On the Sunday walk-about yesterday it was just way too hot and humid to do much walking about. I took a few pictures of what people around the Colonial Zone were doing to beat the heat.
Tag Archives: water
On this World Water Day it seems that we will have rain for the next 4 days, how ironic.
Do we really need it? No
Can we change it? No
So, here is what we do when it rains here in the Colonial Zone of Dominican Republic.
The view from my balcony right now.
If you had a choice and you were not afraid of having to be “adult” or “grown-up” or “responsible” where would you rather be? Under the porch with the frightened hoards of humans or the pigeon on the rooftop enjoying the feeling of the water flowing down your back? I am with the bird!
I have been living in this country for about 10 years now. Even the time in the middle years when I had to go back to USA for a time I still lived here because all my stuff was here. Anyhow, I only had hot water in the very first apartment I lived in for six months in Ensanche Julietta.
I remember when I moved in and could not figure out why there was no hot water in the kitchen when the shower had hot water. I was checking pipes to see if maybe it was turned off or was broken. I saw nothing. So I called the landlord. She spoke a little English and I spoke very little Spanish at that time. I tried to explain to her that the hot water was broken. She went in the shower and checked and said it was working fine. I took her into the kitchen and turned on the hot water facet and nothing came out. She started laughing at me. I had no idea what was funny. No water came out and she would have to fix it. Was that funny? Then she explained it all to me. The ole imaginary light came on above my head. The only place in the apartment that had hot water was the shower. Hardly anyone had hot water throughout the house. This is the way it is in Dominican Republic.
So when I moved to the Colonial Zone to my new apartment there was no hot water at all. But then half, or more than half, the time there was no water at all. I learned to bucket shower and run a hose from the facet in the street to get water. Then the last place I had we had water in the morning only so it was shower early when there was water pressure or bucket shower. If the water was too clod just had to heat some on the stove.
Now I moved to this new apartment. There is almost always water. The pressure is good. So I guess I am a bit spoiled now. I do not want to heat water on the stove when it is really cold. I want to take a real shower with hot water. So, for my Christmas present from my parents this year, I got hot water in my shower.
It was too expensive to put in a hot water heater tank and we could not figure out all the pipes in this old building. So I opted for the shower head with the heat coils inside. It was the easiest way to install hot water.
My shower is really small. If I drop the soap and ave to stoop down to get it I have to get out and pick it up. Its about the size of a refrigerator box and the ceiling is really low too. So it took some finagling to get the shower head in where I didn’t have to take a shower on my knees.
My Fit-it, repair man Rudolf, is wonderful. He came on time to check out the situation and to see what he could do to get me hot water. He thought he could get me a hot water tank but I did not have enough funds for that. So he said he could fix the pipe in the shower so I could stand underneath and shower in comfort.
He got all the pipe in. Got the heater hooked up. turned it on and pop! The fuse blew. When he checked the fuse box the fuse was way to small to handle the wattage so he went and got a higher amperage fuse and put it in. When he had the fuse box open I was totally amazed with what I saw inside. Whoever did the electric work had the wiring all electric taped together. I never in my life saw anything like that before. But I shouldn’t really be surprised with the way stuff is done here. Yet every time I see the wiring, in houses, businesses and in the streets I am just amazed.
So I got my hot water all hooked up thanks to Rudolf and took my first hot shower in my apartment. I was so content. I will not use it all the time. Only when it is cold and there is no sun to heat the water in the pipes. Electric here is very expensive and I do not want to run up my bill. But it is so nice to know that I gave hot water when I want it. Thanks to my mommy and daddy for the Christmas present and to Rudolf for fixing it for me.
By the way, I highly recommend Rudolf if you need anything done. His business is called Xpress Dominicana – (check the link for more information about the Handy Man Services) Maintenance and Handyman Services. He does Repairs & Maintenance, Handyman Service, Major & Minor repairs, Painting, Re-Refurbishments & Upgrades, Project Co-Ordinations, Moving & Packing Services, Point Of Sale Installations, Prepare Home for Sale or Auction. Commercial & Residential Cleaning Service. He speaks English which was a really big help. My Teli, The Dominican Dog, really liked him too! His contact information is: 829-665-4144, 829-474-4144 email@example.com. Tell him Janette, The Dominicana Gringa sent you!
I know I have not written in a while so let me see what’s been happening.
