The Punta Cana Post

The Dominican Republic was lovely. We had sun everyday except for the wedding when it rained a little. But as they say in Spanish boda lluviosa, boda dichosa – and in French as well, mariage pluvieux, mariage heureux – a rainy wedding is a happy wedding. So first, let me say ¡Felicidades! and Félicitations ! to Mike & Cassie.

We stayed at the all-inclusive Riu Palace Macao resort, among four other hotels in the Riu complex. The all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant served practically everything. The weather was amazing, and the water was crystal clear. I was surprised at how many German tourists there were, and in fact, most signs were translated into German before English. It was nice to hear so many languages (especially ones that I can understand much more than Spanish), including Quebecois French.

Hotel

As for weddings at the resort, I couldn’t believe how nosy people were. The wedding took place in a little gazebo on the beach, with the chairs in front for the guests. You’d think people would know enough to stay away so they wouldn’t be in pictures, but no. (And yes, there are topless women on the beach…) Some even ran up behind the chairs and took a few pictures while we were all standing there. Why would you want pictures of other peoples’ weddings?  Even trying to take pictures on the beach was a hassle as people kept walking behind us.

Traveling to a Spanish-speaking country renewed my interest in learning Spanish once again, of course. I first started learning Spanish in middle school and ever since then I’ve always had an inexplicable affection for Latin American Spanish. Maybe it was just the images of sunny Mexico or the fun games we played in class to help us learn useful phrases like dónde está la bruja? that stayed with me. I know if we ever move back to the US, I will want to live near Mexico and seriously become fluent in Spanish.

Beach

And if I ever go back to the DR, I’d like to see Santo Domingo. Punta Cana is really just full of hotels for tourists. But Santo Domingo is the capital and a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it was the first permanent European settlement in the New World. It would be nice to leave the hotel and explore the city and learn more about the history and culture of the country.

Water

But it is hard to not think about how poor the Dominican Republic really is. Even though it is the top tourist destination in the Caribbean, most of the money goes to the corporations that run the resorts and not to the actual citizens or government. It’s obvious when you look at the countryside on the ride between the airport and the hotel with its abandoned buildings. And the Dominican Republic does share the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world.

Trees

I’m glad we were able to go, even if it was a very short and expensive trip across the ocean. I would love to see more islands in the Caribbean but I honestly don’t know if I can stand the long plane rides and annoying customs/border agents who interrogate everyone like we are all criminals. No wonder so many Americans never leave the country! And can someone please explain the logic behind going through security AGAIN as soon as you step off one plane and enter the stopover airport? I just went through a metal detector in Geneva, is it really necessary in Paris? Do they think I picked up a knife on the walkway between the airplane and the airport??

All 70 photos can be found at the Punta Cana, Dominican Republic Photo Album.

Back from the Dominican Republic, and back to work

We have made it back to France safely from my brother’s wedding in the Dominican Republic. I will make a real post soon as I am too exhausted to type right now. It’s back to work tomorrow so I’m off to bed. Palm trees on the beach in Punta Cana

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Off to the Dominican Republic

Bye! Be back Monday night!

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Les Jardins Secrets de Vaulx

About 30 years ago, a couple (Nicole & Alain) decided to buy and renovate an old, dilapidated farm in the countryside of Vaulx, around 20 km from Annecy. This is what it looks like now. Each grandchild even has their own fountain dedicated to them.  Coolest grandparents ever! Les Jardins Secrets is open everyday (even […]

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Sunny Easter Day in Annecy

I even got sunburned a little while reading out in the yard. But first we played with Mélina. I’m not a particularly baby-friendly person (I know virtually nothing about babies except for the fact that I do not want one), but I make an exception for my niece. I only speak to her in English, […]

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How do we feel about Vincennes?

David received the paperwork so that he could put the cities in order of preference, and for the Paris position, it is actually listed as “Vincennes – Institut de la gestion publique et du développement économique.”  I know Vincennes is right outside of Paris and very densely populated, but do you think it’s a place […]

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Which will I hate the least? Bobigny, Cergy, Evry, Versailles or Paris?

There is very little chance that David will be in Chambéry, or even outside of Paris. We got the list of the 17 people admitted to the DGCCRF (along with what departement they are in), and David is number 10. Number 2 on the list lives in Savoie, so he will most likely take Chambery. […]

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Adventures in Driving in France

Luckily I don’t have to drive as much as other people do in France. I only work 3 days a week, 24 weeks a year. I’ve only got three more round-trips to Chambéry before we move and I couldn’t be happier. I will be so relieved to no longer have to shell out 250 € […]

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I do not miss Michigan (this week).

It’s been rather nice here lately. Mid 60’s and sunny. I even took off my coat and lied down outside on the grass today during my break. I have missed the sun so much!  And the sun doesn’t even set until 8:30pm these days! In contrast, my parents have like 5 inches of snow on […]

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Tentative Travel Schedule

I’m trying not to go crazy with stress about David’s job placement but I am seriously scared that someone else is going to want Chambéry and David will end up in Caen or Nantes or Paris (no offense to anyone who lives in those cities – it’s just that they are really far from my […]

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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