Expatriate English Blinds me in Dominican Republic

How should I explain this travel tip? I was blinded; I became deaf here in Sosua, Dominican Republic, I could not hear the local talking. There is a great Expatriate Community here in Sosua, that appears to have it clubhouse in Rocky Hotel and Restaurant.

This place is great, I rolled into town, it was raining, and this Hotel is the Center of the Backpacker Universe, in a country with almost no Backpackers. (Funny how these clubs are always at the cheaper Hotels.) I tried to get a 25 Dollars room, (aagh) but the Hotel was full. I used it as my staging area to find an apartment for 300 dollars per month. However, after talking for just one-hour to the Expats hanging around the common table. I was willing to commit to paying an apartment for one month. This was a first in 12 years, I do not commit this easily, unless I know I can enjoy the place.

No Conversations in Haiti
After being in Haiti for two months, I was starved, I needed to talk, I emotionally needed to talk in a normal fashion, and the Creole language of Haiti had isolated me for too long.

I joined the Expats Clubs; I became Cultural Blind to the Dominican Republic people.

Sosua, Dominican Republic --- Sunday, January 17, 2010
By Andy Graham of HoboTraveler.com
Travel Gear

Cultural Blindness
Cultural Blindness ignores cultural differences, holding an expressed philosophy of being unbiased, and perceiving all people as the same, I forgot we are different. Pretty much, I just accepted Sosua and stopped searching or trying to learn about the local Spanish-speaking people who live in Sosua, we were all the same, why would I need to talk with them. I did not ignore them, I just did not seek out conversations, and I was having conversations with the convenient people.

Water Problem Caused by Earthquake
I have water problems in my Apartment, in the afternoons, the water stops. I thought it was just normal shortages of water in Sosua. Moreover, it could be that, I do not expect the locals to tell me the truth, which would be naïve.

I turned on the water last night, there was no water. I turned on the water this morning in the shower, no water. I have water in the sink, but not in the shower. I want to fill up that bucket, use my water heater, and then take a dip shower. My apartment does not have hot water, but that never stops me, I always take hot dip showers.

Wife of Freddy Filling Buckets
I was typing on the computer, trying to avoid watching CNN talking about the Haiti Earthquake. I could hear buckets being filled. I wrapped my beach towel around myself, walked out and I see there is a queue of water buckets waiting to be filled. What was happening, the lower level faucets had water, but there is probably not enough pressure to make it rise to the shower spout.

Freddy does not like questions, so I have not asked him about the water; he already got frustrated with the questions about the intermittent electricity. Therefore, I asked his wife,
“What is the problem with the water?”
“Que esta la problema con agua?”

I truly do not like explaining, I speak Spanish.

I always carry this five-gallon vegetable oil container, it is essential gear.

She says,
“The earthquake broke a big pipe on Monday.”

Six Days of Blindness
I have been blind for six days to the real lives of the locals in Sosua, Dominican Republic. I was assuming it was normal water problems. I had not talked enough with the locals; I was using only the network of Expats for my knowledge of the area.

I have known for years, Expats can be oblivious, almost in denial of what is happening in the lives of the locals.

Truly the expats normally believe they know more than the locals, why would they inquire. Normally there is a huge hole in the vision of Expats; they wish to remain blinded to the situations of the locals. They truly just want to live in their modern little island they make, inside the Dominica Republic.

I try to avoid this, trying to say to myself, if I have the desire to make everything the same at the USA, I should move back to the USA. The value of being an expatriate here is to cut my living expense in half, and enjoy the beach. However, normally the goal of expatriates appears to build little islands of the developed world inside another country.

If you do this, you will become blind. I did not realize the earthquake in Haiti caused a problem with the water lines for six days, I was blinded.

Expatriate English Blinds me in Dominican Republic


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I'm surprised this is the first time in 12 years you've committed to a monthly room rental. I remember reading on your site somewhere a few years ago you recommending this as a way to reduce costs. Considering shelter is a significant portion of a travelers budget, I guess I assumed you had monthly arrangements from time to time in the past.

What would you say is the minimum amount of water you could get by with, yet still get an adequate dip shower?


Dip showers has been on my list of Tips to explain for years. There is a guy here that runs the site.

I hope to talk him into video recording a couple of tips using this bucket.
1. Shower
2. Washing clothes.

I need three Liters to shower, but half that bucket works good. If I do 3/4 it is a great shower. It take longer to heat the water, this is a problem. I am 110 here, the heater is 220, so slow.

Daily Need
4 Liters. - 1 for drinking, 3 for shower. This is minimum, but truly 8-10 is correct.

When taking a bath, I stand over the bucket, allowing the water first to get me wet and drain into the bucket. So I conserve water, but then to rinse, I must alway start at the top of head.


Off topic, someone sent me this link, which I was unfamiliar with. Has potential in the 45 seconds that I looked at it. www.maxpedition.com

As far as being blind, that is a good thing from time to time. Sort of like going on vacation. it explains, to some extent, what the typical tourist does. Get away from it all, even if *it all* is surrounding you. Better for your health than Jack Daniels. Just don't stay blind for long, or you will end up permanently blind.

Bob L

Cut yourself some slack. You won't stay blind for long. Nothing wrong with renting a room for a month, base camp if you will.

You made me realize ... looking back now I see I never am more than a half day from a Hotspring, my preferred bath, jjj. The Original. Just left one, a 5 min walk away. Is this a Tip?

Pretty good earthquake here this morning - no damage.

Thanking my Stars -- and hanks for all the hott water

- Chris in "Pana", GT

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