NYC Condoms At My Door

I have been reading about the free New York City Condoms (“The New York City Health Department gives away 38 million NYC Condoms a year in an effort to stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and limit unplanned pregnancies”) that made their way to Dominican stores. These free condoms are being sold in some Dominican stores and pharmacies at about half the price of the regular condom brands. I really did not pay attention much because it did not effect me in any way…until….

Yesterday when Teli, Buenagente, Zippy and I returned from the morning walk something caught my eye. It was in the street directly in front of the door to the building where I live. It was a shiny package and just looked like something good. I am not beyond seeing something good in the street or trash and confiscating it. So, I picked it up. My eyes are not in the best shape and reading little print without some reading glasses is impossible unless my arm grew 3X’s as long as it is. I did recognize, from ancient memory, that it looked like condoms.

I got the kids in, fed and watered them. I put on my glasses and checked out my find. There it was NYC written on the package. It was the famous NYC Condoms and they came right to my door!

NYC Condoms at my door

NYC Condoms at my door

Now we all know how these condoms came to be in Dominican Republic. They jumped in a yola (a small to medium sized fishing type boat also used to transport illegal immigrants off the islands) and distributed themselves throughout the country by laying in the streets at everyone’s doors. They brought themselves here!

Maybe next time I find some condoms in front of my door they will be the new King Sized version of the NYC Condom just in case you know. wink.wink..nudge..nudge.

What To Do When Water and Lights Go Out?

We usually have electricity most of the time in the Colonial Zone area. It seems that since they started the work on the Renovada Ciudad Colonial (pictures of the project), remodeling the streets of the Zone, that our electricity circuit has problems. Lights go out, power fluctuates, poles fall, sparks fly and whatever else can happen to electricity it probably has happened. Almost every time it rains the lights go out, sometimes for a short time sometimes for hours.

On the 15th around 7PM the water went out. This happens sometimes when the pump goes weird or sometimes the switch flips off and no water can get up the the top floors and the roof top tank that stores water. I have a medium sized garbage can to store water and also my plastic coolers and jugs when not in use on a trip are filled with water for those just-in-case moments.

Welp, I got up in the morning and still there still was no water. Now this was turning into a problem. I called the landlord at 9ish and they said that there is a problem with the electricity going to the pump and that they were working on it.

The only thing to do is wait, bucket shower, bucket flush the toilet and don’t “get my bowels in an uproar”, as my dad always said. No big deal.

The water came back around 4PM. Right away I refilled my water stash to be prepared for the next time. This was nothing. I remember one place I lived there was no water at all for at least 7 months. So a day or 2 is nothing.

Later this same evening I was just getting ready to take the kids, Teli and Buenagente, out for their evening walk. It was around 7:30PM when it started raining softly. Just a light shower, nothing much, but the electricity went out anyhow.

I got out the little flashlight and the candles. Lit the candles and placed them in their strategic locations throughout the apartment. It was not too bad because the next electric circuit, which is right next door, was still on so the lights from the street illuminated the apartment enough to make out where things are.

What do you do when the lights go out? I did not want to go to the street because it was raining so I got out my wonderful Kindle, took my flashlight and some candles and went to bed to sweat my buttox off and read and play a game or 2 before falling asleep.

My trusty Kindle and Flashlight

My trusty Kindle and Flashlight

The electricity did not come on and I spent the night sweating. The sheets and pillow were soaked. I had to lay in my own wet spot! Teli did not sleep the best either. She kept squirming. It was not a good nights sleep for either of us.

Teli trying to sleep without a fan when the lights went out

Teli trying to sleep without a fan when the lights went out

The morning comes and I still hear the generator from across the street running. I do not hear my refrigerator motor on. Damn, still no electricity.

Buenagente spent the night outside in the street. He did not want to come in after the short evening walk. He was waiting at the door with Zippy, a cute little street dog, for us to come out and go for the morning walk a little before 6AM.

We went to Plaza España first. The flowers are in bloom and they were such a bright red in the morning light. The dogs, Teli and Buenagente, shadows appeared on the wall beside the flowers. I so love the shadow pictures.

