30 Sectors Without Water

It was announced a few days ago that 30 different parts of Santo Domingo area would be without water for 24 hours. (I translated it using bing) “The Acuedcuto and Sewerage Corporation of Santo Domingo (CAASD) reported that more than 30 sectors of the National District left without drinking water throughout the day on Friday 21. The service will be suspended to correct a fault in the valve 48 inch running on the corner of John F. Kennedy Winston Churchill, near the Metro stop Santo Domingo.” (article from CAASD in Español http://www.caasd.gov.do/noticias/2014/11/caasd-anuncia-suspension-del-servicio-en-mas-de-30-sectores-por-correccion-de-averias-en-la-john-f-kennedy/)

In the list of barrios announced Zona Colonial was not one of them yet we have no water.

They said it would be 24 hours and now it is Sunday morning and noone in the Zone has water unless they have it stored like many places do in a tank on top of the roof of their homes. My building has 3 big round black “tinacos” on the roof but they ran out of auga potable (translated to mean drinking water even though we really do not use this water for drinking) about 2PM yesterday.

I have water saved in a big garbage can I use for a water back-up. So I still have enough water to last me for a few days more if I be conservative.

This morning as we were in the street discussing this and about us not being warned by the faulty announcement we decided to unlock the facet in the street and check. Sometimes the lower you are the more water will flow.

We turned it on and a trickle came out. We all cheered!

Water trickling out of the hose

Water trickling out of the hose

The neighbor got comfortable as she almost had to milk the hose like she was extracting milk from a cow. Her sister was in her mucalucks (I am not sure if this is a real name but this is what we always called them when I was a kid) just in case water came back strong she would be ready..lol

The water crisis did not seem to bother the kids this morning as they enjoyed their morning romp at the Fortaleza Ozama. Teli, Buenagente, Zippy and Pokey had a good run. The grass was wet so the street dogs also got a little bit of a bath.

Teli, Buenagente, Zippy and Pokey at Fortaleza Ozama enjoying the morning romp.

Teli, Buenagente, Zippy and Pokey at Fortaleza Ozama enjoying the morning romp.

The morning sun rise was also pretty nice. The Colonial Fest continues on today so there will be some fun stuff to do outside today. Teli even sat for a little while and listened to some live music which was a first for her without going nuts being completely frightened.

Sun rising over Rio Ozama as seen from the Fortaleza Ozama today

Sun rising over Rio Ozama as seen from the Fortaleza Ozama today


Now, all we need is some water so I can flush my potty and do some dishes and laundry.

3rd Or 4th Floor

This is what just happened. The conversation was just to unbelievable. I thought I was on some prank tv show.

The Colmado guy was yelling Colmado outside on the stairs. I heard the neighbor say it was not for him. Then the neighbor knocked on my door. I opened it to tell the man I did not order anything from the Colmado.

Here is the conversation (I am writing it in English but the conversation was really in Spanish)

Man – “Colmado” (*A Colmado is a convenience type store. Many have delivery services)

Me – “I did not order anything from the Colmado”

Man “You are American”

Me “Yes but I still did not order anything”

Man “But the person was American”

Me “But I did not order anything”

Man (with a duhhh look on his face) “This is the 4th floor”

Me “No. This is the 3rd floor”

Man “No, this is the 4th”

Me “I live here and I am telling you this is the 3rd floor”

Man (he had a complete look of confusion on his face)”So where is the 4th floor?”

Me “It is 1 more floor up”

Man “You mean the 4 floor is not here”

Me “No, it is up those stairs”

Man “But an American called and was on the 4th floor”

Me (shaking my head in utter disbelief as the man stood there with his head tilted like he was trying to figure it all out) “There is an American living on the 4th floor, maybe it was him”

Man “Yes, it was a man that called”

Me (Still not believing how not-smart someone could be) “I am a woman and I did not call the Colmado”

Man (huffing like he was angry he had to go upstairs) pointing “The 4th floor is up there”

Me (As I shut the door “Yes, 1, 2, 3, 4..this is the 3rd floor so the next one must be the 4th”

Schewww…I cannot say any more.

Renew My Permanent Residency October 2014

It was time to renew my residency. I so hate dealing with all the bureaucracy but it must be done.

I helped a friend about 6 months ago renew his. It was so difficult. So much has changed in just a few short months. Thank goodness.

My taxi -friend, JC Taxi, drove me to the Migración office. It is right on the Malecon, the road that runs beside the Caribbean Sea.

The Caribbean Sea view from the Malecon in Santo Domingo.

The Caribbean Sea view from the Malecon in Santo Domingo.

I hurried and got into the line to pay for my medical stuff. I waited and when I got to the window they told me I had to go to a little computer desk and get a number. What? I was just there not too long ago and this was all new.

