We're in Love! We're in Love! And We Don't Care Who Knows It!

Hud closes out a wave in the Pauhana Surf Competition. Photo Credit: Chameleon Creative Arts  Truer words were never painted on a co...

Hud closes out a wave in the Pauhana Surf Competition. Photo Credit: Chameleon Creative Arts 

Truer words were never painted on a concrete electrical post.

A great big ocean with great big waves makes it easy to get lost, and sometimes its just more fun to share a wave with your friend (Hudson and his amigo Alex)

Background: "LG the Master" shares his endless knowledge of the sea with the curious and willing. Foreground: Our friend Diony.

Trav's Mom Ginger and her husband Tom came to visit us. They arrived the day after Hurricane Irma and stayed through Hurricane Maria.  That's a whole lotta hurricane!  With them, they brought treasures from the US, such as... 
The new camera we had ordered! (As seen in Jen's glasses).

And  Jen's new Swatch, which is obviously fascinating and of great interest to all...

This talented Hatian woman walks around with 20lbs of fruit in a large bowl balanced on her head. She will slice you up a fruit salad at a moment's notice with her machete.  

La Chabola ("The Shack", pizza restaurant extraordinaire) is one of the zillion reasons why it is going to be hard to leave Cabarete and return to our boat.

Johnny making pizza magic.

Finally, an energy drink for strippers.

Somehow this returnable bottle of tonic water did not get the memo that all beverages need to be made from nonreturnable plastic so we can throw them on the ground at the beach.

Tom enjoys an introspective moment at the Belgian Bakery.

One of the big reasons we decided to hang out in the Dominican Republic for the hurricane season is that the protected Luperon harbor makes an excellent hurricane hole.  When a storm heads towards the north coast of the DR, many boats seek protection here by burying their bows into the mangroves and tying a bunch of lines to the stout mangrove trees.  Mangroves are smart things to tie your boat to in a hurricane.  But what about tying your boat to a...

...half-sunk dock?!? We are not sure of the mind set of "Wayward Sun".  Our limited hurricane preparation experiences have led us to steer clear of sinking docks and grounded sailboats (note the powder blue one in the background) when a storm approaches.

Hurricane Maria was forecast to peel off the north coast of the DR before it reached Luperon.  So we  decided to keep Moxie on the mooring ball and deploy a couple of extra anchors (just in case).

Luperon harbor
Hurricane Day! When the wind cranks and the sea gets mad, its time to....

...have a bunch of friends over and have a hurricane party!  And these guys can dance.  

"Can we play with playdough on the floor?"  Sure, it's a hurricane party! Anything goes.

Serious reconsideration going on about the party playdough policy.
The day after the party.  Compared to how other islands have suffered, the damage here in the DR was nothing.

Vivian took Grammie horseback riding in the mountains!

Cheese puffs make any dog your best friend .

This guy was not having it, any of it.  We now know what "squealing like a pig" sounds like.

Beautiful views on our horseback ride.

Good byes are tough.

"That bridge has a dent in it, and another and another."
P.S. We drove over this bridge.
I would say this girl has a little raccoon in her.  Once they taste the trash it's hard to get them back to the pasture.
Circus school is a bi-weekly obsession for Hud and Viv.  Here's Viv's first go at the silks.  

Waiting for Aunt Sarah to get off the plane.

Jen & her sister Sarah, windsurfing it up.

Hud's first windsurf with the harness!

We loved having Aunt Sarah here!  
And it was so sad to say goodbye.  Especially since right after we dropped her at the airport...

...our car wouldn't start.  6 or 7 random strangers attempted to help us get one last start out of our cheapo rental car.  These guys worked on the car for a solid 40 minutes.  NOTE TO THE WORLD: 98% of humans are kind, helpful, and generous.

Pool time is the daily, late afternoon ritual.
We were so lucky to spend time with some of our Telluride friends who were working on a film here in Cabarete.  Thanks you Suzan, Stash, Jim and Doug for the fun  (and all the juicy T-ride news we've been missing out on).

Here's Sadie rockin' her new shell collar at Encuentro.  Now she can hang in style with the other beach doggies.

Viv loves to catch waves with her pal Cairo.

