The Presidential Elections are in one more week here in Dominican Republic. All will return to their home town, where they are registered, and get their black inked finger. Place your vote and get inked. Then all know that you voted.
All the different political parties are out in full force this week. They play deafening music as they set up their posts in the parks, plazas and street corners. People waving their flags, yelling, dancing and showing their support for their chosen candidate.
They drive around with large trucks loaded down with speakers. Not just a few speakers but the truck beds are filled with giant speakers playing as loud as they possible are able. No important if people and babies are sleeping, resting comfortably in their homes, or hanging out on the street. The speakers are no respecter of persons. It is so loud that I cannot hear the tv in my own home. Teli, the dog, runs for cover. My windows have vibrated a few times. I cannot believe how loud these speakers are.
It has been going on for a while. All the excitement, noise and craziness of the Presidential campaign. Roads blocked, lots of paid crazies and the political campaigners, helicopters in the sky, people arguing about who is the best and presents being distributed. All this is part of the political campaigning here in Dominican Republic. Oh, did I mention the loudness and all the music? this is fun when it happens in the afternoon but mush of the noise happens in the evening even past midnight.
Sometimes in these processions of very expensive Jepetas (know as SUV’s elsewhere), Hummers down to the local guaguas and public cars with their painted roofs of yellow and green, all take part and join in the hoopla for their chosen party. Sometimes the politicians are even in the parades, waving from the sunroof opening in their painted Jepetas and Hummers. Every where they pass they cause havoc. Traffic jams, noise, people fighting sometimes, there has even been instances where the fights turn deadly.
These are from a few weeks ago, in Santa Barbara away form all the campaigning, and still there were giant traffic jams with the locals direction traffic and I even saw people getting out of their cars to direct the traffic because no one could move. My friends, Teli (my dog) and I just sat there watching, laughing and drinking a nice cold beer (the dog didn’t drink).
This jam lasted for about 2 hours. At one time no one could move as cars were all jammed together in all directions. They think if they just keep moving forward an opening will magically appear. I just couldn’t believe it when they got out of their own cars to direct the traffic as you can see in the one picture.
Twas the night before Christmas Eve in the Colonial Zone. I was snug in my bed with my dog Teli. Just dozing off there arose such a clatter. I didn’t want to get up to see what was the matter, but after the sirens and music came closer I had just to check. I went to the balcony, threw open the shutters and grabbed my camera. What to my wondering eyes did appear but a giant procession of lit up cars with lazer lights-a-flashing and speakers-a-pounding turning from Calle Padre Billini onto Isabel la Catolica. They were wahooing and yeahing all these political campaigning creatures. Not caring about the people trying to get some shuteye. There were jepetas and hummers with shiny bright lights. Then came music and sirens to no ones delight. These noise makers kept rounding the corner. I never thought it was going to end. The sirens were sirening and the car alarms alarming, the people in the vehicles just kept on careening. As they drove off into the night on up Isabel la Catolica on to disturb others in their beds. Distributing their mayhem. They left behind a ringing in the ears and a slight smile on the lips. But worst of all was the car alarms they left ringing. The owners must have been partying in some local bar oblivious that their cars were yelling into the night…for 2 hours!!! Gotta love this country even if you don’t always!
This is the video I took. My camera has not been taking the best videos lately. I think it is getting old and is dying slowly. Sometimes it works well and others it just is.
At least you will get the idea of that noisy night. You might want to check the speakers because it is a bit loud.
The grand finale Carnival was Sunday March 6th in Santo Domingo on the Malecon. I didn’t go to the main part of carnival. I just wasn’t up for all the crowds, noise and people all mashing up against each other and also the need to watch all around you for those nasty thieves. So I just hung out with my neighbors in the park near to my home. Maybe I’m just getting to old…but I sure hope not. I didn’t take many pictures but I did take 2 good videos. Enjoy!
If you want to read about the Carnival Tradition check out the link
>I love palos music (what is palos check it out on my web site)! I liked this type of music before I even knew what it was. It is sort of primitive but gets into the soul. At least it gets into my soul. I used my digital camera to take this video and it was dark so its not that great but you can get the idea. I also took a video of a lady dancing with the singer. They were both so good but, oh well, it was too dark and all that was to be seen was a black scene with a few little glimpses of light. I´ll try again another time. Usually on Friday nights La Espiral in Colonial Zone has a palos group so there may be more music to come. Enjoy the video!
>Sunday, April 20 in Colonial Zone, Santo Domingo.
The starting point of this 10K race is the Plaza de la Puerta de La Atarazana at Avenida del Puerto in Colonial Zone. The route crosses the floating bridge over the Ozama River going around the Columbus Lighthouse, returning on the same route to Fort San Gil and then returning to the starting point. They are expecting over 3,000 people to participate.
There will also be bands playing free of charge. Panky y Los Manolos, Pavel Nuñez, Diego Mena, Frank Ceara and Dj Miguel Rivas.
10K Gatorade advertising campaign slogan is: “La Meta esta en ti” / “The Target Is In You”
100% of the funds raised will be donated to the Asociación Dominicana de Rehabilitación / Dominican Rehabilitation Association, an institution that provides functional rehabilitation for people with physical and intellectual disabilities.
> Last night was the Navidad party for the neighborhood. It was a really great time. There were 2 different bands that played (I can’t remember their names) and they were really good. they played Christmas music as well as the dance music. The Christmas music here when I first heard it, I had no idea it was Christmas music. I had never heard Christmas songs that had he merengue music with them. Now I can’t imagine Navidad without hearing at least a few merengue Christmas carols. It was a little cold last night as some of my neighbors and I were waiting for everyone to walk to the next block to join in the fun. but after we got there, in the big crowd, I was happy I didn’t put on a long sleeved shirt. I was sweating bad! Especially after doing some dancing. It was good seeing all the old neighbors. Some that had moved away while I was in USA were there as well. I thought I lost touch with them forever but last night I saw many of them again. many of the people that stay in their homes most of the time, the older ladies and home bodies always come out for the neighborhood party. I love seeing an older woman dancing with a teenager. I even danced with this great grandfather type man and I couldn’t keep up with him! After 2 dances I had to go and rest a bit. he was still ready to dance so he asked the next girl he say and kept going. bless his good strong heart and legs! I love Christmas here in my little town. All the Dominican families visiting for the holidays. the streets are full of people talking and enjoying. The lights, even though there are not as many as in the years past, are beautiful. the Christmas foods…yummm. The neighborhood park is near a church and they always seem to have Christmas music flowing out from the windows into the park which makes sitting there with the Christmas tree lit feel so much like Christmas even if there is no snow. Another thing I really like here is they have no problem having a manger scene in public places. Even the government offices they have the manger set up. I love seeing this. It is one thing that I always felt bad about in USA. They don’t permit the creche to be displayed in government places. It is not “politically correct”. Yet it is Ok to have Santa and the reindeer. I just cannot understand this. But it is all good. I am here and don’t have to deal with that politically correct crap anymore (I hope). More Christmas/ Navidad stuff and pictures soon.. Learn more about Christmas in Dominican Republic.