DR TRAVELOGUE | PART 7 | EL FIN
By Led Black
Nothing against resorts but after going to resorts for the last few years, I’ve kind of grown tired of them. It’s almost like if you’ve seen one, you have seen them all. Don’t get me wrong, the family and I, had a great time at the Mariel Coral Hilton. The grounds were immaculately kept by the staff that seemed to be working 24/7. The pool had to be the biggest pool in any resort I’ve been to. My 2 little girls and I stayed in the pool from when it opened to when it closed. By the time we checked out of the resort, I was so dark I looked like Cuco Valoy. My one real gripe was the food. After a few days of so-called international food I was dying for plain ole Dominican fare. Some tostones, rice, beans and meat properly seasoned and cooked would have hit the spot.
Now that I am a father, I want to instill in my children the same love of country that my mom implanted in my brother and me. My oldest daughter, who was 6 when we made this trip, has been to DR a total of 3 times in her short life. She is completely enamored by her country and its splendor. After this trip, I have pledged to return to this beautiful island at least once a year. Love of this country is DNA-deep for most Dominicans. Never mind the annoying plane ride, we would swim here if need be.
As each trip to DR winds down and I’m faced with the thought of returning to the states, I always feel a profound sense of reverence for the DR as well as for being Dominican. If my mom had not left this country all those years ago, I would not have had the opportunities or lifestyle I now enjoy. While my mom left the DR, the DR did not leave her. She brought to her new home her Dominican work ethic, fierce pride and tenacious determination.
This trip, like the last few trips, was not planned. It was kind of spur of the moment. I just felt that I needed to go. Wifey was getting bigger and it was either go now or wait until my 3rd daughter was old enough to make the trip. I could not bear to wait that long. It is only so much Santo Domingo Invita a Dominican can watch before they are on a plane headed to Quisqueya. For a good portion of Dominicans that reside in the U.S., the Dominican Republic is still home. “Un pie aquí y un pie allá” is our motto. Frequent trips to DR are a way for Dominicans to recharge their batteries and rejuvenate themselves. “Para botar el golpe” as my mom likes to say. It is a defense mechanism to help deal with the rat race that life in the U.S. can be at times.
On our last day in DR, my cousin Uri overslept causing us to almost miss our flight. In actuality, it was a blessing that we arrived late because it deprived the customs folks in the airport in Santiago a chance to really mess with us. On the way back to the states everyone’s luggage including ours is filled to the brim with Presidentes, cheeses, oregano, coffee etc… The plane ride back is usually not as bad because everyone is tired from their trip. There was this one dude though who refused to be seated no matter how many times the stewardess told him to sit down. Like I said at the beginning of this Travelogue, you can take a Dominican out of DR but you can’t take the DR out of a Dominican.