?-…Y cuando vas a visitar Republica Dominicana…?
…And when will you be visiting the Dominican Republic..?
I cannot tell you the number of times I have been asked this question from my close Dominican friends, my Dominican hairdresser as well as its Dominican owner, my lomgtime bodega vemdors, staff and owners as well as practically any New York City (my longtime city of residence) Dominican American I have come across with and to whom I openly expressed my love for the Caribbean as soon as they realized that I am absolutely fluent in Spanish (Speaking & Writing) but that’s for another blog story (LOL)!
Let us just say that I had other bucket list destination countries and/or states to visit amongst my various presentations, speaker’s engagements and writing projects as I am not a full time but very much still a part-time traveler. This, as I do not have ONE but rather, multiple diverse passions ever since I was a child! As a result, my goal had ALWAYS been to prioritize Haiti over the Dominican Republic due to Haiti’s (fondly loyally called “Ayiti” by the native Haitians) extremely STRONG AMAZING historical past in being the FIRST EVER SELF-FREED SLAVE NATION and as I, myself am a black woman and am ALWAYS HIGHLY interested in black as much as in multi-cultural history throughout our vast world! I will therefore most assuredly write about my “Ayiti” trip in the near future… But that will be quite a lengthy blog as I have oh so much to write about and most certainly do VERY MUCH look forward to returning to Ayiti in the near future as it is only three hours away from New York City ..!!! …But, presently returning to the beautiful nation of which I am currently blogging about: The Dominican Republic…, let me just state that the total Warmth and Openness of its Nationals, greatly immediately reassured me as I lined up with my fellow airplane passenger (who had already traveled to the DR twice last year and who was even contemplating to move here on a part-time basis as he had made a couple of long lasting friendships with well established locals and expatriates. It is almost needless to furthermore mention that what he most looked forward to on all of his trips to the Dominican Republic, were the women and the partying 😔 as he is still quite young in age! He still nonetheless deserves an anonymous mention from me as he was a great sport in letting me kmow in advance that there was a “cash only” entrance visa fee all Foreign Visitors had to pay the Dominican Customs… Thank God I had remembered to make change of several twenty dollar bills at my bank, the day before my Uber driver picked me up to drop me off at my JFK Departures’ Terminal in the wee hours of the morning…! I should moreover kmow way better as a long time traveler, (as I have been extremely fortunate to travel since my very birth) and thus begin to do my own online research with regards to country entrance visa fees and/or exit taxes’ fees, to be in the loop and be prepared with the correct cash amount when I arrive in a country I have never previously traveled to…!
The reason for my reassurance of the Warmth and Openness of the Dominican Customs was most definitely a positive highlight and awakening for me as I had been pre-warned by a couple of some of my black acquaintances as well as by a couple of my actual Dominican born friends (of various race for that matter), about the subtle racism permeating within the local Dominican society… Most notably, with regards to people of dark chocolate brown skin, like myself. However, to my utter pleasant surprise and all the contrary to my first trip in Haiti (where most of the Customs’ staff were of coffee light brown skin), most of the Dominican Customs’ staff was actually of a darker Indian like or of a chocolate like skin… Some, even darker than myself! That was the moment that I knew I could let my guards down and that I would most assuredly have a Wonderful trip as the female customs’ officer who served me, was all smiles and greeted me in both: Spanish and English: “Bienvenido a Republica Dominicana/Welcome to The Dominican Republic…!”; by welcoming me in her beautifulpredominantly Spanish speaking Caribbean nation :)! :)! :)! …Well, this as long as my shuttle ride was punctual and awaiting for me with the usual airport ride post sign with my full hyphenated name clearly capitalized on it (Double LOL)!