Saturday, May 19, 2012

Los Elecciones

Week ending 19 May 2012 of the exciting Adventures of the Haws in the Dominican Republic features the Dominican Republic National Presidential Elections--- Los Elecciones!

There isn’t a living Dominican that isn’t intensely interested in national politics—they take it serious!  We were advised to not leave our house from Saturday to Monday.  The elections take place on Sunday, because there are numerous rallies in many places across the country.  Historically they frequently turn violent and blood flows.  If you know a native Dominican in the US, just ask him about national elections.

                                                            Figure 121 Danilo Rally House
We were headed home about 7 pm Thursday night following our normal route on Penson to Delgado then right, then left, then right, then left, then right to our house (sorry we don’t know the names of the streets because they usually aren’t posted on smaller streets.)—it usually takes us 15 minutes.  It took us over an hour to drive the last ¼ mile because our route crossed Bolivar just ½ block north of a platform erected to give political speeches.  The street intersection was packed with young men and some young women all carrying signs of their particular party affiliation along with a big stick. It was one of the biggest tapozon (big traffic jam) of our experience.  You have to drive pretty aggressive in that situation and ignore all written rules of driving.  With passions at a fevered pitch, it wouldn’t take much to turn a “gathering” like that into a mob if they meet an opposing rally--blood can flow.  We were glad to get home.

On our way home Friday we narrowly missed the biggest rally of them all not more than ¼ mile from our house on the Malacon.  We shut ourselves in the house and listened to loud speakers, fire-works, guns and then explosions (probably cannons shooting into the bay) until after mid-night. 
We are anxious for the political powder keg to be over as we explained in a previous blog.  If the current government is overthrown, or if there is a “Segunda Vuelta” (2nd voting) our neonatal training in the hospital will have to be postponed.  If there is a change in the government, all current officers in the hospital may change and we lose all the great contacts we now have.  Furthermore, the current Minister of Infantile Health gave us permission to store the equipment that was shipped in for the training to be at our house instead of a government warehouse because things tend to disappear if there is a change in government.  Offices and warehouses are typically stripped of anything valuable with a turnover in the government.  No big deal.  It is expected.

As we were taking our morning stroll we found a flag for Danilo, one of the presidential candidates on the sidewalk.  Here is Wallace sporting the flag and his new Dominican haircut.

                                                         Figure 122 Wallace with Danilo Flag

In honor of the national elections, Edith is going to fix the National Dish, La Bandera for dinner on Sunday.  (Rice, Hubichuelas (beans) and chicken.
                                           Figure 123 Wallace in front of our home at #5 Casimiro de Moya

Wallace noticed a survey marker just outside our gate at #5 Casimiro de Moya, Guzcue, Santo Domingo.  We talked to an “Agrimensor” registered land surveyor and found out there are monuments all over the city to control land ownership similar to the US, but their description is more of a meets and bounds description.
                                                         Figure 124 Wallace looking at survey marker
                                                                        Figure 125 Survey Marker

We also were given a different car to drive.  Wallace was hoping for a Jaguar, but we settled for a Toyota Corolla.
                                                                 Figure 126 Edith with new car
           We take a different route each morning on our morning route.  This little garden patch is a pretty rare site.
                                                                             Figure 128 Corn patch
PROJECTS:  It is a great blessing for us to have the power in our hands to work in defense of the poor in this country.  The Church has turned us loose to identify humanitarian projects and a lot more latitude then maybe they should have to accomplish what we find.  The good Lord has directed us in many directions including clean water projects, wheelchairs, old folks homes, hospitals, schools, food projects and others.  We simultaneously are working on a number of projects in companionship with local charitable churches and organizations.  We consider it a great blessing in our lives to do this.  If you want to get involved, an easy way to do it is to donate money to LDS Philanthropies.  Most of the money goes directly to projects benefiting the poor in many areas of the world, because the people administering it are people like us who are paying their own way to administer the program.  We purchase items made within the country to support the local economy as well as avoid tremendous import fees and miscellaneous charges, if you know what I mean.
Wallace continues to endure ear problems.  “I am trying to endure with faith and patience all things that the good Lord sees fit to inflict upon me.  I am reminded of so many of my personal friends, and you know who you are, who silently and patiently endure their personal trials.  I am trying to work hard and do the right thing even though it is very difficult at the present time.” 
We appreciate your prayers on our in behalf and recognize that even in the few short weeks we have been here, the Lord has blessed us with many interesting and unique experiences.  Our lives have been changed in positive ways that will last the rest of our lives.
We appreciate all of you who are watching over our property, our affairs, our business dealings and our family most of all.  May the Lord bless each of you in your own affairs!
There you have it!  In spite of illness and limitations caused by the elections we had another great week of HawsDRAdventures.  Stay Tuned!!!


  1. Love you reports. You're in our prayers.

  2. I don't think that you should be seen with that flag, sounds dangerous.

    Get report. Thank you.

  3. Mixing political and religion sounds dangorious, holding a forgien flag? be careful...

  4. Do you get to go to the big Nacional sometimes? They usually had great vegetables when we were there, including some really big cabbages a lot of times, and two different kinds of cilantro. The papayas are out of this world there, not at all like the ones I remember from Mexico in the 60's. They had a lot of onions there, and I think garlic. Those are good for ear ache. I don't think that habichuelas are though (too bad)!