Cabrera

14 03 2010

Our resort borders the small town of Abreu.  West of Abreu is Rio San Juan, the fishing village which we wrote about previously, and east of Abreu is Cabrera.  This past week our friend AR brought us to her home, introduced us to her family, and showed us around Cabrera.

Note to our parents: read the next paragraph at risk of parental worry.

We were going to take the guagua to Cabrera, but Amy has always been antsy about waiting around for the bus (there are no real bus stops anyway) so we began walking down the main road toward our destination.  After walking for about five minutes, Jay thought he spotted the guagua coming and Amy proceeded to flag it down.  Turned out it was a local guy in a pick-up truck who lived in Cabrera and was on his way to the slightly closer town of Catalina.  He ended up taking us to our destination, for which we happily gave him the money we had allocated for the guagua.  Amy got the thrill of hitchhiking, which she hadn’t had since living in Israel years ago and we took an ~10 mile trip for about 75 cents each.  Note to parents, since you clearly read this paragraph:  These parts are pretty safe and we wouldn’t hitch a ride in Santo Domingo.  Rest easy.

As we were standing in front of Caribe Express waiting for our friend to meet us, we wandered into the local ‘Supreme Court’ across the street.  Amy snapped a photo in the courtroom with a security guard, in the process noticing a crucifix prominently displayed in front of the bench.  As the security guard escorted us out, he invited us to come back to watch some proceedings the following day.

AR and her sister came to pick us up on their motorbikes about ten minutes later.   As we hopped on, Jay wondered how his riding on the back of a female’s bike would be perceived in this male-dominated society.  We drove through town, which was surprisingly beautiful, and stopped in front of AR’s house a few blocks from the ocean.  The house has three rooms, each about 10′ x 8′.  One of the rooms (a bit smaller) was the kitchen, and the other two served as living/dining room and bedroom – for seven people*.  The bedroom had bunk beds, with two people sharing each bed.  AR, age 19, is the sole breadwinner for the family.  We went for a walk along the ocean, came back to a great homemade lunch in the living room, and then went on a tour of the town.

Our tour covered the library, school (education in Cabrera is free up to age 18), park, jungle waterfall, ambulance / fire department (the ambulance was donated by New York City!), and hospital.  The hospital seemed like a blast to the past, but Jay was excited to see the ancient autoclave and operating room.  Amy’s exciting find was the local ice cream truck: a man on a bicycle with a cooler on the back of his seat and cones hanging off of his left handlebar.  He rang a hand-held bell as he rode through town.

We had a great time and the guagua back was uneventful.  As a side note, it’s clear to Amy that the all-gay takeover of the resort is in full swing, as toilet seats in all of the resort’s public bathrooms are being consistently left up.  What can ya do?  🙂

*Seven people, plus a chihuahua and a cat with 15-day-old kittens.  They were nursing when we got there and I tried to snap some flash-free photos of them in the dark room.

Jay, AR, and Dili (AR's sister) by the Atlantic

Jay, AR and Dili (AR's sister) by the Atlantic

Authentic Dominican Food! (We Still Can't Figure Out How to Make Rice & Beans This Good!)

Authentic Dominican Food! (We Still Can't Figure Out How to Make Rice & Beans This Good!)

Newborn Kittens!

Newborn Kittens!

The Dominican Ice Cream Truck

The Dominican Ice Cream Truck

Operating Room Equipment & Drugs

Operating Room Equipment & Drugs - No Way This Would Fly In the States

The Ancient Autoclave (Used for Equipment Sterilization)

The Ancient Autoclave (Used for Equipment Sterilization)

posted by jayhorowitz and amybetho
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2 responses

15 03 2010
Freely Living Life

I bet the food was amazing!

I LOVE the ice cream truck.

The operating room looks…..um…..scary?! LoL.

Sweet post. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. ❤

15 03 2010
jayhorowitz

The ice cream truck was awesome. Amy figured out pretty quickly what it was, but I had no clue until it pulled up.

Regarding the OR, holycrapiknow! I don’t know if you can tell in the photo, but those plastic cups with masking tape on them? Those are containers for drugs. Written in faded pen on the masking tape is the name of each drug. You should see the whole room, you’d love it 🙂

That said, the hospital we stopped at is way better than some others we’ve seen while traveling.

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