Teli and Buenagente shadows at Plaza España

Teli and Buenagente shadows at Plaza España

All the while I was enjoying the walk and the kids playing I was hoping that by the time I got home the electricity would be back on and I could continue life like normal. I was thinking about the food in the fridge going bad. I was thinking about the work I needed to do on the web site.

The power plant at the bank was going strong. Strong in sound and strong in the smell coming from the hot black smoke coming from the pipes. They must have lost their electricity in this area also.

Planta pipe smoking at Banco Reservas

Planta pipe smoking at Banco Reservas

I took the dogs to the Fortaleza Ozama for a run. They ran around a little bit but they were more content just hanging out beside me. I think Teli was a little tired because of the heat and me tossing and turning all night. Have I mentioned lately that I love my Teli and Buenagente?

Teli and Buenagente relaxing at Fortaleza Ozama

Teli and Buenagente relaxing at Fortaleza Ozama

I was so hoping that when we got back home the power would be restored. It was not. Many of the neighbors are in the street milling around and talking. We discussed the situation. I shared a few of my mangos that I picked. What else is there to do? Just hang out and wait for EDEESTE (the electricity company) to come and rescue us from this plague.

Neighbors milling around "sin luz" in the street still in repair  (Renovada Ciudad Colonial)

Neighbors milling around “sin luz” in the street still in repair (Renovada Ciudad Colonial)

I returned to my apartment thinking about what I can do without electricity. Since I cleaned a few days ago I did not want to push it and clean some more. I so hate to clean.

I opened up the computer and dusted out the inside while watching the rainbows dancing around the floors and walls as the sun hit my sun-catcher crystal hanging in my window.

Sun-catcher throwing rainbows in my apartment

Sun-catcher throwing rainbows in my apartment

I made some Mango Bread – Cake (click for my recipe) with some of the mangos I picked that morning. The entire apartment smelt so wonderful. I took a little break had had some warm mango bread with my morning coffee. Yumm…

My mango cake - bread.

My mango cake – bread.

I roasted some sunflower seeds for munching on. They are called semillas de girasol in Spanish. That just sounds so nasty to me. I so love roasted sunflower seeds, or sunnies as I have always called them. They are one of my favorite snacks and not easy to find here. I just get the bird seed type of seeds, wash them off, lightly salt and roast them.

Semillas de Grisol  / Roasted Sunflower Seeds, better known as Sunnies.

Semillas de Grisol / Roasted Sunflower Seeds, better known as Sunnies.

While I was keeping busy and dripping sweat-balls. Yes, I said sweat-balls. Sweat-balls are not just a little bit of sweat on the brow that you dab away. They are giant drops of sweat dripping off the body making large puddles and plop sounds whenever they hit the floor. Anyhow, I was keeping busy and the “kids” were sleeping away like nothing is bothering them at all.

Buenagente sleeping on the cool floor while the electricity was out.

Buenagente sleeping on the cool floor while the electricity was out.

Finally around 9:30AM, 14 hours after the lights went out, I heard from outside ¡”Hey Luz”!. There is always someone that needs to announce to the world that the electricity is back. Like we have not noticed this ourselves. Simultaneously with the announcement from the street I heard the silence when the electric plant across the street shut down. The best sound was the small hum coming from the motor of the fridge as it started working to get the food inside back to the correct temperature.

All was good and back to Dominican Republic normal.

Just a Few Wow-wees To Share

I so love taking pictures and have some wow-wees that need to be shared.

The very tall wall that surrounds the Fortaleza Ozama that you see when you enter the Colonial City crossing the Rio Ozama that was build by Trujillo. The name of this wall is Muralla de Felix Benito. Hanging way beyond reach of the top and bottom of the wall were these blown-out pair of blue jeans. Hmmm…how did they get there? Why is the entire center seam blown out? This is an area where it is very difficult even getting to so how I ask you, HOW did these jeans get there?

Pants on the Muralla de Felix Benito. Another wow-wee.

Pants on the Muralla de Felix Benito. Another wow-wee.

Riding on the Las Americas Highway this was a sight to behold. Really you see things like this ofter but it still amazes me that humans do not think of what could happen. There 2 humans were hanging out the back of this truck on a busy highway. The one kids foot was very close to the pavement. He better watch out or he could lose his yippie (thong, flop-flop, chankletta)…or more.

