At least a few times a day Teli beckons me to get off my butt at the computer. She wants me to stop working and look out the window with her. She stands at her perch and stares at me until I get up and go to the window with her. We sit there and see what is going on in the neighborhood. This is what we saw today.
Shoeshine Boy, Money Changers and the ChuChu
This is a normal day in the Colonial Zone. The money changer guys are rubbing their index finger and thumb together at all passing vehicles hoping to find someone who has money to exchange for pesos.
The neighbor kid is out on most Saturdays shining shoes to get his own spending money for the week. He goes to school on the weekdays. If he is in the mood he goes out on the weekends to make a little extra cash. A little entrepreneur. His family does not let him out to work on school days.
The man that owns the gift shop across the street is getting a shoe shine while greeting a friend walking by.
The ChuChu Colon is passing by with its speakers on telling our history to the tourists in their own language. The train conductors helper gets out at every crossing to make sure the coast is clear for the train to enter the intersection.
There are some beat-up road blocks on the corner ready for who knows what reason.
Teli and I were in bed I was on the Kindle and she was dozing off next to me. We were all calm, comfy and cozy. All of a sudden she started growling while looking towards the door.
Her hair was standing up on her back. The growl got bigger as Teli jumped to her feet. She was in full attack mode it seemed. I sat up as well.
There is a divider blocking the door from my view. First thought is that someone was hiding behind the divider. I was starting to grab my stick I keep by the bed. Teli jumped off the bed and ran into the living room, my viscous attack dog was a chicken.
I was alone with whatever it was behind the divider.
Just at that second the light in my brain lit and I realized what was happening. I laid a black scarf on top of the divider earlier today. It did not belong there.
Teli came running back in and jumped onto the bed still growling, a deep frightening growl. I bet that scarf was scared to death of Teli ready to attack it.
I grabbed the scarf and threw it down on the bed next to where she was standing. She jumped up in the air, all for feet off the bed. Frightened. Then she gave me a look like what the heck looking from the scarf then to me a few times. Then the brave dog sat down while sticking her nose into the offending piece of black cloth. All was safe and she was happily throwing the scarf into the air and playing with it.
Teli with her scarf
My guard dog saved me from the big bad scarf, that is, after she ran away in fright. She had her bad scarf and laid down again and I returned to my Kindle. All was safe and sound.
Have I mentioned lately that I love my dog Teli? (Teli wrote her own version of this story on her blog The Dominican Dog Blog)
I have been a bad blogger. Ignoring my blog and not sharing my stories. I think almost everyday that I should write about something but then the creative juices just do not seem to low when I see the white page waiting for my words. So I will try today to write a little story.
We were told that we are not permitted to take the dogs to the Fortaleza Ozama any more in the mornings so our little morning dog group and the 3 Dogeteers (like the 3 Musketeers but doggie style) had to find a new place to play.
We now go to the Playita at Montecino. We have to cross the pedestrian bridge over the Malecon which wasn’t easy at first as Teli was afraid of it. Then one day when Teli saw her friends Blanco and Lula crossing she overcame her fear and now she crosses without me having to carry her.
This walk is a bit rough for me somedays. First I have to go down the three flights of stairs at my apartment.
Teli looking down from the stairs
Then we go down the stairs at Calle las Damas
Escalinatas Las Damas
Then we go to the pedestrian bridge crossing the Malecon
Bridge over the Malecon
Then we go down the stairs inside the Montecinos monument.
Stairs inside Montecino
It ends up being about 9 flights of stairs to get Teli to the beach. then we have to do it all again when we go home.
But all the stairs are worth it when I see Teli playing and running and enjoying herself.
Teli and some of her friends
Teli, Blaoco and Lula. The 3 Dogeteers
Now I have to get ready to take Teli out. It is 6:30AM and she keeps looking out the window and then looking at me. She is telling me to common mom, its time to go out and play.
Sand in my shoes. Sand in Teli ears. A little sweat but it is all worth it for my baby
Teli and I took a Walk-About on Sunday. It has not rained for weeks but this day the skies decided to finally let loose and there was rain. We did not let that stop us. Anyhow, we were already out walking and there was no shelter as we crossed the floating bridge so what could we do? We got wet.
