Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I Love Dominicans!

Today I had to walk to town to buy water. It's not safe to drink the water here, you must use bottled water to do everything from brushing your teeth, to cooking. And so, you can imagine how much water is needed in one day, to drink, to cook rice, etc. As I was walking back to the villa from town, carrying a heavy jug of water, I came to a spot in the road where it had flooded from all the rain last night. I stopped to weigh my options. It was 32 degrees. I didn't really want to backtrack to go down the sidestreet to the beach, because it would add another 15 minutes to my walk home, and I was already hot and sweaty. I thought about wading through the flood, it looked like it might go up to somewhere between my ankes and my knees. There was no way around it, a cement wall was on one side, and some thorny bushes were on the other side.
The water was getting heavier.
There was no shade.
I was dripping with sweat.
I just stood there and watched the cars drive through the puddle, slowly, so not to splash the water up into their engines.
And then, a bus pulled up beside me, and the driver told me to come in. I gratefully stepped up inside, and stood in the doorway as he drove through the flood. He let me off on the other side. I tried to offer him a few pesos, to thank him for his generosity, but he refused.
That would never happen in Vancouver. The bus would just drive through the flood really fast and splash all the innocent pedestrians with the dirty water. I know this, because I have experienced it several times. There was a time I even boycotted public transit because of this.
But here, things are different, the people are friendlier, they are more aware of the people around them, and they will help you out if they can. They find it strange that I do not accept a ride, when I walk to town...the fact that I would rather walk in the heat seems foreign to them.
I guess I am not quite Dominican yet.

1 comment:

Jen said...

All right sister, I am going to be hooked on your blog. I am so happy for this incredible move you have made - an experience of a lifetime. You rock. You are a very special, kind and smart woman and you should be very proud of yourself. Oh and you write very well, so please keep it up :) Jen