Perched precariously on the back of a truck

Perched precariously on the back of a truck

What do you do when you are working down a man hole and you take a break? You stick your head out of the hole and do a little reading. Why get all the way out of the hole? I hope the people passing by do not trip over the man.

Reading in a man hole

Reading in a man hole

Even a little Tayota thought it was funny.

Happy laughing Tayota

Happy laughing Tayota

I hope you have a happy day and are able to laugh at the wonderful things surrounding you. And remember..only in Dominican Republic.

Buenagente Follows

Today I had to run out to the Pharmacy to get antibiotics for Buenagente because he is supposed to get his teeth operated on Saturday. I left him outside because I had already left him and Teli in the house when I had to go out a little earlier and I still do not trust him to be in the house alone for an extended period of time.

So anyhow, I had let him out and there he was in the entrance to the building waiting for me when I went out. There was nothing I could do. He had to follow me all happy with his tail held high.

He went into the Pharmacy with me and while I was waiting he went into the little gambling place behind. They knew him there already. Then there was an elderly lady with a gauze bandage around her arm. He ran to her and was licking her exposed fingers. She was afraid at first but then she fell in love with him.

After the pharmacy I had to get a few things on the Conde at the Despensa (its called the Bravo Express but to me it will always be the Despensa). I told Buena to stay outside with some people sitting around the front.

I went in to pick up a few needed things. Eggs, bread, dog bones hot sauce and veggies. My staples.

The next person that entered the store here comes Buenagente pushing in the door with them. I was already shopping with a few things in my basket and here comes Buena down the isle like he belonged, just picking up a few things.

I left the basket there and walked him back to the door where the store manager was standing saying that Buena just ran past him and he did not know what to do.

This happened 4 times and each time there was Buenagente coming to find me while I was shopping. His tail was held high and he was all proud of himself by finding me in the aisles. I was laughing inside but i could not let the managers see me thinking it was a funny thing seeing good ole Buena going shopping.

Finally, I got him to lay outside in the shade across the street. He decided to stay laying next to an old fried of mine, King, who said he would try and keep Buenagente there with him.

I finished my shopping which should have taken 15 minutes bu turned into a 1/2 hour because of all the Buenagente happenings.

I came outside with my bags and good ole Buenagente was laying there starring at the door. When he saw me he came running and he walked with me back home.

I need to get one of those dog back packs so he can help me carry some groceries next time. He can work for his bones.

Is not he just a cutie?

Buenagente being valiant.

Buenagente being valiant.

First Visit To Parque Eugenio María de Hostos

I decided to take a long-time-no-have Walk-About on Sunday. It has been a while since I did a real walkabout. I spent the week before being sick with the gripe and 2 entire days in bed. Saturday I had a short tour and it made me want to get out for a walk. I was feeling better Sunday so I decided I needed to get out and see the world a bit.

I was not sure where to go so I got Teli and Buenagente and we headed out. Buenagente, a dog that lives in the streets, has been staying with me for a while, sort of a foster dog. He needs a forever home as I just cannot have 2 dogs in my small studio apartment. No space. No money. But, Buengente is so sweet and loving its so easy to fall in love with him. If I had the space and cash I would keep him. But he needs a larger place to live as he is not a small dog.

I have even been working with him to train him so when he does find his forever home he will make a wonderful addition to some loving family. I just hope he gets a home in the Colonial Zone where he can come and visit. He loves the Zone and he is a great tour guide too..lol. (more information about adopting Buenagente on The Dominican Dog Blog – Adopt Me – My name is Buenagente)

We first headed up Isabel la Catolica, which is always a fight with Teli. She always likes to go the same direction, to the same places. So after a little battle we were off.

We walked up and down some streets and ended up at Plaza Maria Sanchez.

Teli and Buenagente at Plaza Maria Sanchez

Teli and Buenagente at Plaza Maria Sanchez


Parque Maria Trinidad Sanchez

Parque Maria Trinidad Sanchez

We continued down Calle Mercedes. I never went on a Walk-About with the 2 dogs before. People would walk way around us like the dogs were vicious evil creatures. But then I probably would have swerved to get out of the way if I saw the 2 big dogs on leashes walking down the street.

