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

dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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it's fun to read that some seek the very same thing i avoid as much as the devil dipping in holy water. just goes to show that one man's trash is another man's treasure.
 

Cdn_Gringo

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Apr 29, 2014
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It's called tranference and regardless of the motivations that one puts forward for engaging in such behavior (learning experience, shared cultural experience, wishing to help etc), it really is more about the person injecting themselves into the situation to affect a particular outcome than it is about the people who actually live the experience.

You'll note that the OP in their original post wanted to provide their own version of what Samana Santa is to them by way of hiding Easter eggs for the kids and engaging the adults in activities more in keeping with their own traditions or views than to actually experience the situation as it would normally have unfolded.

Nothing against the OP, we all do this to some degree or other rather frequently without really recognizing we are doing it. As an extreme example there are tales throughout history where missionaries espousing their noble intent, slaughtered heathens while at the same time claiming to be saving them from their erroneous beliefs and wanton ways. More commonly, someone who dislikes turkey will often bring a ham to a festive dinner rather than just decline a serving of turkey and focusing on the yams. Such actions can usually be distilled down to a statement of belief or self interest if one looks hard enough. One cannot inject themselves into a cultural situation without affecting the reality of that situation despite the best of intentions. Thus, with a foreigner present, there would be no "authentic" Dominican Semana Santa celebration as the very presence of the foreigner changes the reality and prevents the foreigner from experiencing the traditional event that is the reason for their presence in the first place.
 

dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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maybe it's not that different to what john wheeler said about quantum physics: it is impossible to be a simple observer because by the act of observing we become participants. by being present at the celebrations a gringo contaminates them and makes them inauthentic. i like it.
 

Brookelemongotsoul

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MY SEMANA SANTA EXPERIENCE--- YES, I yelled. No, I did not drink too much Dominican coffee tonight. Or mamajuana. Just a tale of my 13 day experience, starting on Good Friday arrival, 4pm in Los Corrales. The first stop was to a big (medium) grocery store outside of the airport. Got what I needed for Habichuaela con dulce, rum, beer and some food for about 5 days. Check. Drove to our condo which was a FKN traffic jam about a mile from the beach. Crazier than LA traffic. Our "rental agent" was on a moped with her beautifully dreadlocked husband cussing and screaming at all of the locals to move the FK out of the way.....then saying we would have to stay in another hotel/condo that night because we couldn't get to our unit. I said....I will walk and so will the rest of us, and so she and our taxi got us to the "pirate" ship party entrance (I wondered at the time why there were Pirates with lunchboxes) and we walked about a quarter mile, dragging our suitcases and endless groceries across a beach of drunk, happy, adults and kids passing rum in the bottles and yelling. I was tired but jealous. Sort of...

Our place was great, altho the music from the bars raged until all hours. Part smelled like sewage. That was okay because I expected that to a point. We met MANY locals, just by what you all said--saying some Spanish and a friendly hello, sharing beer and rum and conversing about nothing really-----just smiling and blending in and not forcing things. The locals were piranhas...my 16 year old 5-9 daughter was a commodity...she is a tall, pretty reddish blond, so you can imagine.

Im glad I kept a close eye and didn't drink too much. The first few days. I am in a foreign country nonetheless, so I have to have a good head. I did when I was in public. The walk to the town (main town of Bavaro)--which we drove, was like a meatfest. We were 5 girls going at dusk to an atm----um fkn stupid and note to self---don't wear beach clothes. Wait...don't go at all at dusk....

Throughout the week, we partied with locals on the beach, with some Canadians, a lady from the US, a Dominican family from La Romana, Jesus from Puerto Plata, a family of 5 boys from Punta Cana (all hardworking and very respectful---worked at the local restaurant and had minimal education, but some of the nicest boys I have ever met).

Day 4--- I break my foot. Yes, no drinking this day actually. I drove a car this day (yes, I drove), and didn't drink because I can't drive and avoid 8,000,000 motorcycles and schoolbusses in the wrong lane..........come home SOBER and step off of the balcony wrong and break my foot. Dominicans for some reason all want to medicinally message my foot. Not sure if it helped or made worse, but their inclination was to massage the **** outta my foot. I did not go to a hospital only because there was nothing to do but put a boot on it.

The rest of the trip we spent cooking, bleaching food and dishes, no one got sick, treated bug bites, a swollen foot, cooked Habichueala con dulce (was GOOD), went to Bayahibe, Playa Blanca (pretty but restaurant was too touristy for us), and our best day was eating fish out of an ice chest and drinking mamajuana and rum out of a shared bottle with a wonderful Dominican family at Macao beach. We partied with this family and are now friend on facebook, planning another trip. Our kids loved and played with their kids, and the Spanish we know (which is different from the Dominican Spanish), ended up to be all we needed.