The man giving out the numbers remembered me from being there with my friend so he gave me my number and we chatted a bit as I watched one of the 2 monitors for my number to be called.

About 5 minutes later I was called. I went to the window and gave them my information then had to go and wait more until they found my previous renewal and documents. Then they called me to a different window to pay for the form ($100 pesos). About 10 minutes later my number showed. I went to the caja (Caja is translated to box in Spanish) and I paid for the medical stuff $4500 pesos. Then I had to take a taxi to the medical offices in Gazcue where they did the urine analysis, blood work, chest x-rays and medical background.

The man asking the questions also remembered the ole Gringa from going there with my friend. Then I went in to pee in a bottle while the lady watched. I filled the entire bottle to the top and when she saw it she took the bottle, with her plastic gloved hands, and said they did not need that much and she dumped the pee into the sink where I was washing my hands! A hospital did this when there was a working toilet right next to the sink!

NASTY! I was appalled but I said nothing. I did not want anything to go wrong because the lady did not like me.

Then she proceeded to sit me down to take my blood. She did not change the gloves. She used the same gloves on her hands that she handled the pee bottle with to take my blood! I kept my mouth shut but felt sick inside.

Then after I had to walk around to the side door of the hospital, making twists and turns, finally going down the stairs to the chest x-ray place. This went off without a hitch. I got my receipt which needs to be saved when you return to Migración in 10 working days.

Parking lot of the Migración Office looking towards the front entrance of the building.

Parking lot of the Migración Office looking towards the front entrance of the building.


The view while I was waiting for the taxi. Wasting a beautiful day.

The view while I was waiting for the taxi. Wasting a beautiful day.

I went home and waited my 10 working days while gathering my Buena Conducta ($330 pesos for the taxes for this), made all my copies, collected all the cash I needed, making sure all was in order.

I was prepared. I returned to Migración. I was looking for the picture taking guys and some man is telling me “co9mmon, common” (which by the way I hate when people try to hurry me along for no reason). They moved the picture taking place to a little trailer in the back of the building which I thought was much better than sitting in the street like before.

I spent about 15 minutes getting my pictures then went inside the big building and got my number. They called me to the window to get finger printed. They took all my paper work. I waited, standing against the wall talking to some people I knew. Then a woman came from the back and asked my name. She left.

About 5 minutes later another woman came over and gave me a paper with her name, phone and instructions, telling me I had to go and do the blood work again! I asked why and she said she did not have that information. I was a little upset thinking first that I had come communicable disease. Then I thought about the way the lady took my blood before and that maybe she compromised the sample with her dirty, pee-bottle hands.

I took a taxi to the same blood place but it was not there. Someone told me it moved all together to the x-ray place so I went there. I handed the girl (the man I knew from the other years did not work there any more) my paper and she told me I needed to go to another place. I told her no, this is where they said to go so I had her call the number the lady gave me in migration.

They finally got it straightened out and I gave my blood. Again! Then I walked home because I needed to get some fresh air and relax.

I had to wait another 10 days and then call the lady at migración. I was so stressed for these 10 days thinking I might get deported. I might have some disease and they would not renew my residency. In the back of my head I figured they just lost the blood or messed up some how but I was still worried.

When I called the lady exactly 10 days later said all was good and to come and finish. I went right away.

They came out and took me special and when I went to the window to pay $8000 pesos for 4 more years I was feeling relieved. I figured I would not pay the $1000 pesos VIP and just return another time they scheduled to finish but then they told me I needed to pay a LATE FEE of $400 pesos!

I was so upset. It was not my fault I was late. They are the ones that screwed up my blood work. they made me late but this did not matter. I had to pay. I decided then to just pat the VIP as well because I just did not want to deal with all the crap again. I paid my money and waited for my number to show in the monitor while discussing all with a neighbor of mine from Brazil there to get her first residency.

My number came up. I went and got my picture and waited again for the card.

They called me about 10 minutes later to the window to sign the book and take my residency card. I did not even look at the picture I did not care. I just wanted to get out of there. But the police man at the window told me to please check the card.

IT WAS WRONG!

It said I was from Puerto Rico. All my papers said USA. My previous documents from the past 13 years said USA. My passport says USA yet they put PR on the card. I had to give my passport to the guy and he disappeared for another 15 minutes.

He finally called me giving me my passport and the repaired Residency Card. I was good for another 4 years. YEAH!

After all this Teli and I went to the beach for a few days.

Next step was to renew my cedula which is the identity card everyone has. Mine says “No Vota” (no voting) on the back.

A friend, Walter who owns Aparthotel Condo Parque, Venus Bar and Cafeteria, and I went together to do this. When I took a friend 6 months ago the new biometric card cost about $100us dollars plus any late fees. When I called a man I know that works there to make sure how much money I needed to bring he said the renewal was free. Wow! I was one happy human!

