I love the Carnival but from afar. I am amazed at the creativity of the humans that design costumes and floats. Some of the masks are so intricate and imaginative.
I was nervous about going down to the Malecon in Santo Domingo to watch and take pictures. A few years ago my camera was stolen right out of my hand. I cannot afford this to happen each year. I had asked a friend to come and be my Guachiman but he could not make it. He said his daughter was visiting and in their barrio, near to Zona Colonial, they were having big problems with thieves and tigres coming in from other areas hoping to take advantage of and rob non-suspecting spectators. He said there were even gun shots. So he did not make it to be the guarding of my camera.
When I got to the spot where I wanted to take pictures I scoped the area for the police and there was a man inside the fence. I asked him how I could get inside and explained to him about my fears. He let me come in to the press area and take pictures. I was so grateful. He kept laughing at me at first when I lifted the camera to take a picture. I would check around me, making sure it was safe. He kept telling me it was not necessary and that I was safe inside the fence.
I stayed and took pictures and videos until close to dusk. I wanted to be back home in my own area before dark hit. I was so glad I left when I did. It took me forever to go 2 blocks. The people were jammed in tight. There was no sneaking through the crowds. I just pushed forward trying not to bump into too many people. I really am not into crowds.
One masked man stopped me and told me not to go down one street as there was trouble happening there. I asked what was happening but he was talking so fast in Spanish I could not keep up with his words.
I got home and all was safe. I only got hit on the butt once by a little boy with his rubber ball called a vejiga. I did come close a few times to being whipped with one of the latigo snapping masked creatures. I took Teli, The Dominican Dog, out for her evening walkabout. Came home and went to work uploading all the pictures and videos to share with the world.
I wrote a post but something happened and it just disappeared. I have no idea where it went and, of course, I can’t remember all that I wrote. So I am just going to put up the pictures I took out my window today and maybe another day I will write about whatever it was that I lost. It is not easy getting old…lol.
The above picture has the Caribbean Sea circled. It is the same color gray as the sky. It is difficult to distinguish where one ends and the other begins. This is the view out my Colonial Zone balcony window to the right.
I love the sky with its evil looking clouds. I put some arrows to point out the points of interest. This is the view out my Zona Colonial balcony window to the left. I hope the pointers pointing the points make their point. Ok, I am being just plain silly but I hope I made my point. Anyhow, here is a little picture tour or my window view.
Red arrow – The oldest cathedral in the Americas, The Cathedral de Santa Maria.
Teal arrow – The Hard Rock Cafe sign.
Blue arrow – The Palacio de Borgellá.
Pink arrow – ChuChu Colons Coke-a-Cola train.
Purple arrow – A human watchman.
Yellow arrow – La Casa del Sacramento. The place where the Archbishop of the Dominican Republic hangs out.
This is the view out my balcony window straight ahead.
>Well, made it through the carnival grand finale in Santo Domingo this year with my camera so I have pics and videos to share. The carnaval was great! Lots of amazing costumed humans and non humans too. The crowd was well behaved in general except for the occasional thief doing what they do best, taking advantage of people enjoying.
Enjoy the videos and pictures and try and visit us for the carnival next year. It will be an experience you will never forget.
>A friend of mine, Jaime, was here after leaving Haiti. He and his friend came to Dominican Republic waiting for a plane to return to his home in El Salvador. He was working in Haiti when the devastating Earthquake hit on January 12, 2010. He took these pictures with his cellphone camera and sent them to me to share with the world.
Continue to pray for the victims and their families and donate whatever you are able to a reputable charity. Thank you.
>No more new pictures for a while. My camera is gone and have to save up my centavos to get another so it may be a while before I have new pictures.
I was at the Puerta de la Misericordia taking pictures Saturday evening during the big street party for Lionel winning the presidency again. There was lots of people everywhere. The purple flags were waving and all the political campaign music was playing (I had a great video but oh well). I had my camera guarded in my pants but I was taking a video of the street party when some guy came up behind me. He grabbed the camera from my hand and threw it with all his might into the air. I turned around and he was standing there. I thought he was joking and checked behind his back asking “OK, where’s my camera?” He said it’s gone and laughed. Well, needless to say, I got angry. I gave him a full force slap across his face! He still had that shitty smile on his face and that really pissed me off. I grabbed my drink and threw it in his face and the next thing I knew I was in the fighting mode. I punched him straight on in the face! I can’t believe I really punched a man in the face! I think I was as shocked with myself as he was. He put his hand on my neck (I thought he just put his hand on my neck, but the next day a large bruise appeared on my neck so I guess it was more than him just putting his hand on my neck but when the adrenalin flows I didn’t feel the pain…until later). This made me more aggressive and I punched him in the side of his head two times! By this time the 2 acquaintances I was talking to saw what was happening and one grabbed me and the other stepped between us. They didn’t know the guy threw my camera. It was so fast no one saw it happen. When the guys came to stop the fight the camera thrower ran away. By the time I explained what the thief did he was gone.
The friends and I went to the houses across the street to see if they would let me check their roofs and balconies. Only 1 person was home and we checked the entire roof and balcony and the camera was not there. I left my number with him and his wife in case they found the camera.
I had some really good videos and some great pictures of the days events on my camera. but oh well, what can I do? Just accept it. At least I stood up for myself, what ever good that did. Maybe the camera thrower was hurting for a few days (my punching shoulder and hand hurt for a few days) after and he’ll think twice the next time he wants to mess with a Gringa!