We are so proud of our surfer girl.
In a gorgeous cave in El Choco National Park

Jumping into a pristine cave pool at El Choco

Cave swimmers, post leap
Ever had a sweet little crush?  It starts out innocently enough...a few walks on the beach, a delicious dinner or two...but it's just a fun flirtation, it's not like it's going to turn into anything serious. In fact, there a bunch of things about your crush that totally irritate you, such as... My crush drives like a maniac!  My crush needs a stronger appreciation of art! My crush could maintain better hygiene! And you say to yourself "This is fun for NOW, but this could NEVER be a long-term thing." And then, out of the blue, something changes.  You get to know your crush on a deeper level.  Your crush starts to really open up to you.  You realize how much you and your crush have in common.  A lot of the things that used to bother you about your crush now seem...endearing. And then, it hits you.  Your heart pounds and your palms get sweaty, and you realize, "This is no crush. I AM IN LOVE."

This is what has happened to us.  The Moxie crew is head over heels in love with Cabarete.  If you had asked us two years ago what was our favorite place on earth, we would have cheerily answered, "Telluride, of course!"  Well move over, Southwestern Colorado.  We met a new babe, a badass one and a real looker to boot.  It's still too soon to say that she's THE ONE, but it has crossed our minds to start looking at rings. 

The PEOPLE of the Dominican Republic have stolen our hearts, hook, line and sinker.  Just about every Dominican you meet will smile at you in an explosion of sincerity that involves all facial muscles and displays every tooth.  (No U.S. tight-lipped, perfunctory half-smiles here).  Dominican smiles elevate your entire day.  When Dominicans smile at you, even (and especially) complete strangers, it feels like they are saying, "I See You.  I acknowledge that we are sharing the same place and time on earth, and I'm glad that we are."

There's a bumper sticker in Colorado that we're not fond of.  It proclaims, "NATIVE" inside an outline of the state.  This sticker seems to say, "You might like living here, but I am FROM here.  Therefore, I belong here in a way that you do not."  (Trav says he's going to make a NATIVE sticker that's in the shape of the earth. I like that one better.)  In Cabarete, no one makes you feel like a tourist.  In fact, it's the opposite-- we've found that locals here really appreciate the fact that you like Cabarete; they seem to find joy in your like-mindedness.  The locals here have treated us with the utmost kindness, warmth, and kinship.  Dominicans tend to live simply, and from what we've observed, they live happily.  The vibe is casual, relaxed, nature-loving and family-oriented.  There is very little in the way of "keeping up with the Jones'" (an American friend of ours recently told us that since she moved here no one has ever, not once, asked her what she does for a living).

In our 6 months of living here, our family has relished the opportunity to learn Spanish.  We have many friends that speak no English and it's these awesome relationships that have pushed us as a family to keep making connections and grasping new phrases.  My Espanol has been seriously tested lately as I've begun teaching dramatic play classes at Charlie's Foundation (charliesfoundation.org),   a local educational organization for local children aged 3-14.  (I can't wait to start sharing some photos of my students.  They are among the most beautiful children on this earth, I swear.)  I will share more about my Cabarete drama teaching here in a future blog post, but for now I will tell you: I ABSOLUTELY LOVE being a drama teacher again, especially having been given an opportunity to put my skills to such valuable use.  I am exhilarated! Thank you, universe!!!   

Like many romantic tales, our Cabarete love story will eventually come to a bittersweet end.  We did not embark on this sailing trip to stay in one place, after all; the point is to SAIL.  And we do miss living on Moxie and all the challenges and sweetness she brings.  This crew is getting soft living in our cushy, air-conditioned pad and when it's time to shove off, I know it will feel right. (Because when things get too easy, history has shown us that we are not on the right path.) The plan is to get back to Luperon and live on the boat starting in December, and shove off for Puerto Rico when the wind allows.  When we leave our beloved Cabarete, I know there will be tears.  
Breaking up is hard to do.

Thank you, sweet reader friends!  We love you!

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  1. Nice work Jen! You and Travis are doing such good for your youth! Love

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Tom! And thank you for reading :)

  2. I love reading your stories, Jen. I'm at the Luperon Puerto Blanco Marina, so I may see you soon. Jam sessions at Putula's Wednesdays at 2 and the Marina's Las Velas on Mondays at 4. See you there with your ukuleles!

    1. Hi Jamboree! We are looking forward to seeing you again and we are definitely in for the jams! :) Take care & see you soon!!


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