We've been taking advantage of every weekend moment we have in Boston, as we have so few left. We spent some good friend time this weekend, sharing a Dominican meal at our favorite restaurant Merengue with the friends we live with and visiting some favorite couples we will miss dearly when we move.
It's so hard to believe we are getting on that airplane in 20 days...20 days! SO, to countdown the days and get the Dominican love flowing I am going to share 20 things I love about the Dominican Republic or are looking forward to.
Dominican Hospitality...I have truly never met people more hospitable or friendly than the Dominican people. Spending time together with family and friends is one of the highest values of the Dominican culture. It is part of the culture to invite family and friends over to your house for a visit, and being the guest of honor is a privelege. Oftentimes, the invitation is extended for "Almuerzo" or the mid-day meal. The visit begins with refreshments and conversation in the living room, which is usually freshly squeezed juice from local fruit (pineapple is one of my favorites). Every person I have met there has been genuinely interested in getting to know me and are always eager to ask questions, using their English if possible. After refreshments the meal is served at the table in the dining room, which is always beautifully set with their best linens and serving pieces. The meal ALWAYS includes more food than you could ever eat at one sitting. Typical fare is some type of meat, usually grilled chicken or steak, Plantains (either green or ripe), rice and beans, avocado (my favorite), salad, and vegetables. Any meal that includes avocado picked ripe from the tree is alright by me! After the meal dessert and coffee are served. The dessert might be small Dominican fig candies or flan or Tres Leches, and the coffee is the strongest coffee I have ever tasted. Of course, after the meal and the dining conversation that ranges from family to politics, you want to lie down and take a nap. But, usually we just say a long good-bye promising to see them soon and shuffle off to refreshments at someone else's house for the afternoon, or back to work if you are not on vacation as we were.
It's exciting to think I will be hosting meals in my new home and sharing the warmth of my American hospitality with my new Dominican friends and family. I am already planning on sharing many of my favorite American recipes.
The warmth of the Domincan people is welcoming and genuine. Kisses on the cheek are always exchanged, and no one goes away feeling as if they were left out. I'm looking forward to some good ole' Dominican love.