We went and all went smoothly. I was very impressed. The ride to the Junta Central Electoral, there and back, and the entire process took a little less than 2 hours. We drove a man back to the Zone with us from France so he could save on a taxi.

So my permanent residency, which is really only temporary, is good for another 4 years along with the cedula. I sure hope the next time I can do my citizenship and be done with it forever.

These are the documents of the requirements to renew residency permanent in Dominican Republic as of October 2014. Remember, these requirements could change any time.

Renovacion-de-Residencia-Permanente-Renew-Permanent-Residency-Page 1 -8-2014. click to enlarge

Renovacion-de-Residencia-Permanente-Renew-Permanent-Residency-Page 1 -8-2014. click to enlarge


Renovacion-de-Residencia-Permanente-Renew-Permanent-Residency-Page 2 -8-2014. click to enlarge

Renovacion-de-Residencia-Permanente-Renew-Permanent-Residency-Page 2 -8-2014. click to enlarge

Breakfast anyone?

The dogs were waiting patiently for Teli and I to come outside so they could join us for the morning fun time. This is something they love. Its so cute that they wait in the street for Teli and I to come outside.

This morning I got to take the kids to Fortaleza Ozama. They will not permit us to go inside much these days but today was an exception. Teli, Buenagente and Zippy had a great time running free in the grass. I had a great time watching them enjoy their morning romp. I just wish we could go inside more often and I am sure the kids wish this as well.

Teli, Buenagente and Zippy playing in the grass.

Teli, Buenagente and Zippy playing in the grass.

Teli, Buenagente and Zippy playing at the Fortaleza Ozama this morning.

Teli, Buenagente and Zippy playing at the Fortaleza Ozama this morning.

While I was inside the fort today I saw a circle made in the sand. Looking closer the circle contained the remains of a big Palmetto Bug, Cock Roach, Cucaracha, whatever you want to call it. The ants dining did not care what I called their breakfast. They were enjoying their breakfast and we have 1 less roach to battle.

Ants approaching the Cockroach with his legs sticking up.

Ants approaching the Cockroach with his legs sticking up.

Ants dining on the Cucaracha

Ants dining on the Cucaracha

Ants enjoying their juicy breakfast of a big Cockroach.

Ants enjoying their juicy breakfast of a big Cockroach.

Breakfast at Fortaleza Ozama for the ants.

Breakfast at Fortaleza Ozama for the ants.

I found it very interesting that they made a circle around the Cockroach with the sand. They made him his special shallow grave. How thoughtful of them to think of this as they made a smorgasbord out of the roach.

My New Teeth

I went to the dentist today to get my tooth put in. Dr. Florentino, my dentist and my friend, had it all ready to go. He knows how nervous I am about dentists and he always makes me relax and if needed gives me those numbing shots so I don´t feel a thing. I didn’t need a shot today, thank goodness.

I’m not sure exactly what I got but I think it was a crown and a bridge. I had a crown on a tooth a long time ago and little by little it broke away. I never bothered with it because it never bothered me. But after about 10 years it started to bother me a little bit. Also, next to that broken tooth is a gaping hole where I had a tooth pulled when I was in my mid teens. The doc surprised me and made 2 teeth, one for the broken crown and one connected to that to fill in the large gaping hole I have in my mouth.

I took the mold thingy he made because I thought it looked interesting. I will add it to my cool junk collection. I marked the hole and new tooth spots. Now this is a pretty cool piece of good junk don’t you think?

My teeth cloned.

My teeth cloned.

Now I am home and trying to eat. I am so used to not having a tooth at all for almost 40 years it feels so strange trying to chew something. My cheek feels like its all sticking out and my tongue feels some strange foreign thing in my mouth. This is going to take a little time getting used to but I am content. Very content.

My friend, Juan Carlos of JC Taxi took me and brought me home. When we got to my door, which is not easy because the entire Colonial Zone is still torn up with this road work Renovada Ciudad Colonial, there is a giant pile of dirt at my front of the door. The dirt was not there when I went to the dentist at 9:30AM but coming home at 11:30AM it magically appeared. A giant pinkish-red pile of clumpy dirt.

Renovada Ciudad Colonial. Dirt in front of my door.

Renovada Ciudad Colonial. Dirt in front of my door.

I had to do some small mountain climbing to get inside my building. But its all good. Teli was at the door to greet me. I love when she does the horseshoe (bending her head all around to her back side in a horseshoe type shape) when I come home and gets all excited. I’ll have to try and get a picture of her doing it sometime.

