Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Memory of Paradise

Post of 5 yrs ago found in "Drafts" yikes!
I've been sick.
So so incredibly ill - but I'm finally able to sit up and type. There's so much to tell you, my long-neglected Constant Reader!
Back a few weeks ago, 2 of my wonderfully insane sisters and I went to the Dominican Republic for a week. Keep in mind I've never flown before (except when 3, and I don't remember it) nor have I been out of the country (except Canada when 14 and I definitely don't remember that lol) so this was a first in many ways. The rest of our sibs agreed that we'd kill each other 5 minutes into the trip. Suffice to say we survived, and even flourished. Ah miracles!What surprised me was the lack of any sign of Haiti's earthquake. Yes, a natural occurrence but people were still in dire need, and I saw NO one, NO organizations, absolutely NO mention of what was happening only a few hundred miles from us. People just wouldn't discuss the "H" word.

I understand when it concerns the tourist industry but even the tourists themselves wouldn't discuss it, as if by mentioning the human suffering across the border would somehow bring it "our" way. It was so entirely SURREAL.So let me tell you something else: This was my first time trying to swim since neuropathy knocked out my left leg. What a fantastic, non-spacial feeling! I couldn't measure the weight of my legs, nor any pain, nor fear, nor consciousness of where my foot was (since I can't feel it) nor ANYTHING I usually deal with. This was nirvana. This was a dream.

Sand-walking is a really laughable pleasure, knowing if you fall it'll be a soft landing. You might remember my visit to Asbury Park in my old "Thelma and Louise" post where I became accustomed to using my cane in the sand - but I didn't dare go into the ocean then - just the shoreline lapping at my toes. THIS time however, with the Caribe Sea calling out like a siren scream, and with the generous help of one of my sisters, I was able to back-float on the ocean with no feeling below the waist, and man I just can't find the words here...first time in over 15 years I had no "heavy" pain. It's impossible to describe unless you have it: some areas are intensely alive, others completely dead. Makes for an odd-looking sight when walking LOL. But in the water with no gravity, I was in another world. I wanna go baaaack!!!We bought really inexpensive postcards, then at the door to get stamps were told they were $3 each - ripoff - so we mailed them when we got back LOL kinda took the thrill out of it but what the heck. Gotta get postcards.
Everything was priced for "those ugly rich Americans" and most of the people we encountered were English-speaking - alot of Canadians. Some Germans. Mostly Anglos. In fact we didn't have to exchange our dollars for pesos, they welcomed the old greenbacks. And the hired help couldn't have been more pleasant. Sometimes I wondered what they were "really" feeling but most seemed very sincere and happy, singing, talking, engaging, it just felt very deluxe and friendly. Not one single Dominican was rude, in fact only a few Americans were out of order so to speak. The scenery just didn't lend itself to acting like a jerk. It was too spiritual.Going through security and customs was a ton of fun - these guys put me in a wheelchair and with my sibs in tow, wheeled me directly to the front of each line we encountered. I could see people staring but what the hey, I didn't ask for such pampering! Happy to get it though.My sisters have decided they're taking me everywhere so they can get through those lines. I concur.When I say the ocean was turquoise I mean like-you've-never-experienced-it kind of turquoise. This color has no name. And it changed at different times of the day - so did the sky. Lavender sunrises, golden sunsets, white sand and very few people. We went deluxe in everything, why not I mean how often do you go away with your loved ones? In our case, never. It was a memory-making week that I'll treasure always, while planning our next adventure before I get too old to appreciate it!!


Jon said...

This is a very enjoyable read about a fantastic adventure. Treasured times like these will always be alive in our memories.

Cathy said...

Thanks Jon, I found it as a Draft so published it tonight while posting something else.

La Petite Gallery said...

Glad you had a great time. I was there in 1970, was invited with a Group from Florida.
We had a driver who ran over chickens and almost ran over a woman and 2 kids.
The Time reporter in the car threw up. The driver didn't know how to close the windows.
The Tonton Macoutes were everywhere.We were in Papa Doc's Palace for cocktails, then went to
the fat son's home, it was a museum, that's where the $ the USA sent for the poor people went.
As we were at the buffet table you could see starving kids looking through the windows.
Did you see Graham Greens house. Did you go to the famous Rum Factory?. The reason people won't talk is Papa Doc had a reign of terror for many years, some 50 murders were committed in Hati.
Duvalier (Papa Doc) was nuts , one day he ordered all black dogs shot. Did you get to see
voodoo. They dance around bloody Chickens. Things mush have changed since 1970. Memories are
something no one can take away. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas yvonne

harada57 said...
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