Our First Week! (Nuestra Primera Semana!)

23 Oct


After our first week of settling in, I am finally able to sit down and write our first official blog post since our arrival!  Internet access here is a bit unreliable at the moment (so is the promise of running water and power, but we’ll get to that later) however, we are working on getting a more powerful signal.  We made a trip to Codetel (the country’s largest internet/phone company) to get another modem but they are out of stock until next week.  We thought that was pretty humorous, lol.  We’ll be making a trip back there on Wednesday or Thursday to see if we can manage to be one of the lucky recipients.  (Apparently they sell out quick.)  We did manage to score ourselves a cheapie little cellphone though, so it was worth the trip!

In any case, we are definitely making some headway in getting set up here and working on our respective and mutual projects.  The first few days were spent unpacking, food shopping, and visiting with Renzo’s family who had been awaiting our arrival.  We finally made it to the local outdoor market on Wednesday where we made a film for my students back at Corlears School in NYC who are doing a greenmarket study.  It’s a fun little movie (about 15 minutes long) introducing some of the typical Dominican fruits, vegetables, and other goods being sold.  Here are some pictures from our trip to the market (and a link to the film below).




Post-production of our market film was delayed when the power went out on Thursday…which I guess is something that happens every Thursday according to Renzo’s mom Taty.  It usually comes back on in the afternoon and stays on, but this Thursday the power went out again in the evening while I was home alone while Renzo and his mom went into town.  It must have been mother-in-law’s intuition because Taty handed me a flashlight before they left.  When I looked at her with a puzzled look, she laughed and said, “It’s Dominican Republic, you never know”.  I admit it was a little spooky to have everything cut out to pitch black, but I was so glad to reach over and have that flashlight.  I had conveniently purchased a package of matches during our shopping trip to La Sirena (the local supermarket) a few days prior and luckily Renzo’s mom has plenty of candles all over the house so by the time they arrived I had the apartment looking a bit like a romantic Italian restaurant.  Samba was a great guard doggie though and he inspected the house a few times to make sure everything was ok.

Water.  Sometimes you have it, and sometimes you don’t.  Saturdays & Wednesdays are our “no water” days.  If you’re us, you’re lucky because even when it’s turned off, you still  have water in the bathroom.  Lots of people here don’t pay for water, and I’m told it’s because often the water meters are either incorrect or tampered with so that you may end up either paying for someone else’s water or paying more than what you owe. Everyone’s water is shut off on Saturdays & Wednesdays, but people who don’t pay can have their water turned off at any time.  But apparently it’s really common for people to take it upon themselves to go ahead and hook it right back up.  And then the water company comes and turns it back off.  And then some crafty folks usually find a way to turn it back on again.  And so on and so on…one can only wonder who will give in first.  Dominicans are a pretty persistent bunch.

More posts this week…we will be germinating seeds!!!  I’ll also be posting a video I made of Taty preparing a national dish called Sancocho…a delicious vegetable & meat soup!

Stay tuned!

xoxo A

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9 Responses to “Our First Week! (Nuestra Primera Semana!)”

  1. Michy October 23, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    Sounds like you are learning the lay of the land annie! And having a great time doing it. Thank god for Renzo’s mom.

  2. Bobbie October 23, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

    Well Dominican Republic sounds like a fun place to visit ( ! ) so I am definitely looking forward to our trip in Jan! Can I call ahead to make sure that the lights and water are working?
    Looks like you are speaking Spanish already. Say hola to Renzo and looking forward to your next update. This one was pretty enlightening…
    Love Bobbie

  3. Anne cavallaro October 24, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

    I was thinking of you and wanted to send you a e mail but I thought I’d wait a while until you got situated. And then I received your blog and I was so happy to hear from you .hope everything is falling into place in D R.
    Love Gram

  4. Mom October 26, 2011 at 6:34 am #

    It sounds like you are settling in at your second “home” in DR. I enjoyed my trip to the market very much. Now I will know what to buy when I visit. Can’t wait for the platanos video. I want to make some tostones!

  5. dominicanroots October 30, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    Thanks Mom! We are going to try to make the tostones video today, if not then at the end of the week.
    Love you! xoxo Annie

  6. dominicanroots October 30, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    Thanks Mom! We are hoping to make the tostones video tonight otherwise sometime at the end of this week.
    Love you! xoxo Annie

  7. dominicanroots October 30, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

    Thanks Grandma! I love that you are reading the blog! Renzo’s mom keeps hinting at me that I should
    make eggplant parm…I might need some instruction on that when I get back for Thanksgiving!
    You know you make the best…I could come back here and “wow” the Dominicans with my cooking skills!
    xoxo Annie

  8. dominicanroots October 30, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    Thanks Bobbie! I think your lights and water will be fine at whatever resort you’re staying at. They all have their own generators. It doesn’t bother me much, I’m already used to the whole routine!
    xo Annie

  9. dominicanroots October 30, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    Hi Michy! Yes, Taty is showing me the ropes out here! xo Annie

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