Contrary to the impression often given in our schools in the USA, Christopher Columbus did not land on USA soil. We researched it a little bit and it doesn’t appear he ever set foot on what is USA soil. Rather he landed on the island of Guanahani in the Bahamas and on his second voyage he claimed the land for Spain all the land occupied today by Haiti and the Dominican Republic. He died in Spain, but his remains were moved several times. The Dominicans claim he is buried at the “Columbus Lighthouse” here in Santo Domingo.
Last week a young man walked into the engineering office of our son Nathan to apply for a job. Because of this interview, Nathan called Jim Nelson, a professor at BYU and discovered that he had a contact in the DR. This contact is Fidel Perez, a high level person in INDRHI (Instituto Nacional Dominicano Recursos Hidrolocos) here in Santo Domingo. Jim introduced us to Fidel via email and we visited with Fidel this week. It was a great meeting and we feel this contact will be a key contact for the water projects we are doing here. We do not feel this was a coincidence. The Lord created this circle to put us in connection with Fidel. He has offered all the help he can, particularly if there are people or organizations who may need a little prodding to get things done. They also have ground water and hydrologic and flood data that will be very important. He will also help us to understand the processes and how to get things done. INDRHI also has some smaller water projects they cannot get to that maybe we can pursue. You are going to hear more about this in the weeks to come!
Figure 136 Drill rig promised by Fidel for our use
Finally after 7 weeks of working hard, we took a little time off to relax. We went with 3 other adult missionary couples to Playa Juan Dolio about a 45 minute drive from Santo Domingo. The following are a few pictures of our outing. The beach was beautiful though the snorkeling wasn’t very good. It was fun to get away.
MOVIE OF JUAN DOLIO BEACH
We tried a little snorkeling, but the water was pretty murky and we only saw a few fish.
We did find a shell occupied with a hermit crab about the size of your fist. It was fun to watch him carefully extend one claw, dig it into the sand and flip himself over. The fun ended when a native came along, waited for the crab to stick his claw out, then the native took out his machete and cut the claw off. He said he was going to eat the claw.
MOVIE ABOUT HERMIT CRAB
Figure 138 Wallace and Edith at the beach