Monday, August 5, 2013


 The real Dominican meal-not bad tasting, but watch out!
Although this past week was calm compared with last week, we ended up eating more meals prepared by Dominicans than ever previously done within a seven day period.  Edith usually prepares the meals at home and it is not easy to find foods that we really enjoy when we go out to eat in restaurants.  Tuesday we were invited to the Reyes home to discuss the chicken project.  We had a great meeting, and then at 8 p.m. the food started to appear.  8 p.m. is pretty much normal time for a family to eat their evening meal here.  Hermana Reyes prepared a meal of chicken in a traditional sauce, a mashed plátano casserole (mangú) dish with cheese over the top, leaf lettuce salad (only leaves with a dressing) and French bread (I haven’t learned what they call it here).  Tasty although it was quite sweet.
Thursday we were back in Monte Plata pouring cement.  Ramon showed us the Dominican way to mix concrete.  They pour the bag out directly on the ground and add sand and water.  “That’s the way it is done here!”, he said.  Wallace about had a “heart attack” when Ramon used a pick to dig and mix including plenty of dirt from underneath.


Since everyone else was busy with the cement, Wallace decided to build the door.  He was pretty proud of himself when he had it framed out.  This is his first door to build.  How about that!
We thought we would sneak out before an invitation to dinner arrived, but as we were loading the truck to leave, the oldest daughter called Edith into the house and next thing she was told to sit down and handed a plate of rice, beans and chicken (“the bandera”).  The meals are served without anything to drink, but that is okay with us.  The Gerrero family is one of the few that have a running water hose just outside their kitchen door.  We’ve learned too much about the water, which many natives here claim is potable. We always bring our own water.  Poor families do not have money to buy bottled water. 
Saturday brought an all day trip, traveling two hours Northeast of Santo Domingo to the community of San Francisco de Macoris. The Stake President there asked us to come check out two new projects.  The Hospital San Vincent de Paul is a public hospital that we did a project for last year.  Both photo therapy lamps that we donated are not working.  To us it appeared that the fuses had been burned out.  The real problem may be the electricity.  With electrical surges and unexpected outages, medical equipment can be quickly and easily damaged.  The hospital has been unsuccessful getting the vendor to check the equipment.  A good brother in the Stake will check out the electrical outlets.  If the electricity checks out okay, we will talk to the vendor.

This pre-mature baby has a place to lay its head and has a fighting chance for life because of the equipment we donated to the hospital.  It kind of helps remind us that maybe we are doing some good.
We visited a young man in the psychiatric ward of the hospital who grabbed hold of us and insisted that we pray for and bless him.  President Garcia and one of high council members anointed him and gave him a priesthood blessing.  We left him grateful and a good feeling that comes from good experiences.
Hogar Crea was the second project we looked at.   Hogar Crea is an addiction recovery group.  They requested materials to help them get started in a mop production project.  Their goal is to become self-sufficient through making and selling “suapes” (term for mops). 
Wallace might have gone crazy, but we took out a little time to relax at the Cacao (Coco) Farm where they grown the cacoa bean and make their own delicious chocolate.
Our missionary friends, the Dunfords came with us and we had a great time touring the farm and of course ate our third Dominican meal for the week!
This meal was actually very delicious—rice, chicken, lasagna and shredded cabbage with tomatoes and cucumber.  Most amazing was the chocolate fountain that drizzled chocolate over different kinds of fruit for dessert. 

Chocolate covered mangoes----really good!  Fresh chocolate is really good!
Here are few pictures taken during our tour of the cacoa farm and chocolate factory.

A cacoa bean pod still hanging on the tree.  They grow right out of the trunk of the tree or branches.
 The following is a ripe pod with beans ready to eat.
And here is Edith sucking on a bean.  They have a sweet pleasant flavor.
Edith and Jill Dunford watching the finished product being put into plastic molds.





  1. Let the cacoa flow....onto mangos, plátanos (guineos), fresas, manzanas, peras, o cualquier fruta....Another good blog. But aren't you getting use to the Dominican cuisine. We rather like it.

  2. I would love to visit a chocolate farm and factory.
    I don't think you are going to want to come home.