Looking for a local family to take us in on Semana Santa

Brookelemongotsoul

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Mar 12, 2015
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Good luck. Middle and upper class Doms have no interest in sharing their space with gringo tourists. The rest of them live in hovels that your local planning dept. would condemn in an instant to erect a plastic play structure. Semi solid walls, with a few corrugated iron sheets that constitute a roof. Locals already have an extended family on site and any extra room is taken up by livestock they wish to protect at night.

The cultural experience you are seeking is not readily available here. Anyone offering such will be a part of the "tourist industry" and will expect to be paid for their time and effort. If you don't live here you and your family will probably get sick from the water used to wash the glasses or the plates.

As you have or will read on DR1, there is a distinct difference in general attitude here. Many do not share our values because they can only dream of being in a situation to do so. Many times, short term gains trump any thought of repercussions or the interests and the welfare of others. It is unwise to assume that someone you do not know will be inclined to be hospitable and of honorable intent. Getting into a situation where you give up all control is a recipe for disaster.

There are lots of good people here, you just can't find them on the internet because they don't have a website. You must always remember that the DR is an "upper" third world country. It's citizens are not like the people in the state/province next door. I don't think you would seek out a random family to share Easter with in Camden New Jersey, you should not have the inclination to attempt the same here.

Okay, what a moron post mine was. I am really grateful to this forum already. Tough love. Calling people out
just to keep them safe. I am very appreciative of the insight. Looking at the posts, pretty dumb to think we
could blend in or be a part. BUT, I meant no disrespect to anyone local. Just wanted to get a feel for another's
traditions. It does sound like a crazy time to be there and we are not at a resort. SOOOOOOO---I will take all
of your advice..(most) and stay low.

MikeFisher you are right===Americans wouldn't take an unknown in to celebrate anything. Why do you all
love to live there so much? It sounds bad if you are a gringo. I am still looking forward to our visit and trip. No news at 11 for us. Thanks everyone for your comments and real advice. Cant get this anywhere else.
 

william webster

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Jan 16, 2009
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take the advice....
go visit the beach, you may find a group who speaks English and will be happy to spend some time with you

They'll have rum, beer, you name it.. and will be willing to share... you can do the same

That's how to do it if you ask me.....just let it happen

have fun, but remember, for many its a family time - a once a year get together
they may not be willing to give up that private time...

I know I don't........
 

Brookelemongotsoul

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Mar 12, 2015
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take the advice....
go visit the beach, you may find a group who speaks English and will be happy to spend some time with you

They'll have rum, beer, you name it.. and will be willing to share... you can do the same

That's how to do it if you ask me.....just let it happen

have fun, but remember, for many its a family time - a once a year get together
they may not be willing to give up that private time...

I know I don't........
WilliamWebster--Thanks, that means a lot and is a good point. Family time (and vacation time for that matter) are sacred in most cultures, so I should respect theirs. I think we shall be observers and like you said, if we happen to meet anyone local to toast with, so be it. We will also be with our own family, so will be spending that time together as well. Again, this is a great fourm. It is sure tough love, but in a good way. No complaints!
 

Brookelemongotsoul

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Mar 12, 2015
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take the advice....
go visit the beach, you may find a group who speaks English and will be happy to spend some time with you

They'll have rum, beer, you name it.. and will be willing to share... you can do the same

That's how to do it if you ask me.....just let it happen

have fun, but remember, for many its a family time - a once a year get together
they may not be willing to give up that private time...

I know I don't........
WilliamWebster--Thanks, that means a lot and is a good point. Family time (and vacation time for that matter) are sacred in most cultures, so I should respect theirs. I think we shall be observers and like you said, if we happen to meet anyone local to toast with, so be it. We will also be with our own family, so will be spending that time together as well. Again, this is a great fourm. It is sure tough love, but in a good way. No complaints!
 