My big plan was to go to the other side of the Rio Ozama and go to the yellow and black lighthouse on the point. We never made it there. The plan changed.
Teli hates to go where she does not know and she hates to go up on Calle las Damas. She loves the part where the nuns’ houses are. We go there almost everyday. If we have head the opposite direction and go toward Plaza España she jumps and tries to tell me not to go this way. This day she did not get her way. She had her way the day before; this day was my turn to choose the route. I got my way and we went on our walk to parts unknown.
We went down the stairs at the end of Calle el Conde and to the main road that heads into the city, Avenida George Washington, better known at The Malecon.
Stairs at the end of Calle El Conde
Since is was Sunday there was very little traffic so it was fairly easy crossing the normally congested street to the Don Diego Terminal.
Don Diego Terminal Santo Domingo
The guards at the terminal there were all smiles when they saw Teli. They were asking if she was a Galgo (Greyhound). People always want to give her a breed or race as they cannot understand why I walk around with a Viralata (which is the slang name of the mixed breed dogs here in Dominican Republic because they “live out of the can”) also known as a Khaki (because of the color). I love to tell people that she was a dog from the street but now she is a dog from my bed. That always shocks ‘em knowing that a DOG sleeps in MY bed with ME. After the initial shock it always brings a good laugh.
Casa Reales and the Capilla los Remedios from Don Diego Terminal
Alcazar de Colon from the Puente Flotante
Back to the Walk-About… We walked to the Puente Flotante (Floating Bridge) and Teli went across it, no problem. I was so proud of her. She even was looking over the edge at the water.
Teli on the floating bridge
The Puente Flotante gears
On the other side of the bridge there are men selling the fresh catches they just made. They held up the fish they caught from Rio Ozama for me to take a picture.
Selling fish at Rio Ozama
Then two boys followed us talking about Teli. They, of course, wanted some money. I gave them a few pesos and they continued walking with us talking until the Gas Station.
I wasn’t really sure where to go as I haven’t walked that way for so many years so I just kept going until I saw the sign for the San Souci Port.
There was a small shaded park in front of the road to enter the port. The park could have been really nice and inviting but, sorry to say, was in really bad shape. This is not a good representation of the country considering this is where people who come to visit us via the sea see when they leave the confines of the terminal. My opinion, this park should be nice and clean as it is the first park many visitors catch a glimpse of. It should be inviting for people just wanting to walk or sit for a bit in the shade. I tried to make the pictures I took look good but really the park needs some serious attention.
Park at the entrance to Port San Souci
Bench in park as entrance to Port San Souci
We walked down to the Port San Souci then turned around and headed back toward home.
Port San Souci
We were wet and my shoes were a little sloshy. I wanted to cross the highway to the other side of the road but there were too many cars for Teli and I to cross safely so we just headed back the way we came.
When we passed the Marina Bartolome Colon I wanted to enter to take a few pictures but the security stopped us so I just took a few pictures from the entrance.
Plaza Marina Bartolome Colon entrance
Plaza Marina Bartolome Colon
After we talked a little bit they said we could go in and take pictures but it was starting to drizzle again and I just wanted to head toward home.
As we were walking a Taxi I know passed the opposite direction. Did he yell hi to me? Noooo. He yelled out the window to Teli. Same with another car that passed. The people inside did not yell out to say hi to me. They yelled Telis’ name. The famous Dominican Dog lol.
We crossed the floating bridge again. We were back on the Colonial Zone side of the road finally. We entered at the Puerta de las Atrazanas into the old ship yards and headed to the shelter of the Navel Museum (which is still closed for remodeling).
Shelter at the Naval Museum
I talked to a friend there for a few minutes while the rain stopped and we headed on our way. Completely wet by this time.
Entrance to the Naval Museum
As we made it around the corner onto Calle General Cabral it started drizzling again.
Calle General Cabral nice graffiti
Calle General Cabral and Fuerte Carena
We headed to the nearest Colmado to have a drink, talk to my good friend Chino and wait for the rain to stop.
After the rain stopped and we were finished talking to Chino Teli and I headed down Calle Isabel la Catolica. There was a group of College students with cameras making a film in front of the Juan Pablo Duarte Museum. I had to stop and see what was going on. The students were making a film about Duarte, one of the founding fathers of Dominican Republic, answering the question “What if Duarte was returned to his country today?”.