I did move into my new apartment(Aug. 8)and love it here. I am still living in the Colonial Zone. There is still a problem with the filtration. There are a few leaky pipes. There is a spot where the water is dripping from the ceiling. But the biggest leaking problem is on the outside wall in the living room. There is water underneath the paint and making little bubbles in the paint. There is one spot where the water broke through and seeps out. I have to keep my mop here to absorb the water and wring it out each day. I don’t like it but it is an older building and this is common here, especially when the rent is not that expensive and the landlord really doesn’t care to repair. You get what you pay for.
Other than the water drippage I am so content. It is so nice that I can spread out. Not like before just having a single room to live in. I love having my very own bathroom and a real kitchen. I even put my computer in my home so now I can work out of my very own home whenever I wish. I also have a web cam of the view from my window. The view is a bit limited now because the cord is not long enough to reach all the windows but I’m working on that. (Thanks Frank for the cam..your wonderful!)
I am just so content here. The big problem is that I really do not care to leave. I have spent days without even stepping outside. If I really need something to eat or drink I just call the Colmado to deliver. This is a good and bad thing. I don’t have to get dressed to go out but I am gaining weight and could easily become a real recluse. Maybe after I’ve been here for a while Ill start wanting to go out again but for now I love just staying home.
The move was an experience. I was going to call Apollo Cargo but the guy at the office said to use the neighbor. He would charge $1000 pesos less. So I waited and waited and finally around 3PM the guy came home and we started moving. Another neighbor helped him.
I stood guard at the truck while the guys carried the stuff down the flight of stairs and I arranged the stuff in the truck. We made the first run and the guy in the street infront of the new apartment saved us a parking spot. I was in the apartment and the guys carried everything up to the 3rd floor.
The second trip some friends came to help out. The moving guys were starting to wonder why they took the job for such little cash. I told them I had lots of stuff but they didn’t think all that stuff could fit into a one room apartment. At the end of the second trip they were getting really tired and grouchy.
Making the last load they were banging stuff around and not paying attention. They broke the bottom board of my bed. They scratched up my fridge. They also were going to leave my washmachine and stove at the downstairs door and not carry it up until my friends saw and made them carry the stuff up.
All in all it worked out. I did pay them $1000 pesos extra, the same I would have paid Apollo.
I was only missing a few things. Stupid things. A rubber exercise band and a metal exercise ring. Also a multicolored luggage strap that I saw the helper guy wearing as a belt the next week. I didn’t say anything to him but I looked at the belt and smiled and he got a weird look on his face. He knew he was busted. (I saw him the other day and he was wearing the strap as a belt. He looked at me then his hand went to the belt and he grinned.)
I wish I had my camera to take pictures of the truck piled high with all my stuff but it was in a box and there was no way I was going to make those guys stop and let me dig into a box when they were running like crazy to get me moved it.
>This storm left much of Santiago area devastated. They opened the Taveras Dam on the Rio Yaque Del Norte releasing about 5000 cubic meters or water per MINUTE in the middle of the night causing many people to be caught unaware. Having to leave their homes fast in the middle of the night without any electricity to see must have been terrible.
There are pictures of people standing atop their homes and one of a person sitting in a tree with fast running water surrounding it.
Here is a video taken on the Puente Hnos. Patino bridge spanning the Rio Yaque Del Norte.
Here is a link to a thread on DR1 with many pictures.
This picture has circles where there are people stranded.
Here is the link where there are many more pictures taken this morning in the barrio of Bella Vista in Santiago that are just amazing to view.
This video is from the television just to show the force of the water as it was being let out of the damn
I just cannot believe the government did this without warning the people better. There have been lives lost. Who is responsible?
>I did buy the machine. Heres the story I wrote soon after my first laundry experience. Hope you get a good laugh reading it as I did when I worte and experienced it.
Dominican Wash Machine!
Well, I did it! I bought a Dominican wash machine. I never used a semiautomatic before…wash machine that is. For those of you who don’t know what this Dominican wash machine looks like…its plastic, light weight, has a place to wash on one side and the other side is a spinner to extract the water out of the clothes. I never saw anything like it in USA!
Getting this thing delivered to my house was not as bad as I thought it would be. Using the machine was another story indeed, it was much worse than I ever could have imagined. Lucky for me the instructions were in English or I may still be trying to interpret them. I had so many dirty clothes I couldn’t wait to use my new machine.
I proceeded to unpack this fine, what I thought would be, a great and helpful purchase. Since my place was so small I figured I’d just slide it over to the sink to fill and drain it from there. I slid that baby right over to the sink. It was very light. I pulled out the hose, attached it to the back of the machine then went to hook it onto the spigot. Dumb thing didn’t fit. Now I had to think for a minute and come up with a new plan. Ah Ha! I attached the garden hose to the outside facet and drug it into the house, stuck it in the machine and commenced filling my fine plastic dream machine.