I wanted to head up to San Carlos but Teli would not hear of it. She made a quick enter to a little sweet shop and sat her butt right down in the doorway. She would not move. The people in the store were laughing at her while Buenagente decided he might as well take advantage and he laid in the entrance as well.

Teli and Buenagente take a break at a pastry shop.

Teli and Buenagente take a break at a pastry shop.

I finally got Teli moving again and continued down Mercedes as it was just to difficult to get Teli to go up the hill towards San Carlos.

We stopped to get some shade at the Iglesia and Convento de las Mercedes/ Church and Convent of Our Lady of Mercy. The kids were checking things out there as the people sitting around were watching intently making sure the dogs did not eat them.

Man reading bible looking over his glasses watching us under the shade tree.

Man reading bible looking over his glasses watching us under the shade tree.

Teli and Buenagente taking a breather.

Teli and Buenagente taking a breather.

Buenagente walked so good on the leash. Teli had to pull on every corner, putting up a fight not to walk further away from home. But I was not giving in even thought at this point I was really ready to head home because it was hotter than I thought. So we headed back towards more familiar territory for Teli.

We were thirsty so decided to stop for a water break at a Colmado.

Taking a water break at the Colmado

Taking a water break at the Colmado

It just amazes me the way people stare at the dogs even doing a simple thing like taking a drink of water out of a plastic cup. It makes me laugh the fuss people make. Many people did get their nerve up and come to pet the dogs. Teli is not really friendly. She is not mean, she just does not care about paying attention to other humans. But, Buenagente is just the opposite. He loves the attention. He likes to put his paws on people. Usually he reaches to their shoulders then he tries to give them a kiss. He loves everyone, especially when he is on the leash and I tell him that the person is OK.

After the water break we continued on our way. I got the idea to go to the newly remodeled park, Parque Eugenio María de Hostos in Ciudad Nueva, and check it out.

On the way a few dogs tried attacking us but they decided better after Buenagente barked. But it was a good walk with Teli trying to enter every Colmado we passed and even one home that had the front door open.

We did stop and got another water just before the Plaza and off we headed.

Thank goodness the kids are not big into getting wet because the reflecting pool in the center of the park did look inviting. I bet if I was a dog I sure would have tried taking a dip. I was almost ready to do it being a human but I contained myself. I had to set an example for the kids.

Buenagente taking time to reflect at the reflecting pool t the Eugenio María de Hostos Park

Buenagente taking time to reflect at the reflecting pool t the Eugenio María de Hostos Park


Teli was doing her reflecting in the shade.

Teli was doing her reflecting in the shade.


Reflecting pool at Eugenio María de Hostos Park.

Reflecting pool at Eugenio María de Hostos Park.

I sat by the pool for a few minutes but it was just too hot and I was feeling the gripe weakness a bit so I decided to go and lay down in the grassy area for a bit and do a bit of reflecting with the dogs by my side and my eyes closed. Living in the city being able to lay on grass just does not happen often.

Looking at the sky

Looking at the sky

Teli only laid down beside me for a minute or two. She mostly stood over me watching, sitting for a little bit, then standing again.

Teli standing guard

Teli standing guard

Buenagente is much more relaxed and he plopped down beside me taking advantage or our little resting time.

The kids watching while I rested

The kids watching while I rested

Sometimes I just do not know what Buenagente is thinking. I mostly know how to read Teli and her thoughts. Buenagente gave me this over-the-shoulder look and then proceeded to roll right over on my head just after I took this picture.

Buenagente checking on me before he tried to lay on my head

Buenagente checking on me before he tried to lay on my head

Buena thought he was being funny after I was laughing.

Buenagente laughing at me.

Buenagente laughing at me.

Teli paid all no mind and just kept checking out the area.

Teli being vigilant.

Teli being vigilant.


She will always be a nervous girl. She is more relaxed than when I first got her, she does not shake anymore, but she just never seems to relax completely unless she is at home on the sofa, the bed or in her special hiding spot under the bedside table. While Buenagente can sleep anywhere, Teli always keeps an eye open.