MikeFisher

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Feb 28, 2006
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Punta Cana/DR
www.mikefisher.fun
Okay, what a moron post mine was. I am really grateful to this forum already. Tough love. Calling people out
just to keep them safe. I am very appreciative of the insight. Looking at the posts, pretty dumb to think we
could blend in or be a part. BUT, I meant no disrespect to anyone local. Just wanted to get a feel for another's
traditions. It does sound like a crazy time to be there and we are not at a resort. SOOOOOOO---I will take all
of your advice..(most) and stay low.

MikeFisher you are right===Americans wouldn't take an unknown in to celebrate anything. Why do you all
love to live there so much? It sounds bad if you are a gringo. I am still looking forward to our visit and trip. No news at 11 for us. Thanks everyone for your comments and real advice. Cant get this anywhere else.
Bad??
what of the above written would be any bad for a Gringo?
it is fantatsic for gringos and negros and yellow ones and pink or whatsoeverones alike.
just do not bother strangers and their families on a traditional family weekend/week by knowcking their door as a tourist wanting to Observe and Experience their way of running a family holiday weekend.
what family weekend would that be with some drinking strangers walking thru the garden?
we have here at my place(i am a gringo, yes) foreigners and local family and friends as guests, we have this year again rented a additional appartment right aside our one beachplace to have enough space for them to spend the weekend without the need to drive home each evening. big BBQ on the beach, filled coolers, the girls and kids attend church, it is a fantastic time and i enjoy it again and again every year, all week long. at least on 2 days during that week we pack one BBQ and a big cooler on the Truck and ride with some cars to a different beach for the day, beaches in Uvero Alto mostly.
just, why would someone invite strangers, and strangers from an other country which may not even speak our language, why would someone invite such folks to such family week/weekend?
once someone lifes here permanently for some years and has relations with local people, for biz or private, then it starts that a Gringo will be invited to participate in family activities.
everything else is named excursions and can be booked at the resort tourdesks and online with the touroperators, lol.
i imagine myself on a plane this easter weekend, grab a rental car at Miami Intl, drive over to beautiful Tampa Bay and knock the door of a random average house there, "Hey Folks, I am Mike, I have a sixer Bud Light from the Gas station, some choco eggs stuffed with 1 bucks bills hidden in your backyard, I will spend this weekend with you folks to experience your freakin' culture.
naaaa, first Obama has to take all those dangerous guns away, most likely a big dog would eat me first anyways when hopping over a fence to hide some easter eggs in the yard, jeje

Mike
 

MikeFisher

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Feb 28, 2006
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WilliamWebster--Thanks, that means a lot and is a good point. Family time (and vacation time for that matter) are sacred in most cultures, so I should respect theirs. I think we shall be observers and like you said, if we happen to meet anyone local to toast with, so be it. We will also be with our own family, so will be spending that time together as well. Again, this is a great fourm. It is sure tough love, but in a good way. No complaints!
where ever out of the house, like on a beach for example, it is very easy to mingle with most dominican families. here also ma stranger is welcome to grab a traguito or take a piece from the BBQ, within most families hanging out you will find at least one person who speaks some english, enough to be nice and have some laughs and a drink.

Mike
 

Brookelemongotsoul

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Mar 12, 2015
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Mike--point taken. I got the feeling that gringos were treated differently. Sounds like your family has wonderful traditions and great plans for the week. Again, my post was pretty na?ve and although I feel stupid, I am glad I asked. I have been plenty of places where we have been incorporated into local life, but I'm not one to knock on someone's door, get drunk or crash their occasions. Maybe we will catch a plane to Miami instead. lol---enjoy your week with your family and friends. I won't crash your party!
 

dulce

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Jan 1, 2002
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I must be one of the wild ones. I once spent the day (Semana Santa) with a family I did not know. It was my second trip to the DR.
I met a man on the plane flying down to spend the holiday with his family. He invited me to his Mother's house in Santo Domingo for lunch.
Myself and a friend took a taxi and we ended up having a great time. Lot's of family there. The neighbors came over. The father had a tour bus and took us to visit and party along the Malecon.
We ended up staying the night at the Mother's house and the father drove us back to Juan Dolio in the morning.
I admit that I was a little afraid of the father but we ended up safely back where we started from.
This was all before DR1. Would I do it now if I had read all the warnings here? Nope.
I am so glad some of us had to learn on our own how to enjoy the DR. :p
I admit that now I would not move back to Juan Dolio or Santo Domingo again. Both places appear to be too dangerous for my liking. Times have changed!
 

