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Looking from our boat to the Luperon town dock

We spent a month and a half in the Dominican Republic and were quite taken with the country and its people.

Beer of the DR  Presidente Cerveza Grande

In the month of March, there was very little rain, only a scattered shower now and then.  Generally, the temperature was cool at night and hot in the middle of the day.  Most of the time there was little humidity.  If you could find shade during the middle of the day, the temperature was comfortable.  Of course, if you were walking in the noonday sun, you would sweat buckets.  Since this was an island with mountains, there was a sea breeze in the day and a land breeze at night which helped keep air moving through the boat.

Coming from the town dock into Luperon

Main intersection in Luperon

Two gems are found in the DR, larimar and amber.  Amber is found in a few other countries as well, but larimar is found only here.  Larimar is a blue stone, varying from a deep robin's egg blue to pale light blue, sometimes with variations of white.  It is very hard.  Amber is fossilized tree sap and sometimes has insects embedded in it.  It varies from pale golden yellow to very dark brown. Joan bought earrings, bracelet and ring with the stones set in silver, much cheaper than those set in gold.  My bracelet is called "happy hour" since it is set with larimar on one side and amber on the other, i.e., two for one.

A valuable piece of amber with embedded fly

A national political campaign was in full force during our stay.  Signs, banners, flags, and pennants were used to get the candidates' names before the public.  Trucks with monster loud speakers went up and down the streets screeching the party line.   In America, colors are selected for campaigns but used more subtly as a background for buttons, posters and bumper stickers.  Here, parties were called a color.  The three main parties were purple, red, and white.  Workers painted the colors on telephone poles, power poles, highway guardrails, concrete abutments, concrete drainage ditches, houses, and even on the highway like turn arrows.  If the amount of paint spread was any indication, the purple party should win.  Huge posters displaying the faces of the candidates were suspended from the telephone and power poles, even in the smallest populated areas.  People really got into politics.  In Santo Domingo, our guide and taxi driver began talking politics.  Very animated, they affably agreed to disagree.

Joan's jewelry from the DR

The Dominican diet is very routine.  They eat meat, rice and beans almost every day.  Meats were not recognizable cuts and at first glance looked like "mystery meat."  Chicken and pork were the main entrees with some beef, but the beef was very lean and not marbled with fat so was not as tender as American beef.  Meats were usually cooked slowly in liquid and were well seasoned.  Salads of shredded cabbage were served often, sometimes with sliced cucumber and less often with shredded carrots or sliced tomatoes. Maybe once a week they ate fish.  This seemed rather peculiar since the DR was an island with access to so much seafood.  Shrimp and lobster were available but cost about four times the price of chicken. One of the restaurants served pizza but when we ordered it, it was prepared without sauce and with yellow cheese.  Not what we expected.  And that meal was one of the more expensive we have eaten in Luperon, illustrating the fact that it is cheaper to eat local than foreign.  Desserts are not served in the smaller restaurants.  A larger restaurant may serve ice cream, even with rum.  After a meal in a small restaurant, if you have a sweet tooth, you can go to one of a number of ice cream parlors where unusual flavors are served.

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