HERE IN THE RAINFOREST, 2009

March 9, 2009

What? No entries for more than a year? The six major events that came to pass since my last journal entry are as follows:

*The European Union, bless them, gifted my nearly impassable feeder road with a cement two-wheel track all the way from the end of my driveway to the main road. For three months I trekked ever further to reach my transport, which was eventually parked 1-1/2 miles away from my home, bearing loads of groceries, dog food, propane tanks, etc. But boy was it worth it! The new road isn’t perfect, but it’s a helluva lot better.

*Due to the improved road, I resurrected the guest house. I’m getting French families because of the two bedrooms and the pool, and I find them delightful and intrepid. They appreciate my cooking, and, despite the rainy weather, I get a chance to take them hiking while practicing my French.

*Unfortunately, the last litter of puppies had a lot of problems, perhaps due to the cold, wet weather. There were plenty of vet bills involved, and I’m beginning to wonder if I have the emotional, physical, and or financial stamina to keep on trying to breed nice dogs.

*Speaking of financial difficulties, the bank in the US lost ¼ of my income in last year’s banking crisis. Luckily my social security kicks in at the end of this year. I’ll be 62 and SS actually asked me if I wanted to wait so I could collect more! Are you kidding? I want it NOW!

*Since dogs seem to be the main focus of my existence lately, I write about them. I sent out several a queries for my a collection of short stories for young adults, Mutant Mongrels: Six Hair Raising Tall “Tails” of Extraordinary Dogs and Their Human Companions to literary agents in the States. Wish me luck!

*And best of all, the bare-eyed robin began to carol yesterday from the edge of the forest, a sure sign of a drier, warmer spring.

December 24, 2009

Let it be known to all those concerned that as an American I do not vote in overseas elections. It’s illegal according to the US, and somehow it wouldn’t feel right despite the fact that I have been a Dominican citizen for the past ten years.

On 18 December, 2009, the Dominican Labour Party led by Roosevelt Skerrit won the hastily called general election by a virtual landslide. DLP retained 18 seats in Parliament as opposed to 3 for the Opposition. Disgruntled minorities  on the radio  wonder if their fellow countrymen are serious Dominicans or merely Dummies-in-a-can!  Ha! Gone are the days of Dame Eugenia Charles and her well-orchestrated alliance with Ronald Regan, PM Edison James and his grass roots association with banana farmers, and even Rosie Douglas’s maverick socialist vision. By re-electing Skerrit, Dominicans gave thumbs up to government’s coalition with Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Alba, and Petro Caribe. They also sealed our commitment to a One China policy by kicking out the Taiwanese. Élas, they even agreed to a fishing partnership with Japan, including the hunting of whales.  

The victory celebration will surely continue through the New Year. But here in the rainforest I prefer to concentrate on peaceful living instead of robust politics. The spirit of Christmas is in the air regardless of the heat generated on the campaign trail. Days are crisp and clear, and the nights are moonlit and star studded. The chatter of parrots, the rush of the river, and the cool breeze blowing across the ridges and ravines make the nearly hysterical red and blue flag waving by the roadside seem irrelevant.

But don’t worry. It will take much more than convoluted politics to make me lose faith in the essence of this beautiful place that I have adopted as my home. Long live the true essence of the Nature Island of the Caribbean—green, unspoiled Dominica!

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