Thursday, January 21, 2010

Things I've learned...

I have been in the DR for over 2 weeks now. There are several things I have learned during these two weeks.
  • The electricity is not very stable. Frequently, the power goes out for no reason whatsoever and stays off for 5 minutes or 5 hours. The water does the same thing.
  • Holidays are movable. A holiday that falls on a day in the middle of the week has a good chance of being moved to a Monday or a Friday in order to have a long weekend.
  • A man named Duarte was the one who liberated the country and is considered the national hero. He is bigger here than Washington is in the USA. Lots of things are named after him. His holiday, Duarte Day, is January 26. This year, it was moved to January 25 so that there could be a long weekend.
  • The primary mode of transportation here is motorcycle. There are more motos here than cars. They even use motos as taxis. After motos, the primary way to get from place to place is walking.
  • Gas is expensive here. It is currently about $5 per gallon.
  • Many things here are measured in English measurements- pounds, gallons, etc. However, some things are measured in the metric system- kilometers, etc. Good luck figuring out what is measured with which.
  • Prices of items in a grocery store are similar to prices in the USA and some things are cheaper. Imported items from the USA tend to be more, but they are still WAY CHEAPER than prices in Venezuela.
  • There is a prejudice in the DR against Haitians. Many Dominicans do not like Haitians and consider them to be a lower class of people. However, since the earthquake, many Dominicans have shown a desire to help Haiti with needed supplies and materials.
  • The Spanish here is slightly different than the Spanish I learned. Some basic words (vocabulary) are different. For example, passion fruit in Venezuela is called parchita and in the DR is called chinola. At times, I struggle to understand Dominican Spanish.

No comments: