Gloriously Grateful, Occasionally Grouchy: Our Lives in Cabarete

September 1, 2017.  Right before our family paddle out to the reef. Yup! That's a swing AND a pool at the restaurant. And to ...

September 1, 2017.  Right before our family paddle out to the reef.

Yup! That's a swing AND a pool at the restaurant. And to think in the States we go out to dinner to just eat.


Hudson  and one of his new best friend, Sebastian from the Cayman Islands. They ripped up the surf until the sun went down. 

Double Decker.

You're not getting the full ride unless you're riding them all the way to the beach.

Waiting for CHINOLA!  (AKA passion fruit juice).
Viv and Hud began CIRCUS SCHOOL last week and the two of them are both completely hooked.  Their weekly class includes floor exercises,  trampoline work, and trapeze.


"He'd fly through the air with the greatest of ease. That daring young man on the flying trapeze." (This photo was actually taken from ANOTHER trapeze, separate from the Circus School, that Hud checked out a few weeks ago. Yes, there are actually two flying trapezes in Cabarete, which is kind of bizarre considering the size of the town.)

Back to school! In addition to joining the circus, Viv began 2nd grade and Hud 5th grade last week.  Homeschooling has started with a bang. 

Watching the action on Kite Beach.

One of our favorite  fruit and vegetable stands in downtown Cabarete.

The Ives family from Telluride, Colorado were in Cabarete for some kite surfing and of course, to determine which family  deserves the title "Noodle Battle Champions of the Caribbean".

Vivian cast her vote for her favorite fourteen year old boy on the planet. (Good work, Nate Ives).  Josh, Vivian is still taking considerations for favorite fifteen year old boys (I think you've got a solid chance).  The Ives joined us at the best pizza place in the world, La Chebola.  This restaurant is owned and operated by two Spanish guys that have been friends since childhood. They work all day at their other full time jobs and then go make pizza all night, six days a week.  Their pizza is undoubtedly the BEST we have ever had on this planet.  This no joke.   Even Jen, who typically avoids carbs like they are poisonous, will happily inhale a giant calzone at La Chebola (and then eat the kids' crusts).   

Winding down with a little ukelele action

Cafe Fresh Fresh.  Jen is all about a place that  serves a yummy salad in a huge bowl for $4.00.

Picking up plastic trash on the beach.  Hey world, did you know that plastic lasts billions of years and when you discard it it floats up on a beach somewhere and makes it look like crap, so let's stop using plastic. (OK now that that's settled  you should finish looking at all the other cute photos below.)


Viv is all about windsurfing!  Actually, we all are.  It's definitely one of our favorite family activities.
Hud  makes everything look easy.

Sometimes German tourists get their kites stuck in palm trees. ..

...and then a local kid with some sweet tree climbing skills and a lack of acrophobia climbs up and makes everything happy again at the beach.

"Smile, guys!"


Baseball!  To be honest we were never remotely fans of the sport, but when you're in the DR and your pal Hansel is pitching a playoff game, you go.  And what an amazing scene: there's a cockfighting arena behind us, a banana plantation adjacent to right field, and a cow pasture behind center field. There's one umpire who's charged with the daunting responsibility of keeping the whole thing from going off the rails, which is not easy considering that the fans watch from THE PLAYING FIELD and walk out to the ump when ever they question a play, joining the team who just cleared the bench to also argue the play. (This occurs constantly). The atmosphere at these games tends to get seriously heated up, but that's ok because "Hansel is so hot right now! Hansel!" (The Zoolander quote we can't help repeating every time we hang out with our buddy).  And oh yeah, Hansel not only pitched the whole game but also scored the game winning hit!   
7 AM, dawn patrol.  Hitting the waves before the wind picks up, always a good way to start the day.