Of course I cannot write a story without adding a Teli picture or 2. This is us having a little pre-breakfast snack (really I had the snack, she watched the pigeons) in the Parque Colon. Teli, coffee and banana in Parque Colon. A good way to start the day.

My Teli, my coffee and my banana in Parque Colon

My Teli, my coffee and my banana in Parque Colon


Teli, coffee, banana in Parque Colon. The coffee man is in the background.

Teli, coffee, banana in Parque Colon. The coffee man is in the background.

Teli Takes a Dive

I so love waking early in the morning and taking Teli for her morning walk. It is still dark outside and the streets are empty of humans for the most part. Its just Teli, her friends and me enjoying the start of the new day.

I also love seeing the morning sky and the sun coming up.

Today is a holiday, Día de las Mercedes / Our Lady of Mercedes Day, so the Malecon had very little traffic.

Dawn on the Malecon.

Dawn on the Malecon.

When we got to the beach it was still dark and there were big dogs barking in the darkness. I could not see who it was. I just yelled “hey” to them and we kept going not knowing if we were going to get attacked. Teli and Zippy (Zippy, the street dog freind, joined us today) did not seem to be too nervous. The camera caught the glowing eyes of 3 dogs laying in wait and barking.

Playita Montecinos. Dogs eyes glowing at 5:50AM

Playita Montecinos. Dogs eyes glowing at 5:50AM

The biggest dog came out of the dark running. It was our buddy Bruiser and his harem, Mia and Lady. They came down from the Ruinas San Francisco where they live and were taking an early morning romp on the Playita Montecinos. Bruiser was happy and jumping up on me when he saw me.

Teli, Zippy, Bruiser and his girls all had a good time. Teli and Zippy love to run. They would run along the water then they would go and jump on Bruisers gang and all play around a bit. Then Teli would run again and get her toes wet in the surf. Teli so loves to run. Zippy went swimming. She is not afraid of the water at all.

Playita Montecino. Teli, Bruiser, Mia and Lady playing.

Playita Montecino. Teli, Bruiser, Mia and Lady playing.

The sky started getting brighter and it was time to get the kids back across the Malecon. This makes me nervous because of all the cars on this busy road. I usually do not go if there are other dogs walking with me because of crossing the road but since today was a holiday and there was no traffic I was ok. There is a pedestrian bridge at the ADUANAS building and Teli and Buenagente do not have a problem crossing but Zippy and Bruiser are afraid of the bridge.

We made it back to our area. Bruiser and his girls went on their way. Buenagente was on the corner of Calle Meriño waiting for us with a few other dogs. They joined Teli and Zippy for the next part of the morning play time.

The dogs love the renovation work that has been happening in the Colonial Zone. There are no cars in the streets and they have their way without worries. They really love the sand piles and have a great time playing King of the Hill. Taking turns being on the top of the pile then fighting to be the next dog on top. (this picture was taken yesterday but they played this way today also)

Zippy is King of the Hill for now

Zippy is King of the Hill for now

I so love watching “the kids” playing. They have a great time running and play fighting. This is one of the best parts of my day. Seeing the dogs, especially Teli, happy and enjoying life. This is why I wake up around 4 or 5 in the morning to take Teli out. It is so worth it to see her having fun.

It rained last night so the street is a mess. They did make us a little bridge and walkway so we did not have to walk through the mud. This white dirt has something in it that makes it really sticky and it is a disaster trying to walk through it when it is wet. It gets stuck to Teli’s toes and my shoes. Its like cement and not easy to get off, especially after its dried.

The walkways are a blessing but Zippy was having a hard time as she will not cross a bridge, even this little one, so she would not come inside for her breakfast.

Zippy on Calle Padre Billini walk way.

Zippy on Calle Padre Billini walk way.

The hole under the bridge to the door of the building where I live was filled with water from the rain. Probably about 3 feet deep is my guess. Teli was way too curious about this water under “her” bridge. She laid on the bridge and hung her paw over the edge to touch the water.

Teli checking the water under the bridge at Calle Padre Billini.

Teli checking the water under the bridge at Calle Padre Billini.

Finally she just jumped in! This is so unlike her to take a swim. I never saw her enter water on her own to swim. She will walk in the sea but never take the plunge. I can carry her into water and she will swim right back to shore. So her jumping in this water was something new. She just jumped in! I am still shocked that she did it even after I watched her do it.

Teli swam to the edge, climbed out, shook herself off and came back to the bridge. She just acted like it was nothing and that was that.

After Telis swim.

After Telis swim.


Cleaning up after the swim.

Cleaning up after the swim.

While Teli was cleaning up after her dive Zippy had to jump in also but from the side, not from the mean frightening bridge. Zippy swam to the far end of the water and got out.

Teli had enough of the morning walk and we went inside for breakfast and Teli’s bath.

The start of this holiday, so far, has been great!