Brookelemongotsoul

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Mar 12, 2015
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I must be one of the wild ones. I once spent the day (Semana Santa) with a family I did not know. It was my second trip to the DR.
I met a man on the plane flying down to spend the holiday with his family. He invited me to his Mother's house in Santo Domingo for lunch.
Myself and a friend took a taxi and we ended up having a great time. Lot's of family there. The neighbors came over. The father had a tour bus and took us to visit and party along the Malecon.
We ended up staying the night at the Mother's house and the father drove us back to Juan Dolio in the morning.
I admit that I was a little afraid of the father but we ended up safely back where we started from.
This was all before DR1. Would I do it now if I had read all the warnings here? Nope.
I am so glad some of us had to learn on our own how to enjoy the DR. :p
I admit that now I would not move back to Juan Dolio or Santo Domingo again. Both places appear to be too dangerous for my liking. Times have changed!
Dulce--Sounds like yours was the exception and a long time ago--but what a fun way to see life in another culture. Thinking back to my past experiences with locals, we have always known someone to be the liaison--in other words we haven't randomly knocked on a door or walked up to someone and asked ourselves over for dinner. (although that is what my post inferred)...
I think we will stick with a pot of spaghetti on the beach. haha.
 

dulce

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Jan 1, 2002
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Dulce--Sounds like yours was the exception and a long time ago--but what a fun way to see life in another culture. Thinking back to my past experiences with locals, we have always known someone to be the liaison--in other words we haven't randomly knocked on a door or walked up to someone and asked ourselves over for dinner. (although that is what my post inferred)...
I think we will stick with a pot of spaghetti on the beach. haha.
That is a good choice for you now. I would not do it in these times.
By the way I am a woman too. Things were safer back then.
 

CristoRey

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Apr 1, 2014
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"Why do you all
love to live there so much? It sounds bad if you are a gringo"

Can be "bad" if you are a gringo. It can be great when you are a gringo who has more in
common with Dominicans than other gringos.
 

CocoBoy

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Feb 23, 2012
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Okay okay...this may not be PC---but wouldn't it be really cool to see how others spend Easter? We will be in
Bavaro from April 3rd-13th and would love---that first weekend to experience some real traditional Semana Santa familia's celebrating.

Do they beat their wives? Maybe the wives beat the husbands? Do the kids really eat the sweet beans? Or do they feed them to the dog.....
Im kidding of course....just wanted to experience a real Dominican holiday...Im sure it is beautiful and peaceful and has lots of food involved..

Any suggestions?

If a family will adopt us, we will help cook and clean (we have our own place...we don't need to stay with you) haha...Im being serious here people......serious......I can bring some American traditions to add to the day....
(egg hiding with $$ in it for the kids and hide the cervezas for the adults.....that's what we do. Keepin it classy....
When reading this post and some of the responses, it is unavoidable to not perceive cultural ignorance of great magnitude. Cultures throughout the world have their own customs.

IMHO not subject to the judgement of others. Dominican families are no different. They are not an exhibit in a side show. Respect is a two way street, and wiith what you have written Brookelemongotsoul respect seems to be a non-existent concept.

Perhaps you should be "Keepin it classy..." right where you are with your American traditions.
 

william webster

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Jan 16, 2009
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"Why do you all
love to live there so much? It sounds bad if you are a gringo"++++++++++++++++++++++Myself I think those who talk about how bad it is here are trying to scare away the competition.
I love it here, It's like a sore dick, ya can't beat it!!!!
Der Fish
Derf Ish

it's like a broken drum...... you can't beat it

your mama didn't teach you nuttin'.. huh?
 

