Dominican Republic

11/16

We have a few days left here in the Dominican. We had originally planned to stay till January, but I just wasn’t feeling it here. I felt like we were wasting our time here. It hasn’t been ideal with the location and the issues that come about just by being in a third world country. So we changed our reservation and booked the plane tickets to go back to the States.

We have rented a space back in my home town that is walking distance to the downtown area as well as a few of my familie’s homes. My husband’s family is not far either, so our baby will be able to know her family instead of just pictures and the ever distant messenger phone call. I am certain that we will benefit from this as I have mentioned the loneliness of expat life in past blog posts being difficult when we are so far away.

So one year commitment back home will be interesting to say the least. My husband prefers living abroad rather than living in the US despite being from there. We will most likely be trying to convince the other the entire time of what we think is the better thing to do…Stay in the States (my position at the moment) or move abroad after the year is up (my husbands current position).

I’m trying not to get bogged down with the thoughts of one of us not liking what the other wants, but instead focus on the exciting year ahead of making a home in a temporary space, while the baby continues to grow up, and being there for other family milestones along the way. I am also excited to unpack a few of my household belongings and get to using such things again. At the moment I am thinking of a few vintage place mats that I purchased earlier this year while I was without a table, but thought they were beautiful.

I have partially enjoyed this place in the Dominican. While its been a struggle at times, I will still leave with good memories too. The walks down the hill, the beach at Cabarete, the trips to the store for groceries, getting rained out, the beautiful days, the pool, watching our baby grow, and so much more.

Here are a few more pictures of our time here…

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Some of the views on the mile plus walk to the main road…1

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2

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3

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4

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5

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6

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destruction of the grounds due to a new well being built.

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Me doing laundry

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Drying clothes in the sun

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Some Dominican inspired artwork 1

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2

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3

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Baby V.

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Beach baby

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Spectacular sunset

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Photo of the flooding http://welcometososua.com/

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Baby V and daddy

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Street art on the beach

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Found in a bathroom

Looking forward to Thanksgiving with family – wifeabroad

Random Saudi-ness (I couldn’t think of a good title)

3/8/2015

The weather here in Saudi has been so beautiful this past week. The mornings are cool and the afternoons are getting pretty warm, but not hot. I’m still in the mental stage of looking forward to summer time temperatures, and then I remember that summer temps here mean stay inside! So I really like the fact that we can have the windows open 24/7 this time of year.

My husband invited a family over for dinner about a month ago. I cooked up tacos hoping they would like it. I had not met them, my husband had worked with the other husband. So new family over for dinner one night, and it turned out really nice. They have two young girls, who are super cute. We then got invited over to their place for dinner I think it was about a week ago. They live about 40 minutes from us, and what feels like country living since we drove past many date trees on our way out to their place. Once again, a wonderful dinner was had. I really enjoy great company here. It always seems to give me a bit more energy for this place. Especially, when I know that I am not alone in some of the feelings I have here as a female. We also got together for a dinner out last Monday. We met up at this place that looks like a fort on the outside, but you drive in and the roads are filled with shops. There is this outdoor space (for families) that is lined with booths where women sell home cooked meals. It was an experiment of sorts, since we didn’t really know what some of the foods were, that we ordered. But it was fun to try new things. There was one dish, that looked like oatmeal, but tasted like salty chicken. It kinda messed with my head every time I took a spoonful. We walked around a bit after the meal and window shopped. The religious police confronted us and told the other husband to tell me to cover my hair at one point. *sigh* I just feel like there are some things I will never understand. I know it’s a cultural thing, but it isn’t a law. And for the life of me I can’t wrap my head around it. Pun intended! I could go on and on about it…but it won’t matter. Because this couple has children, my husband and I can take them to the Toy City here in town sometime. Yes, ever since I got here, my husband has wanted to go to Toy City. It’s an indoor amusement park for kids. I kept telling him we couldn’t go, but now we can borrow kids so that he can go play! J

Vitamin Palace, is a great place to get a smoothie or juice concoction of some sort. We went two nights in a row this weekend and man, that place is so busy! The menu is a small book. I had the Beet, tomato, and carrot drink. It tasted like a garden smells. If you like that sort of thing,  you will know what I  mean. It was good. The window is filled with a real fruit display. It’s huge, and the picture I took doesn’t really do it justice. I also added a picture of part of the menu. No offense needs to be taken. It just seems to me to contradict the life here, and add to the #thingsthatdontmakesense feeling I get quite often.  After all, so many things are taboo.