After about 1/2 hour we headed back to the Colonial Zone, passing under the Puerta Misericordia, and back towards home.

Puerta Misericordia

Puerta Misericordia

Our 3 1/2 hour Walk-About was good. The kids were on the bed before I could even get in the door of the apartment. As soon as I got me a refreshing cool shower I was right there joining them to rest my ole bod.

It was a good day.

Dogs In Heat

Since I got my baby girl, Teli, I have been taking more notice of the plight of the street dogs of Dominican Republic. It is just so sad. I try to do what I can with very limited funds to feed them and look after them with the help of a wonderful group of people on FaceBook called Dog Lovers.

They are an amazing group that do all they can to help the animals of the country with Vet visits, Neuter and Castration programs (Pets Breeding Control). All runs on donations. So if anyone wants to help let me know and I can either accept donations and send them out or direct you to another person that takes donations. This will help for vet costs, rescue costs and food for these beautiful animals.

Anyhow, we are having a big problem in the Colonial Zone, Jose Gabriel Garcia, Calle las Damas to Parque Colon and Parque Duarte area. There are a few females in heat, or as they say here en calor, and they are causing lots of trouble and it seems that these ladies enjoy causing havoc in the streets.

The gang in love with Tia

The gang in love with Tia

The dogs are following the females and fighting for the right to..ahh..embed their seeds..The males are getting very aggressive and fighting. We who walk our dogs nicely and calmly in the morning are having to carry sticks, peaking around every corner, checking for the bad boys, before we can continue walking.

Tia causing trouble in the street

Tia causing trouble in the street

It is getting very bad. This morning I took Teli and Buenagente to the Fortaleza Ozama early for a run. I went directly there checking the empty streets making sure none of the “trouble” followed us. Blanco came and they were running and playing like normal.

Teli, Buenagente and Blanco playing

Teli, Buenagente and Blanco playing

The dogs were running and having fun when here comes Tia and her followers. Bowie and a Rottweiler names Pluto. They went directly for Blanco, the other alpha male. It was crazy. Teli was running the outer circle of the fighting. Buenagente went in but was on the outside also. Bowie, Blanco and Pluto were really tearing at each other. Bowie was already covered in blood and limping from fighting the last 3 to 4 days.

I found a stick and went in to get the dogs off of each other, especially Blanco. Buenagente went in also and grabbed Bowie by the back of the neck giving time to get Blanco out of the mess. Then I got Buenagente and got the leash on him. He had hair stuck in his mouth from Bowie. Blanco was bleeding.

A bite after it was cleaned up on Blanco.

A bite after it was cleaned up on Blanco.

My kids, Teli and Buenagente were not hurt, just shaken up. We had to fight the dogs away to get out of the fort. Then at Parque Rosado they came back. We had to almost run to get home so there was no more fighting.

Poor Bowie is a bloody mess. His front leg is torn open. His neck is all bloody. His ear is torn bad. His face is bloody. I did not get a close look at Pluto but I am sure he is not in good shape either.

This picture is in front of Blancos house where the dogs were fighting all the night. My guess is that most of the blood belongs to Bowie. He is in bad shape.

Dog blood on Calle Portes

Dog blood on Calle Portes

Bowie and Tia were stuck together in the street for about 10 minutes a few days ago.

Bowie and Tia stuck together amongst the renovation work in the Colonial Zone

Bowie and Tia stuck together amongst the renovation work in the Colonial Zone

It will be a few weeks that this craziness continues until the girls, Tia and Batty, are back to normal and out of heat. I hope Bowie can heal all his wounds.

Hopefully we can get the donations to get these neighborhood dogs sterilized and castrated to help a little with this big problem. Then my kids and the other kids in the area can play in peace.

Teli and Buenagente asking for help for their friends.

Teli and Buenagente asking for help for their friends.

Remember, if you want to make donations for Pets Breeding Control, Animal Lovers, PADELA, Pet Home RD, Collares Rojos, and others to help the animals of the Dominican Republic visit these facebook pages for more information or contact me and I can let you know other options to help. My dog Teli has a blog where there is much information as well Dominican Dog Blog.