Filming at the Duarte Museum
Teli was determined to head towards home even when we saw a giant kitty cat in front of the Centro Dominico-Aleman at the Anime Japon Festival. The girl wanted a picture with Teli and Teli just wanted to keep walking.
Teli and the Anime Cat at the German Dominican Center
The interesting thing was, when we got to the corner where we live Teli kept walking. She went directly past our apartment. She headed to “HER” Colmado, Colmado Omar I. There she went directly to HER corner and she was home. She was content. She was safe.
Teli in her corner Colmado
At the Colmado Teli got some water, I got some beer. Someone bought Teli a little bit of salami. After this she was fine to head home where we could dry off and relax.
I woke up a little late this morning so I could not take Teli out to her normal run-around place. I decided to take the advice of the morning dog group and visit the beach behind Montecion near the port this morning for a change in the morning romp.
Teli really does not like change so it was a bit of a trauma for her to take a right instead of going straight, her normal morning routine. We hit the stairs at Calle las Damas all the while she is looking at me asking “Where are we going mommy?”.
I decided to cross the bridge at the port instead of trying to walk across the road with all the traffic. I made a mistake. I ended up having to carry Teli as she was afraid of the open sides on the stairs. I did not want to take the chance that she would slip out of her collar and run into the traffic so it was best to just carry her. I realized this was a mistake half way up the long…long stairway. I am not in good shape anymore. In my younger days I could have made it up all those stairs, no problem. I need to remember that I am not living in my younger days anymore which from time to time I seem forget.
Walk-way over Malecon to the Port.
I tried to put her down on the top but she was afraid of the open railing which I knew she would be. I just did not want to take a chance of her getting frightened and bolting so I carried her across the top and down the first flight of stairs. That was it for me. She had to walk the rest of the way.
We entered Montecions Plaza and she was doing fine. I was having the problem remembering the last time we were there when Teli jumped out the 2 1/2 floor window. (This is the story – Taking the Jump From Montecinos). Then Blanco and his dad came across the street and Teli was content. Her friend was there to play with her.
We made it to the beach and she and Blanco were romping having a good ole time. Chasing and dodging each other like they love to do.
Teli and Blanco romping on the Montecinos Beach
Then Telis other friend Lula came. The three dogs were having a great time running around in the sand. Playing like they love to do.
Finally, they were starting to were out a bit. Taking a lay-down break here and there.
The dogs were slowing down a bit
I was trying to get Teli to get a little wet in the sea. She wasn’t going for it. Teli was fast at getting out of the way of the wave, I was not. So I got wet. Just my feets and shoes.
I was done after the shoes got wet and went over to the group to share my wet foot story and WAM!! The dogs that I thought were tired were still romping and Blanco crashed right into me! Normally I am aware where the dogs are because Blanco is known for her haphazard crashes, but I was so into my wet feet I was not paying attention.
Stupid me. Down I went on my butt! I am so happy it was soft sand and not pavement. It would have been a big owwie if it was cement but it was just a tiny owwie instead. I even got a scrape where the dog hit me.
Dog crash booboo
I was sitting on the sand with wet shoes, sand all over me, a booboo shin and laughing as the friends pulled me to my feet. I was a bit sandy but all was fine. I will probably be a little sore tomorrow from the fall and more sore from carrying my chicken dog up all those stairs. My poor old back cannot handle alot these days.
Now the thought..Last time Teli and I were at that beach Teli jumped out the window and fell 2 1/2 stories to the, thank goodness, the soft dirt below and only had a few scratches and was sore. This time we went to the same area I fell down and got a little boobo on my leg. Maybe that place should not be blesses with our presence any more. The Booboo Beach does not seem to like us much.
Teli and I decided to go away for the day Billy Jay (my son) died. I like to get away on that day so I do not be in the house thinking too much. I chose Playa Palenque in the province of San Cristóbal. Little did I know that Hurricane Sandy was going to pass by during my little 2-night trip.
