I love reading comments from readers of my book. It is so interesting to see how we all become connected to the Dominican Republic. I have lived in Santo Domingo for the past 4 years and absolutely love life. Thanks for all of your comments!


It brought back a lot of memories.  I was a Mormon missionary in the Dominican Republic from 2006-2008 and very much liked living there even though it isn't always a perfect place to live.  My mission required me to move a lot, so I ended up living in three different locations in Santo Domingo and one place in Los Alcarrizos.  I also lived time in the "campos" of Nizao and Azua, and even though I never lived there, I spent considerable time in Bani. 

I actually think about the country a lot and while I probably wouldn't want to live there again I would most definitely like to visit.  I want to share some of my experiences that I had while I was down there.  First, I absolutely love the people down there, they were usually very nice people to me.  I never found myself worrying as much about safety because most Dominicans respected me as a man of God, even though very few really cared about Mormonism.  Actually many of the tigres tended to make friends with the Mormon missionaries, that helped things a lot.  Even when Dominicans didn't want to hear my religious message, they were still polite. 

I remember one particular family whose whole house was the size of my college apartment living room, they were pretty poor, but not much more so than the whole "callejon".  The father answered the door and before I could say a word he told my companion and I that he didn't want anything to do with my religion but that we should come in and sit down because his "wife" (few people were ever legally married) just gone done boiling some platanos.  We had that with rice and beans as we watched a baseball game on the television, which as I remember, may have been on top of the refrigerator.  It was a pretty good time. 

People frequently offered to feed us out of the goodness of their hearts, sometimes we felt bad since we were actually pretty well off ourselves, but sometimes it almost felt worse to turn them down too so on many occasions we accepted their offers.  I remember on another occasion being fed by one of our churches' less active-members and her non-member boyfriend during the fourth game of the Dominican League Championship series between Licey and the Aguilas.  We actually had mondongo that night, although I want to say that there might have been pig intestine in the soup as well as kidney.  I don't remember it tasting all that bad actually.  Anyways, I have always been a sports fan so I chose from the very beginning to be a Liceista.  Even though my hosts lived in the capital, they were originally campesinos so they cheered for the Aguilas.  We had some good natured banter back in forth until we left their place for the night, they informed me later that the Aguilas won.

Another thing that I really like to do there when I wasn't preaching was play dominos.  When I lived is Nizao, and occasionally in Azua, my companion and I would sometimes look for just two people playing dominos and join them.  I don't think we were ever turned down once.  I became a pretty good domino player, but if my partner was American and we were playing Dominicans, I only won once.  They are good.  I also enjoyed the New Years celebration.  Our religion prohibits alcohol and my mission had a tight curfew, but I still enjoyed the atmosphere.  Once I bought some mini firework-like things and set them off on my roof.  I always looked forward to the actual fireworks that people would set off throughout the town.  I have only one more story to share.  I lived down there during the presidential campaigning for Leonel, Miguel, and Amable.  One night while walking the streets of Santo Domingo, there was a really large truck that drove down the street with a huge stereo system blasting music really loud (the only volume there) and the occasional campaign slogan.  That in itself isn't unusual for there, but as it got closer to me, I saw that there were tons of girls in the bed of that truck cheering and making noise.  They were dressed essentially like cheerleaders and waved pom-poms and everything.  Political campaigning in America can be something, but there it sometimes felt more like a sporting event.

I'm sorry if these storied bored you, and I'm sorry for writing so much, but I thank you again for the pictures and articles that you posted.  I look forward to reading and seeing more.  I would particularly like it if you could post some pictures of people playing dominos on their special domino tables, kids playing beisbol in the streets with crumpled juice cartons or on rough fields (I don't find it pathetic, it actually makes me smile), and maybe a picture of a Dominican street market.  Really though, any pictures that you post that remind me of that place would bring a smile to my face.  Thank you.

Laramie, WY

Hey Scott!

Thanks for the note.  I appreciate it a ton.  I remember very well the elections you talk about and was also blown away by the trucks with their blaring music and dancers!  I know exactly what you mean when you describe how kind the Dominican People are.  I am often amazed what they are able to give out of what little they have...

Although I do not normally send emails with photos to people, I just happened to have taken a couple of pictures this week I think you will be particularly fond of. 

#4676 & 4678 are beach front of Nizao (last weekend)
#4905 is down town Azua (taken Thursday)

I'll try to take some more local type pics.  I usually try to take pictures that show the huge cultural and income differences.  I am also adding some content on my site about the various holidays... we'll see how long that takes!

Thanks again for the note.

I hope you are able to visit the DR sometime.  I have several friends who served missions in the DR 10-15 years ago.  They all say they'd like to come visit but none of them have ever returned.

All my best.


I hope you will enjoy me on my adventure living in the Dominican Republic. Buy a book today!