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My husband and I went to get our teeth cleaned on Saturday. Oh boy,  that was painful. I don’t remember a dentist ever being so rough. I even have a few areas of missing enamel and he understood that it was going to be sensitive, yet he still hit those spots multiple times. Glad to have it done though. My teeth feel smooth! And the financial part of it was quite a surprise. Total for the both of us was under 50 U.S. dollars.

I’m not usually in a “hey, lets eat Ramen” mood, but my husband picked up this Green Chili flavor of Ramen, so I cooked some up for lunch after we got home from the dentist. This stuff is burn your mouth hot! Surprisingly tasty!

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Let’s see…what else has been going on…

A friend of ours went to Korea and brought me back a beautiful scarf, and kimchi for my husband. I can smell it, along with and the pepper, garlic, fish sauce mixture he makes every time the fridge door is opened. J

Have tried a couple new recipes with success but was mildly disappointed in the texture of cauliflower cheese sticks. Super easy to make, but not going to be a repeat. Oh Pinterest, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

We are looking forward to our small vacation next month. The hotel is booked. We aren’t going too far out of the country, but excited for the break to happen before the weather gets too hot. And then come June, we head back to the States for another visit.

My latest illustration (untitled)DenialHave a lovely day! -wifeabroad

Broken down by fours

2/25/2015

One week I feel great, and am explaining how I have gotten used to the abaya. The next week, I’m a total mess. Okay, maybe at times it can be broken down by hours, not weeks. And maybe a total mess is really just a nice way of saying that I may have just gone manic.

If someone asks me how I am doing, they will get the same answer most of the time. “I am fine.”

  1. I am smiling, but gritting my teeth
  2. I am on the verge of tears
  3. I may just go on a rant of exaggerated dislike for almost everything
  4. I really am fine

I’m trying to be thankful for things that are good in my life to counterbalance the stresses

  1. So thankful for my husband who keeps on loving me, even in the ugly moments
  2. I’m thankful that my health has been good. I even traveled to a country (cough, cough… the U.S.) that reported epidemic like flu outbreaks and never got sick.
  3. I’m thankful that I have things that bring me joy (all things art)
  4. We are always well fed

New things that have happened in the past weeks

  1. Trying home cooked Vietnamese food
  2. Meeting a Vietnamese ambassador and his wife
  3. Laying out in the sun by a pool, in a Muslim country
  4. Giving up my flip flops because we (the ladies in the group) had all worn high heels and did touristy stuff that required a lot of walking. I think the ambassador’s wife needed a break from the heels as well, and I didn’t have the heart or the nerve to tell her she had my shoes on. It was a really funny moment. I’ll never forget it.

Things I really need to work on as an expat.

  1. Not shutting down
  2. Every little detail is important or not at all (need to avoid extreme thinking)
  3. Generalization of things is often quite unfair to myself and others
  4. Keeping the bad folder underneath, and not as stocked full as the good folder

If it wasn’t for my being here in Saudi for the past 4 months, I would not have been able to have the experiences that I have been able to write about, and for that I am also thankful.

CAM00147 A view of Bahrain

CAM00148 The patchwork camel needed a scrub down

CAM00156 Old and new

CAM00150 Cool art at the old fort (also has patchwork)

Saudi is not going to change for me, I have to change for it, or I have to leave.

Working on perspective, and tossing around ideas in my head for the next steps in life

-wifeabroad