I made the reservations in the Hotel Playa Palenque. I stayed there once before and I liked the place. They have a kitchen and fridge so I could save money and take my own food. I took sandwich stuff, cereal and non-cooking items. Except for the coffee. I thought I could use the stove at least to make coffee but they said I couldn’t. No problem, each morning I just asked the girls working in the hotel to make me coffee using my coffee and they didn’t charge me.
I had to take a taxi because they don’t permit my dog Teli to ride n the Guagua. Another no problem. I like taking a taxi because I can take better pictures of the ride. Teli hopped into the back seat, Juan Carlos of JC Taxi loaded my stuff in the trunk and I settled into the front seat for the ride.
There were many good camera shots on the ride to because the streets were filled with pools of water.
Ave. George Washington – Hurricane Sandy
Vehicles plodded through the water on the Malecon in Santo Domingo.
Ave. George Washington – Hurricane Sandy
Most didn’t even slow down. This caused giant waves to appear on either side of their vehicle.
Toll booth – Hurricane Sandy
It made for some interesting riding.
We got to the hotel all safe and sound. Juan Carlos, the taxi driver, helped carry my stuff to the room. I had to carry Teli because they have 2 giant German Shepard’s on the property (sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the dogs). The dogs were not mean to me on my last visit but I guess they are not very welcoming to other dogs in their territory so I had to carry Teli most of the time coming and going.
Hotel Playa Palenque
Hotel Playa Palenque
Orchids Hotel Playa Palenque
The room at Hotel Playa Palenque
We headed down to the beach as soon as I got unpacked and loaded the fridge. We walked down to the waters edge, as close as we could get, to see what we could see. The usual darker waters of Palenque were much darker and the waves were somewhat large. The seas were rough my friend. There was no way we could go swimming or even wading for that matter.
Playa Palenque during Hurricane Sandy
House in Playa Cololindo wishes good luck to all.
We walked up to the Playa Cocolinda to say hi to a friend. We made it just in time. The rains started coming down strong in torrents and the wind really picked up. There were only 2 places open in that section of the beach. No one was there except for the employees. I let Teli free for a bit to check out the area under the thatched roof patio to smell around while I sat and talked to my friend and played with a kitten. I was waiting for the wave of hard driving rain to stop or at least slow down.
When the winds subsided and the rain slowed to a bleak drizzle we walked back to Playa Palenque. I went to the only place open and had myself a nice cold beer while I sat under cover of the large pavilion. The dance floor inside was empty. The chairs were all stacked up. They were putting away the large speakers to protect them from the salt spray. I watched the water and talked to the people working there. Teli was checking out all the stuff and having a good time being free to wander around without getting soaked.
Palenque Beach during Hurricane Sandy
Teli at Palenque Beach during Hurricane Sandy
Teli visiting Palenque Beach during Hurricane Sandy
Sleeping during Hurricane Sandy
Finally we went back to the hotel. We were both soaking wet because as soon as we walked out of the safety of the large thatched roof covering it started to rain hard and the winds picked up again.
I ordered some warm dinner to thaw out up my cold innards and had it delivered to the patio of the room. It was more comfortable sitting there for Teli and I. We could enjoy dining without worrying about the dogs coming and getting my baby. I forget the name of what I ordered but it was beef in mushroom gravy with rice and a salad. It was full of flavor and nice and hot. We both enjoyed.
Dinner on the patio
Later that night Teli and I were summoned to the outdoor restaurant to visit with the owner, Peter. We were having a nice conversation when one of the friendlier German Shepard came over to give Teli the official dog-sniffing check out. Teli was fine at first but the Shepard started getting too close. She jumped up and growled at him! He ran away to the other side of the pool! He was sulking while pacing back and forth as he kept Teli under observation. He finally gave up and went back to his spot at the front gate. I was so proud of my little girl for holding her own.
Hurricane Sandy made herself known throughout the night with continuous rain, wind and lots of nastiness. The hotel has a generator so the lights and fan were always on. I had a cold for a few days and was not feeling my best so I just stayed in read my Kindle, watched TV and listened to the constant sound of storm outside with Teli at my side (I took a sheet to cover the bed).
