Dengue also called “breakbone” or “dandy fever” is a serious disease that causes high fever and intense joint and muscle pain. More serious cases of dengue can also cause bleeding gums, sever pain behind the eyes and red palms and soles.
Something you have to get used to while driving the rural streets of the Dominican Republic and sometimes even the streets of the larger towns, is sharing the streets with livestock. The term “when the cows come home” refers to the way a cow (usually) just ambles along at a slow pace, and really takes meaning when you find yourself coming up to a herd in the street that is completely unaffected by your desire to pass.
In most cases the owner of the herd is nearby and will try to get the animals to move to one side of the road so you can pass, this has various degrees of success depending on what is distracting the cows at the time. So, this often means weaving through the cows if you’re on a motorcycle or waiting till they pass if you’re in a car.
Weaving through a herd of cattle can be a little nerve wracking at first. Some of the bulls are very large and as you sit on your bike, you find yourself looking up to the head of the Bull or at best eye to eye with a set of horns. Considering that he might take offence to you getting between him and his harem this isn’t exactly the most comfortable place to be.
Really though, the animals are quite used to people and motorcycles and if you don’t do anything to startle them, you are usually pretty safe. I just try to take it slow and anticipate which direction the individual cows might decide to take.
Accidents are frequently caused by animals in the streets, especially at night. With few street lights in the rural areas you often don’t see the animal until you are very close. While the speeds people travel here are relatively slow compared to the States (usually 20 – 40 mph), this can mean a lot of damage and at times death when there is a motorcycle accident.
One typical case that recently happened in my area was a motorcyclist traveling at night who hit a horse in the street. This accident left him paralyzed from the neck down. (more…)
Something many foreigners have a hard time getting used to is buying meat. If you didn’t grow up on a farm then likely your version of meat is those neat little Styrofoam and plastic wrapped containers you find at the supermarket. Now, if you happen to live close enough to a larger supermarket like Jumbo or La Sirena then you can continue to view your meat as always sold in those neat little packages, but for the rest of us in the Dominican Republic…
Welcome to the Carniceria, The Dominican Meat Market!
Now, just to put this to rest, that angry looking guy in the image to the right, That’s Just for show!. Yes they do actually use machetes for just about everything including cutting meat. However, this guy is the owner of one of the meat markets in Fantino de Cotui and is actually very nice.
It’s not just about the Meat!
Well, it is just about meat, just not what we would always call meat. If you look closely in the picture you will see that there are hooves of, well something, on the counter. It also isn’t strange to find goat heads, cow heads, pig heads, you get the picture. Most carnicerias sell chicken, pig, and goat meat as well as beef. You can also find a lot of the other body parts that are not as frequently used in the States (well, except for in Hot Dogs).
Choose your Chicken!
Chicken is also a little different experience. At times they already have several chickens slaughtered, other times you can pretty well pick your chicken which is running around in the back of the store, they catch it, take it out back and 5-10 minutes later after the bird is killed, bled, and plucked it comes back to be chopped up with a machete, you pay a little more per pound if you want the innards cleaned out. A word of warning, stand back as they start chopping, or expect to get spattered!
Most places bleed the chicken properly, but if you notice the meat is pinker than normal you might want to ask them to try again and this time bleed the chicken longer.
Bleeding the animal is also a problem with pork. Most pork you find in the meat local meat markets is not properly bled. Many Dominican like the blood to remain in pork so the animal is often strangled or killed without bleeding it afterward. (more…)
Well, did the shaker wake you up? At about 2:40 this morning (8/4/12) we had another earthquake in the DR that made it over 4.0. The 4.3 earthquake was centered about 7km NNW of Piedra Blanca. That made it about 8km ESE of Bonao, 23km South of Fantino, 24km SouthWest of Cotui or 58km Northwest of Santo Domingo. Basically, if you draw a straight line from Santo Domingo to Santiago and find the point on the line directly in the middle of the two cities, you will be pretty close.
Personally, I slept through this one. and didn’t know it happened until I got the report from the National Earthquake Information Center, US Geological Survey.
So far there have been no damage or injury reports and I am guessing that this quake was too small to cause any real damage.
Antony Santos is coming to Fantino December 10th 2010. Who is Antony Santos and where in the world is Fantino.
Well let’s start off with who is Antony Santos. He is one most famous Bachateros in the history of the Genre. His career started off in the early 90’s with the now famous Bachatero Luis Vargas. He is widely viewed as responsible for changing Bachata from the once poor people’s only music to the present day popular music that is listened too around the world.
This is rather important seeing Bachata is not only a genre of music, but also a popular dance style. If you have been to the Dominican Republic you have definitely see the influence Bachata has had in everyday life. (more…)
In most of the smaller towns of the Dominican Republic like Fantino and others the people are very friendly, laid back, and social. When walking down the street it is expected to greet everyone that you pass by, that includes the many people sitting out in front of their houses in small groups talking.
Greetings very somewhat. The standard of course being “Hola” or hello. As you walk passed, it is also common to use “Adios” or goodbye as a greeting. Some will continue with “Como Esta Usted” or “how are you”. Often though you will get another greeting, it’s not uncommon for people to know just a little English and they love to practice it. So don’t be surprised to many of the standard English greetings.
While they see foreigners fairly often, we are still a bit novel to them. You will very often hear people mutter (or even shout) Americano as you walk passed, often you will hear it repeatedly from the group. Don’t take offence, for the most part people here like Americans and other foreigners, this seems to be more of a form of entertainment not in any way an insult.
O Yah, there are a couple more greetings you should expect to hear. First if you are white you will hear Rubio (male) or Rubia (Female). This is really a term meaning a person with blond hair. However, it’s applied to most people with light skin, you will hear them even call their lighter skinned Dominican friends that. The other you will hear gives the impression you just stepped on a snake. (more…)