During the siesta hour, a group of gringos ventured out of the Students International compound. We wandered through town because we knew that most of the Dominicans would be taking a rest from noon until two. Our flip flops slapped the pavement as we quietly trooped down the street. Motorcycles whirred by us accompanied by beeping and whistles. We passed houses with people reclining on the porches in the shade. Chickens crossed the street. Trucks growled by us. The new noises and new sights overwhelmed us.
After only fifteen minutes, the majority of our group turned back. Yet, I was determined to explore. I had this feeling that something spectacular was waiting if we only persevered. We turned up a street that split of the main road and began to follow it. Suddenly, I became aware that there was a male Dominican following us. My observations of the male population had not been too positive so far. Most of them cat called at us and claimed to “lohve” us. As we walked, I became like a winding spring getting tighter and tighter with nervousness. The day was fair, though, and we had four girls to his one-ness. As I walked I noticed a tree that had fruit hanging off it, I became curious as to what fruit it was. When I conferred with my fellow gringas, I found that they did not know the fruit so I turned to our very own stalker and asked, “Que tipo de fruta?”
After he responded with “si,” I lost the rest of his response because I was unfamiliar with the type of fruit. Yet, it turned out that he was just a school boy. The other girls began to chat with him and he eventually offered to show us to the top of a hill/mountain. He was a great tour guide and the cat calls that we had been getting changed. The calls began to be directed towards him usually meaning “save one of them for me.” When we finally reached the top of the hill, we were blown away by the beauty. It seemed as though we looked down on paradise. We stood against a barbed-wire fence and peered into a world so very different than our own.
Tonight, I leave you with one thought…. “I lohve you. I lohve you, Americana!” Whatever you do, don't respond.