Luckily they recognize me from my Facebook-pictures, and scream out my name. The airport-hallway is full of Dominicans with flags and signs, and I must have looked confused as I’m coming out of the departure-exit. Or so they describe me. The two sisters Sara and Sabrina, born and bred in the Dominican Republic (DR), have invited me to stay with them and their family.
The reason for this generousity is the girl I just recently left in Venezuela, Marit Nore. She had an exchange-year with this family when she was 16, and now the family is treating me, a complete stranger as a familymember! I figure they must have liked her.
They are actually three sisters: Sabrina, the design-student (21), Sara, the recently graduated medical-student (24) and Sadie, the banker (27). And even though two of the three sisters are in serious relationships, they as most Dominicans live at home. Sadie even gave up her bed for me during these days. Meaning she now shares room with her two other sisters. The three smart sister sisters are so sweet and hospitable, and so are their parents.
What else? They laugh of me because I don’t take sugar in the coffee, and they don’t understand why on earth I wear a seatbelt in the back of the car in one of the most traffic-crazed countries in the world. They watch soap-operas in bed and their family’s dog is a bit sceptical towards blondes. The family’s fights always results in laughing.
The city: Santo Domingo, the capital populating 2 of the countries 10 millions citizens, is much cleaner than I pictured it to be. And turquoise waters surrounds the city-wall, which in Spanish colonial times was protecting for piracy. The new city is very americanized, with US chains and brands. The old city, zona colonial, is a beautiful area that buzzes at night with bohemian bars and merengue-dancers (another of those sensual Latin danceforms). Speaking of which… In order for the Dominicans to be able to get some privacy, there are special motels everywhere, where you can rent rooms for the four-hour timeslot “regular” or the two-hour timeslot “express”. All transactions are handled through a hole in the wall with cash only. So you’ll never see the receptionist, who hands out condoms and towels at check-in. The motels, usually located closely together, lights up in all blinking colors at night. Looking much alike a little Vegas in the city.
All in all: I love the sisters and their family, and the quality-time they spend together has triggered my longing for my own family. Once I’m back home I’m gonna do my best #20 to see much more to, and just hang out with, my brother, his lovely Marianne and my parents – pluss the rest of the Kveim/Wilberg-clan.
I like the city. I love zona colonial. I think the privacy-motels are strange but understandable, knowing most of the Dominicans lives with their parents. I, so far, like the Dominicans. And I am very excited to be in the country. MK likes DR!