I loved the fish and lobster cooked in the car tire bbq's on the beach, the head blasting merengue and bachata and the pushy sunglass guys. I learned "Yo vivo aqui"

The Dominican sucks on so many levels---the education, although it seems to be getting better----is so bad, yet it is special. The prostitution house was burned down while we were there. The guys walking down the streets and freeways with guns are either hunting people or animals. I don't want to know. The driving was a blast but not for everyone. Glad to do it once. Hired a car after. I came home knowing I am better off for staying there and for knowing the people I met. And damn it....I didn't hide one single freakin easter egg..........................

Thanks from the bottom of my inexperienced heart for this forum, the thread and the honesty.
 

MikeFisher

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yeah, thanks for the follow up.
sounds like you had a good time and hey, next time stay drunk and you sure will not harm any foot, hehe.
sidenote, as you mentioned using a ATM by Dusk:
do ONLY use ATM's attached to a bank, NOT the Free stand-alones elsewhere, to avoid/minimize the risk that such ATM may be manipulated by fraudsters.

Mike
 

dulce

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Jan 1, 2002
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Thanks for letting us know how your vacation went. It sounds like you experienced close to what you wanted.
It is nice to know that it is still possible to mingle with the locals and not get into trouble.
 

CaptnGlenn

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Mar 29, 2010
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you found the real D.R. in Punta Cana / Eastern shore. at least one version of the D.R. So many on the board say that is impossible... but "reality" is what you make it! (I've been taking a Philosophy course this semester.. hhaha.. don't get me started on "reality". LOL)
 

Brookelemongotsoul

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Mar 12, 2015
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yeah, thanks for the follow up.
sounds like you had a good time and hey, next time stay drunk and you sure will not harm any foot, hehe.
sidenote, as you mentioned using a ATM by Dusk:
do ONLY use ATM's attached to a bank, NOT the Free stand-alones elsewhere, to avoid/minimize the risk that such ATM may be manipulated by fraudsters.

Mike
MF---I should have been drunk because my muscles would have been mush and I in all likelihood would NOT have done anything more than fall....but now I have a broken foot and a boot for 6 weeks. Just hobbled around for the last 9 days. It was fine.
The ATM we normally used was in one of the grocery stores and one was inside of a resort, but the resort one closed. Learned that lesson and thanks. We will next time go to an bank atm. The grocery store one was a free standing one I think.

Mongo
 

Brookelemongotsoul

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Mar 12, 2015
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Glad you did a follow up on this - you actually crossed my mind a time or two during the craziness of our beach during Semana Santa. Sorry about your foot :(
The celebration was just as you all described. Los Corales was packed, glass everywhere the day after...calm until about 3pm when people arrived again. That techno music got old but it was also an experience. BTW Presidente is a really good beer! I was shocked and would take that to Corona any day. I don't think we can get it in the US but I am going to try Bev Mo...it was the perfect ice cold beach beer on a hot day.

I also bought wine and it was orange when I poured it out...rookie move haha
 

Brookelemongotsoul

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Sounds like fun, that is my kinda vacay! Sorry about your foot that must have sucked wobbling around on the beach and horrible streets!!
Harleys,

When we walked at night, I felt like a wounded animal...like if someone were to grab one of us it would be me because I was so slow and grandma like (I am not normally like that...in fact I ran on the beach my first 3 days there)...but yea, the streets were a challenge but again..nothing rum won't cure....and some good Dominican food....
 

Brookelemongotsoul

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Mar 12, 2015
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you found the real D.R. in Punta Cana / Eastern shore. at least one version of the D.R. So many on the board say that is impossible... but "reality" is what you make it! (I've been taking a Philosophy course this semester.. hhaha.. don't get me started on "reality". LOL)
I am only going on what people said to me ahead of time and maybe that is the reality I looked for but mostly it was just there and I was a willing participant. I don't think I added at all to the celebration. I think the celebration added to our own realities. I wasn't a plastic egg pusher..haha.....but just learned by talking in Spanish to some of the locals, who were surprised that a 40 year old California blond could speak Spanish. I think that alone broke the ice. Again, I left a better person than when I came and I hope I added some insight to the others I met. You always wonder though, as California middle class is worlds apart from people that have lived their lives in one place and sometimes dream to venture...but cannot...some guilt passed over all of us a lot on this trip...
 

Brookelemongotsoul

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is this a second coming? the end is near?
Jesus was really "Chueys" which here we call Jesus "Chuey" and maybe he really was the chosen one because he did not drink, visited us daily and one day gave us bread and some fish.....I provided the wine...seriously
 

MikeFisher

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Feb 28, 2006
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Jesus was really "Chueys" which here we call Jesus "Chuey" and maybe he really was the chosen one because he did not drink, visited us daily and one day gave us bread and some fish.....I provided the wine...seriously
you should have taken fish&bred, give Jesus water for his antialcoholic thurst and keep the wine for me.
aside of that lil details i would say it went in a way as you wanted it to be.
nice to hear that we could be helpful here to keep the expectations on a reasonable/reality level.

Mike
 

1979

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I'm also looking for DR international hosting for students, if anyone has info!