As I stood back, content, waiting for it to fill, the hose got a life of its own. It flipped right out of the tank. I was right on it! I got the floor a little wet. But hey! No Problema! The floor needed a washing anyhow. I put that wild, whipping hose right back in the tank. I wasn’t going to let it get the best of me.
With the tank filled and the soiled clothes agitating wildly in the tank, I was content. All seemed to be going well. The soap was bubbling nicely. The clothes were going to be happy clothes for being washed properly once again.
The first cycle complete I get the supplied drain hose ready so it can do its job. The hose is connected to the bottom of the machine without problems. Then I put that expandable hose in the sink. This made me have to face the next problem. Water doesn’t flow up hill. Imagine that! I always thought I was pretty smart but at that moment I knew it was not so. I set the hose down on the floor to think of what to do and to my surprise all the water started running out onto the floor. Now I was feeling really feeling stupid as the soapy water was flowing, quite rapidly I must say, out onto the floor! It took me a few seconds to think of what to do. Then it came to me, run outside and shut the water off, big dummy!
You could never imagine how much water can drain out of a hose in a few seconds! I had a small pool in my home by this time. I got my trusty bucket, that because of some strange enlightment I had the brains to buy. I put the hose inside. The bucket filled up faster than I had anticipated. I had to think fast, how to empty it, hold the hose up, and get it back into position without adding to the flooded floor. Well, let me say, I didn’t succeed in my attempt. The small pool was growing rapidly and becoming quite a large pool rapidly. As I lifted the bucket to the sink the water would spill out on the floor. I decided it was futile and just let the water flow onto the floor as it desired. Maybe this is why I see the Dominican women sweeping water out of their houses into the street all the time.
Now the water was emptied from the tank. I got out the directions and read again. They said to remove the clothes from the big tank and put them in the smaller tank. This is the water extractor or centrificar (I think that is how to spell it). I turned it on and it was spinning fast. Then water started pouring out of the machine onto the floor again. So that is what the spinny thing did. It removed the excess water. It did make the clothes quite dry. I was impressed. Much dryer than the hand wringing they were used to receiving. I was really gaining some intellegence this day for sure.
The first load was done.I made clothes clean and created a pond all at the same time. I was doing great! I swept some of the water out the door and I was ready to give it another try. Now that I was a seasoned pro and had the technique down I was ready. I had this thing all figured out, I thought. I decided not to sweep out anymore water just incase it happened again. I had to save my strength just in case there were any more mishaps.
I got the hose in the machine went out to turn on the water. The hose popped out again, but oh well, the floor was already a pond! The machine did its job again and as before it was my turn. The drain hose popped off again.
This time the neighbor was walking by my open door. She saw me on my knees in the flooded kitchen with water shooting out of the machine. I was laughing out loud to myself. She stopped and had a look of shock and amazement blended together on her face. I’m sure she was thinking what is that crazy Gringa doing. She said something, I have no clue what it was because it was all Spanish to me. She started laughing also. Then, of course, she went and got two other people to come see the Americana kneeling in a pool of bubbly water in the middle of her kitchen. They were laughing at me. I was laughing at me. Everybody laughed!
What was Sniffy doing? She heard the laughter and she always loved a good laugh. Her tail would wag and she’d get in what we called her horse shoe position. Her back end curving around almost touching her face. She really had no clue what was going on but she wanted to be involved. She came out of the back of the apartment, stopped at the edge of the pool looking very confused yet happy (she did smile). I don’t know how she knew it was the edge of the pond when she was blind. Many times she amazed me, She then decided to enter the water, slipped and fell right in. My poor blind wonder dog Sniffy. Now there is a wet dog and a wet human. People laughing at us from outside the door, and water everywhere. What a site it was.
I was feeling good. I had my first load of wash done. It was hanging on the line on the roof happily soaking up the sun and swaying in the gentile Caribbean breeze. I had a good laugh. Entertained the neighbors. Sniffy and I both had a swim in our own little pool. Sniffy got a bath since she was wet already. The water was swept out of the house, floor and patio clean.
I called the Colmado to bring me a few beers. I had to sit back and reflect on my new experience. I was proud and content. My first Dominican laundry experience and I survived. I just never realized how much water a little plastic wash machine held! I hope this doesn’t happen every time I wash or I’m going back to hand washing…it takes less time
Copyright © 2002