Hola Amigos!  It's been 4 weeks since we returned to the boisterous and BITCHIN', ridiculously RAD, hella HOT and ludicrously LOUD Dominican Republic.  Cabarete and its surroundings still feel like a buried treasure that we are uncovering bit by bit, and it's so much fun to keep exploring here, having tons of new adventures and meeting lots of wonderful and fascinating friends.  We feel lucky to be here and we try our best not to waste a single day-- there's a lot to see and do and we want to devour it all, lick the experience plate clean, if you will, like a 6 month pregnant woman at a Las Vegas buffet (I've BEEN that woman so I feel it's appropriate for me to make the analogy).

Facebook and Instagram (and even blogs like ours) can lend people's lives a rosy, glossy veneer.
A slice of life that is Fresh from the Package.
Tidy.
Sanitized.
But you know as well as I do that all of these picture-perfect snapshots do not begin to scratch the surface of the whole enchilada. And let's be real about enchiladas: they look delicious, but there's always a gross little pool of cheese grease under all that sauce.   In the interest of honest writing, I feel it's important to mention that not every waking minute of our adventuring is pure bliss.

For example, there are things from home that we really miss. A big one for us is SKIING. Skiing runs deep in our family culture (we put Moog on skis at 22 months for crying out loud!), and although we are definitely enjoying this endless summer, we are still missing our favorite sport. One day in Maine last summer the four of us were on a walk and found ourselves at the top of a steep gravel pit.  We looked down from the high, rocky edge and were all silent for a moment, our thoughts unified.
Hud said it first, "I'd totally ski that."
...to which Trav replied, "Pick your line."
And Hud enthusiastically proceded to tell us exactly where he'd turn his skis all the way down that hill, what tricks he'd do, how fast he'd go.  We all stared at that little potential ski run, WILLING it to be snow-covered, imagining our feet with their long, slender appendages, and we heaved a collective, wistful sigh.

There are other missing pieces in the puzzle of our traveling lives.  I for one, miss art, and specifically THEATRE.  I miss being involved in creative projects, and I miss and having daily conversations about theatre and about all things weird and wonderful with my funky, art-centric community.  Since we began traveling, I've learned that the majority of the world is NOT art-focused the way Telluride is, nor are the arts so universally celebrated or prized (or even discussed!)  I miss having theatre in my life and I'm going to do something about it.  I reached out to the director of the Mariposa DR Foundation, a non-profit organization in Cabarete that provides educational and cultural experiences for girls.  I am going to start volunteering drama classes for the children there, and I can't wait to start.  Teaching theatre is what I know best and what I do best, and I need to be giving back to this community while we're here.  And I also know that teaching drama again will be a really good way to feed my soul.


One of the hardest things we've found on our travels is how to process the daily horror show we subject ourselves to via the political and social news from home (read between the lines: Trump).  So many times in the past weeks, we've found ourselves banging our heads against the wall in total frustration and despair.  We've felt helpless, watching so much hate and ineptitude spew out from our "leader", damaging spirits, pulling our country apart at the seams. We've spent a lot of time sharing stories we've read online and commiserating about how unbelievably awful it all is. For a solid week, the US news consumed us, and the results were not good.  So just today, Trav and I made a pact.  We can't begin our day reading the news anymore.  It starts us off on the wrong foot.  We can't change what's happening there.

We need to stay focused on the here and now, and the here and now is this sailing trip.
It's Hud and Viv, and striving, with every cell in our bodies and every spark of our imaginations to make their days here remarkable and filled with love, each and every one.
It's homeschooling creatively and surfing with gusto, and starting Spanish lessons.
It's cleaning the plastic off the beach every day.
It's buying medical supplies for the security guard who is covered in cuts and who lost fingertips from a motorcycle accident and who can't afford Neosporin.
It's asking people we meet to tell us their stories, and it's listening to what they have to say.
It's reminding ourselves that we worked hard to get to this point, that we don't have an infinite amount of time to be traveling, and that making the NOW count is our priority and our obligation.

That's it for now.  Thank you for your listening ear (or, I guess, your READING EYES would be more correct). We appreciate you! Thank you! xo  







  

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1 comments

  1. We've been thinking about you guys! Hoping you came through the hurricane safely.

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