Brookelemongotsoul

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Mar 12, 2015
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When reading this post and some of the responses, it is unavoidable to not perceive cultural ignorance of great magnitude. Cultures throughout the world have their own customs.

IMHO not subject to the judgement of others. Dominican families are no different. They are not an exhibit in a side show. Respect is a two way street, and wiith what you have written Brookelemongotsoul respect seems to be a non-existent concept.

Perhaps you should be "Keepin it classy..." right where you are with your American traditions.
Cocoboy by no means was I trying to be offensive. I was told to come with a thick skin and I have. Maybe I have been too ignorant. I am married to a foreigner and I embrace all cultures for their good and bad. If you feel I am not classy, then so be it. Maybe I am not fit to be a part of this forum. However I am very grateful for people tuning me up appropriately. I am not racist or prejudice. My disrespect or perception of has been well received and I have apologized. If those do not want me part of this forum then just say so. You don't need to attack one personally. I have seen many appropriate and inappropriate jokes on here in good fun. Did I cross the line? Again, apologies. It was not meant that way to anyone whom lives in the DR or anywhere else.
 

Brookelemongotsoul

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Mar 12, 2015
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"Why do you all
love to live there so much? It sounds bad if you are a gringo"++++++++++++++++++++++Myself I think those who talk about how bad it is here are trying to scare away the competition.
I love it here, It's like a sore dick, ya can't beat it!!!!
Der Fish
This made my day....thanks for the perspective
 

Tamborista

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Apr 4, 2005
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Cocoboy by no means was I trying to be offensive. I was told to come with a thick skin and I have. Maybe I have been too ignorant. I am married to a foreigner and I embrace all cultures for their good and bad. If you feel I am not classy, then so be it. Maybe I am not fit to be a part of this forum. However I am very grateful for people tuning me up appropriately. I am not racist or prejudice. My disrespect or perception of has been well received and I have apologized. If those do not want me part of this forum then just say so. You don't need to attack one personally. I have seen many appropriate and inappropriate jokes on here in good fun. Did I cross the line? Again, apologies. It was not meant that way to anyone whom lives in the DR or anywhere else.
No need to apologize to miserable folks on here that you never met, 1/2 these people do not even live in DR or wouldn't know a platano if it had teeth.
 

CocoBoy

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Feb 23, 2012
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No need to apologize to miserable folks on here that you never met, 1/2 these people do not even live in DR or wouldn't know a platano if it had teeth.
You are correct "Tambo" far too many people on the site have no clue. However you got me wrong.

I've lived here full time for 10 years and have had many wonderful experiences with locals, both Dominican and Haitian.

Mutual respect has worked well for us and been an enlightening experience.

For Brookelemongotsoul with the proper attitude and respect, you would be able to have a wonderful time.
 

mofongoloco

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Twenty yrears ago at the age of thirty I was travelling iin Morrocco by myself. Met a "My Fren!"kind of guy on a train. I was innvited to his home for lunch and meet wife and grandma aaand kids. Two decades later it remains aa cherished memory. I wennt through little courtyards and covered passageways I would never have braved alone. A stupid risk that was worth it.
 

Mauricio

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Nov 18, 2002
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Many Dominicans I know wouldn't mind to receive strangers during viernes santo. It's one of the things I less enjoy of the DR: you get invited somewhere and we you come tons of other people show up, many of which not even the owner of the place knows who they are.

Last year I was going to go up Pico Duarte and asked one friend to get together so he explains me exactly what to bring, guess what: they can't keep it for themselves, when I got there, the house was full with 38 people, all with their own idea of how to climb Pico Duarte and all shouting at Dominican Max. Volume. I had to plan a surprise visit the next day to get the info.

Ok, 'slightly' off topic.