones. Why care about anybody else?. Fricking insane!.
 
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Ken

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Robert said:
True. Replace the "a" with a "the" and you will be little closer to the truth ;)

Some people can see and make opportunities and others can't.
I worked here for free for the Santo Domingo News for over a year, I did odd computer related jobs on the side to earn money.

Sometimes it's more about what you can learn from someone and who you can network with, than being paid.
Very true. That is why I chuckle when I read posts from people looking for jobs where they can make use of the profession or training they spent many thousands of dollars preparing for.

To be successful here, most need to think about what else can I do. To me, that is what makes it so interesting because you have the opportunity to do things you never did before and never thought you would do. In my own case, to get a little money in my early years in Samana I wrot feature articles for the Santo Domingo News and did a weekly column "Samana Notes". Wasn't for free like you Robert, but darn close to it. Additionally, I published a book on Dominican folklore, "Beware of the Baca" that I sold to visitors, published a map of Samana with paid advertising on it, did a tourist guide to Samana that included paid ads, and a booklet "Samana Whales" that is now in 4 languages and is still being distributed by some tour companies during whale season. Additionally, I worked for Hotel Gran Bahia where, among other things, I built the nature trail and helped build a par 3 nine hole golf course, Loma de Chivo, even though not a golfer myself.

The point is, as Robert says, when you come here you have to be flexible and look for ways to support yourself. If you are uncertain and need to have a guaranteed job waiting for you, better stay where you are because you aren't suited for life here.