30 July 2007

The scenic route, medicine and beauty pageants

July 30, 2007

Yesterday morning we left Luperon around 9AM and headed up into the mountains to visit a friend from Springfield, VT, Kristen’s hometown. Anita is here for two weeks volunteering her time and skills with a medical outreach program through the University of Maine. They base themselves at a Catholic mission center in the mountains between Puerto Plata and Santiago and travel from village to village administering medicine and health care. We were treated to a big Dominican lunch of rice, beans, eggplant, chicken, and salad.




The chapel at the Catholic mission.


A banana leaf, up close and personal.


A lucky homeowner in the mountains in the DR.


Lizard!

On the way home we were intent on finding the woman who we heard makes chocolate from scratch. She has cocoa trees growing in her backyard and uses her grandmother’s recipe. We stopped to ask directions from 4 men playing dominoes. After much discussion, one guy knew where to go so he took off and we waited on the porch of the house. All of sudden there was cheering and clapping coming from inside so we went in to see what all the fuss was about. Yesterday was Father’s Day in the DR and the father of the household was receiving his presents to the glee and excitement of all his family members. One son made a touching speech that brought tears to his Dad’s eyes. The chocolate arrived shortly thereafter and we continued home to Luperon.

Upon arrival in Luperon around 6:30PM, we found ourselves in the midst of a processional of teenage girls dressed in ball gowns competing for the title of “Queen of Luperon 2007.” The whole town showed up to watch the event and girls were very self-assured and cute.




The girls patiently wait their turn to take the stage.




The contestants.

1 comment:

Sugar Magnolia said...

Hi Kristen and Hans! It was great to hear from you! We haven't been following your blog much lately, as we hate to see what we're missing!!! We're also in the midst of utter chaos...still trying to find jobs, a place to live, a place for the boat, schools for the kids, etc.
It's times like this that a 40 knot squall sounds relaxing!

We'll be in touch!!!! Tell everyone we say Hi!

Molly, Kurt, Connor, Addie and Lydia