Ready for the evening
We woke on the 25th, the day Billy Jay died. It was raining relentlessly. There was a pool of water outside my patio. Teli desperately had to go outside to take care of her business. We had to wait for the guard to wake so he could make sure the dogs were kept at bay so I could let Teli out. I gave my coffee to the girls to prepare for me. They brought it to the room and I had a bowl of cereal and then we were off to see what we could see.
The bridge to Cocolindo had been flooded during the night but the water subsided by the time we crossed except for one spot.
There were no businesses open this day on this side of the bridge. All was shut down. It was empty except for a few dogs making their rounds while making it very clear to Teli that she was in their territory.
Boats at Cocolindo waiting for Hurricane Sandy
There were a few people here and there dealing with their daily duties. One family was in the back of their house building a carbon fire, cooking something that smelt very yummy. Another man was fetching water in a bucket coming from a plastic pipe across the street from their home.
House at Cololindo
We went back to he only place open at Playa Palenque and hung out for a while visiting with our new friends.
Palenque Beach – Hurricane Sandy
Palenque Beach – Hurricane Sandy
There was a little chicken seeking shelter from the storm. It did not care that there was a dog in close proximity. Teli had to go and check out the little wet chicken. The chicken did not pay heed to Teli in the least. It just went about chickening, or whatever chickens do.
Hanging with the chicken
One of the guys in the business decided he was going to try and catch the bird. The little spindly bird was faster than he was. They just let it stay.
Chasing the chicken
The rains had stopped for a bit letting the local kids come out and see what they could find in the garbage the rough seas stirred up. All I saw in the trash the sea brought in were shoes and plastic. Not one of the shoes had a match.
Kids scavenging on Playa Palenque
A little thatched roofed Bahia sitting atop a log of palm decided it was time to give in to the waves battering it. It slowly fell over. This is when the owners decided they needed to get the wood from the frame before all was washed into the sea. They were out trying to pull the little Bahia apart, fleeing to safety as each large wave approached them. There were 6 of them pulling at the little hut, breaking pieces off then running to put their treasure inside so it was not washed away. They were laughing as they were getting drenched, as they were not that fast to escape all the waves trying to take the Bahia before they could. It was an interesting battle. I never thought of taking a video.
Saving the Bahia
Nothing much happened after this. Teli and I went to the room and ordered some steaming hot Seafood Stew. When the food was delivered we just hung out in the room for the duration. The rain and wind was much stronger this night. I slept, read, sat on the patio and looked at the nastiness good ole Sandy was generously sharing with Teli and I. I was hopeful that the morning would bring a reprieve from the storm.
I had my coffee, called JC Taxi to come and get us at his earliest convenience, packed up then went out for the last check-up on what Sandy did to Palenque Beach.
Hurricane Sandy at Playa Palenque
Juan Carlos came with his taxi and we were on our way back to see what Sandy decided to do to the outside world while we were away.
We passed Playa Nayajo.
Saw a man trying to fit 2 big cows into a small truck. He heeded a cowhorn (lol), not a shoehorn to get those big heifers into that truck.
Street at Najayo with the cows
Street at Najayo with the cows
There was a small landslide on the street.
Mud on the street
The river near Haina was a bit nasty looking.
Muddy river during Hurricane Sandy
The goats waiting for their turn to be butchered were washed clean by the rains. The ones that already lost their lives were hanging waiting for someone to take them home and make some wonderful Chivo dishes. The meat is tasty I just do not like seeing them before they are cooked.
Goats/ Chivos of Haina waiting
The Chivo waiting to be someones dinner
The sky had a hint of blue and the sea was starting to calm down. Waves were still a bit large. Some of the benches along the Malecon were a little damaged as usually happens when any large storm passes by.
Malecon in Santo Domingo after Hurricane Sandy
Malecon in Santo Domingo after Hurricane Sandy
Malecon in Santo Domingo after Hurricane Sandy
Ship in the Caribbean Sea Santo Domingo after Hurricane Sandy
Seeing Zona Colonial in the distance
Teli and I made it home. The rain did not get in our windows. The ceiling was a little damp but it did not leak. The electric was out for about an hour. All was good.
Another year has passed since my son died when he was 23 years old on October 25, 2003. I cannot believe it has been 9 years already. In memory of my baby boy, Billy Jay Keys, you are always loved and missed. See Billy Jays memorial picture site.