Fantino


Dominican Cana lilyI was working on one of my client websites today, a florist in California and got to thinking this might be a good post for my DR site. During my years in the Dominican Republic we’ve bought flowers from the local florists many times. We’ve decorated a wedding reception, bought flowers and at times flower arrangements for the annual memorial of Jesus Death, hospital visits and yes you can buy your wife anniversary flowers here.

Now granted you can often find some pretty cool flowers growing wild on the side of the road (my wife usually get her ferns for arrangements that way), however most of us guys would rather walking into a shop and let someone else work out the arrangement for us. So here is what I’ve found over the years.

First it seems most towns will have a flower shop. I’ve found them in several of the small towns like Fantino, Altamira and Imbert. (more…)

Mom riding a Baby on a Goat

Baby on a Goat

 

 

I thought this was a cute picture!

 

It’s pretty common to see Goats and other livestock on the streets in the Dominican Republic, but this is the first time I’ve seen a baby ridding a goat. Of course mom is helping.

 

I’m guessing the goat is glad the baby is at least wearing a diaper!

Feeling brave? Or maybe just desperate! Yes, you can get dental work done in the Dominican Republic! If you thinking of moving to a “developing country” likely one of the last things on your mind is getting permanent dental work done while you are here. However when you get here the option is to just live with the problem or fly back to the States (or where ever you are from originally) and have the work done there. That may not be necessary though.

Recently after breaking a molar I needed to make the decision, live with an exposed nerve or get some local dental work done. If you have ever had a broken tooth that was exposing a nerve you can guess that making the decision didn’t take long. Actually my decision had a little other help. Over that last few years I have noticed that several of my friends that travel back and forth to the states have a tendency of waiting until they get back to the DR to get most of their dental work done. The reason is pretty simple, it is a whole lot cheaper to have it done here. But is it safe?

My dental experience in the DR

One thing is for sure, it is a lot different getting work done here than it is back home. First it is a good idea to get some recommendations before you choose which chair to sit in. As in any other country, some people are more skilled and more careful than others. It’s best to find out from others instead of being a guinea pig (more…)

It can be pretty interesting trying to get things to work well in this country. I’ve been working with a new group and we needed to come up with Microphones and a amplifier for the meetings. While this shouldn’t be too difficult to come by it’s the little things like providing clean power that can be a real issue.

Hurricane power HP 450c PA amplifier

After working with an old stereo amp with a mic input (which barely worked) someone donated a Hurricane power HP 450c PA amplifier, sounds impressive huh? Well, the little guy actually works pretty good as long as it gets good power. Something that doesn’t happen very often out in the compos.

At times we get city power during our meetings, but more likely we are running off our generator. City power or “la Luz” is pretty hit or miss here, there is no way of predicting when we might have power or for how long. When we do get power the voltage can vary more than 40-50 volts. Unfortunatly the Hurricane 450c can only take about a 5 volt change before it starts to make popping sounds, cutting out, etc. This is pretty easy to take care of with a small 1000va voltage regulator. I’m using a Sky STDR-1000VA which does a good job as long as the voltage stays between 90 and 130, which usually is the case, but not always.

Running a generator when ever there is no street power can get a little expencive with gasoline at over $5.50 USD per gallon so (more…)

We just had a moderate earthquake in the Dominican Republic. A 5.1 earthquake shook the area around the Coutui, San Francisco, Fantino area this morning at around 10am with the epicenter in Las Guaranas between Angelina and Pimentel. I’ve felt 3 tremors so far this morning, one of them came with a sharp jolt in the middle of the trembling.

This is the first stronger quake I’ve felt here since the one that hit Port-au-Prince Haiti in 2010. While small quakes in the 3.1 – 3.3 range are very frequent in the Punta Cana, ahd Higuey, we don’t often fell them in the middle of the country.

That I have seen in this area there has been little or no (more…)

Mosquito that transmits dengueNew cases of dengue fever have been reported in the small campo town of Fantino de Cotui, Dominican Republic.

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.

Dengue is transmitted by mosquitoes (striped Aedes aegypti mosquito) so one of the best ways to prevent contracting this illness is to (more…)

Cows heading Home in Fantino

Cows heading Home in Fantino

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.

Accident Laws

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…)

Carneceria Meat Market

Can I help you?

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…)

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