Sunday, January 5, 2014


Christmas is a big deal in the Dominican Republic.  Dominicans start celebrating with songs and decorations in late October and don’t wind down until mid-January.  We learned a Dominican Song named “Con me burrito sabanero voy camino a Belen”.  (With my plainsman burro, I’m on my way to Bethelehem).  Maybe someday we will sing it to you.

 The day most anticipated by children is 3 KINGS DAY, one of the biggest traditions in the Dominican Republic.  This is the day children receive gifts, not Christmas morning.

On January 4, children write letters for the 3 kings informing them of the gifts they want.  The letters go under the tree, on their bed or they give them to their parents.  On January 5th grass and water for the camels and food for the wise men is carefully put under each little bed for these wandering overloaded eastern travelers to eat during their nocturnal visit.

The next morning happy hopeful children are up at the sliver of dawn to discover the gifts left by the 3 wise men.  (no it isn’t gold, frankincense and myrrh).  The grass, water and food have been eaten of course.

As far as we know we haven’t had any camels visit our house this year.  Maybe it is because we didn’t put any grass and water under our bed?  Oh well, there is always next year.

Here are a few things we did do in a not so busy week.
We visited one of our partners ASODIFIMO who was able to remodel their kitchen using Humanitarian Funds.  It should help them do their work benefiting the poor a lot better.
We made the mistake of paying this young man $100 pesos to polish our shoes one time when we were walking the neighborhood.  He now stocks our neighborhood waiting for any opportunity to polish our shoes.  On this particular day he saw us driving in the truck 4 blocks from home and ran down the street following us until we got home.  Well, we got our shoes polished again.  He does do a nice job.
This is Mario one of our guards.  He is a very nice man who usually has a gun and watches out for us the best he can.  In the background is Jose, the neighborhood conundrum.  He hasn’t tried to convince us he is God lately, but he never loses an opportunity to beg for something.  He has a lot of people who stop by (or are stopped by him) who get lectures about life along with predictions and warnings, kind of like a palm reader.  A financial contribution is of course expected.
Here we are at IKEA pricing out things proposed by one of our projects to help a hospital.




  1. It nice to learn of other traditions. It is wonderful that they celebrate Christmas. It IS something to be very happy about! We look forward to seeing you soon.