Sunday, March 9, 2008

June 2007- First few weeks in Luperon

June ,2007- Our welcome to Luperon

Wow!! We’re just resting after setting our anchor and Pat & Carol (Song Bird) who are anchored behind us and Dave & Liz (Carry Okies) to our starboard, have come by to welcome us to Luperon.

Randy went to get Ron so we could clear customs and I have had to flag him down as “Handy Andy” and “Popo”, two locals have come by and told us we are not to leave the boat. They will bring the Commadante to us. Handy Andy will bring us a Dominican Republic flag for $10.US.

As we are sitting in the cockpit waiting for the commadante we see a Beneteau almost directly behind us. Low and behold it is UNWIND. We can hardly wait to surprise them.

By 1115hrs. Handy Andy has brought out the Commadante and another man (later we found out he was the drug enforcement officer). They inform us they are thirsty and need something to drink. (Coors Lite). After filling out numerous forms we are told they also need a gift. ($10US each would be nice)

After this visit Randy goes and picks up Ron as they need to go into Immigration. That was another $63US and they were told someone else would be coming out to the boats from Sanitation & Agriculture. Finally around 1515hrs., they arrived and that was another $20US.

It seems we will get 30-32 pesos per US dollar.

We went and surprised UNWIND and we all decided to go out for a bite to eat. The food was good and we had a great visit.

We had a great nights sleep and this morning went and dropped off two bags of laundry at “Steve’s Place”. Steve’s Place is where we had dinner last night. His wife Annie does laundry at 13 pesos a pound. After dropping off the laundry we went and got water. Non drinking water is free. Drinking water is 35 pesos (one dollar) for a five gallon jug. We also signed up for a month’s internet. ($65 US, but well worth it). Tonight we are going back to “Steve’s Place” for dinner with Derek, Evelyn & Caylin; and Ron, Virginia, Katrina & Caitlyn.
We’ve also started a list of tasks we need to complete. We need a new
battery for the computer, yes, surprisingly it seems to want to continue to work. We need to get the fridge and my hearing aids fixed.

Amazing we have been here over two weeks. We have had to update and extend our immigration papers which means we can stay for three more months. The cost was 300pesos which is not quite $9US.
For approximately $3US we purchased two pair of shorts and a cotton shirt for Rand; and a silk blouse and pair of jeans for myself here at the street "Market". The merchandise comes from the Haiitian border where it has been donated from around the world.

A few of the local children.

What have we been doing these past few weeks? After me being sick for five days and not getting any better we decided to go to the hospital. My main concern was I was constantly dizzy. The Doctor spoke broken English and understood my symptoms which were terrible pain from rib cage to hips, fever, vomiting, no appetite and dizziness. Even with all the water I had been drinking I was terribly dehydrated plus he said my blood pressure was very low. He gave me a package of oral rehydrating salts and prescriptions for an anti-biotic, “poranbyo soup”,(a stomach medicine) and electrolyte liquid. After five more days I started feeling better. As far as the hospital, the people were excellent; very professional, however, the emergency room was not clean. After I saw the Doctor we asked for the bill and were told there was no fee—so we gave the doctor a 1000peso donation. It was interesting though, as we were leaving the hospital I went to the restroom to wash my hands and not one of the three sinks worked.

We always carry water with us, plus we have purchased Gatorade. When we first arrived Dave and Liz gave us bottles of Gatorade when they heard I was not well. This is what cruising is all about; helping each other in times of need.
So what have we been doing? Enjoying every day!! Each morning and night when we relax in the cockpit we get eaten by no-seeums until the wind picks up. The mornings are normally a dead calm with the winds 20-40 knots in the afternoon. We go to town usually once a day. With the fridge still broken we usually have one or two meals a day in town. It’s hardly worth cooking on the boat for what a meal costs in town. For a total of 140 pesos ($2.50US each) we can get Chicken (2 pieces each), a huge bowl of rice, beans(which are similar to a chili that you put on top of the rice) and a coleslaw salad. Delicious! One of our favorite places is "Steve's Place". His daughter Stephanie enjoys her baths in the washing machine.
Saturday's, the cruisers enjoy a game or two of baseball against the locals.
The local fishermen regularly stop buy to see if we would like lobster. 1000 pesos for two.
We've also had a refrigeration company come out to High States to fix the fridge. There was moisture in the humidifier. We were really impressed with their professionalism.
Ohh Ohh—back to reality for me; I’ll have to start cooking again but Rand will have cold Cervesa---got to have our priorities right!!!

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