Monday, November 28, 2016

Ambassador Brewster to Retire

United States ambassador James (Wally) Brewster has announced that he will submit his resignation on 20 January 2017 and leave the country with his husband Bob Satawake in search of "new adventures.” That is the day that President-elect Donald Trump will take the oath of office as the 45th president of the United States.

Speaking at a Thanksgiving luncheon at the American Chamber of Commerce in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday, 23 November 2016, the ambassador said "this is probably been the greatest experience that I have had in my life.”

In his closing remarks ambassador Brewster said that he would always fight for the welfare of the two countries and expressed his appreciation for the attention he and his husband had received in the past three years.

In his Thanksgivings Day luncheon, he advocated for the passing of a bill to guarantee equal rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. He estimated that 10% of Dominicans are gay.

He said the US Embassy organized 32 Dominican commercial missions to the United States with 1,700 Dominican business people. He said that trade with the Dominican Republic has increased and is now at around US$12 billion. He said the USAID has helped 600 farmers to get their organic certifications.

He said the creating of a LGBT Chamber of Commerce gives the DR access to a billionaire global market.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Working Overtime

I had worked in the new office tower in Spanish Harlem for about six months and was already being made to work overtime. Don't get me wrong, the checks were great! It's just that my social life was starting to suffer. I hadn't seen my friends in weeks and I hadn't gotten laid in over a month.

I mean, even the custodial staff, whom I never even speak to or acknowledge, was starting to get my attention. I have never mixed business with pleasure, too risky in the junior executive realm. While I have several peers that wear the hell out of their European-cut suits, assets all on display, I don't have the time or the courage to pursue any extracurricular activities.

Usually when I work overtime there are a couple other juniors in the building. However, tonight I was all alone, except for the cleaning staff. The other staff had opted to attend a company party tonight and work on Saturday. I decided I wanted my weekend off and chose to work on this quiet Friday evening.

After one of my restroom breaks I noticed a small sticky note by the telephone that I hadn't remembered seeing before. It read, "don't forget to handle that job in the media room." The media room was where the graphic artists, marketers and IT personnel worked so I was surprised they wanted someone in accounts to "handle" anything. But hey, put it all on the trainees, right?

As I approached the media room I thought I heard some movement. I looked around and didn't see the cleaning crew and assumed they had gone for the night. I brushed it off and pushed open the door. There, in the dimly lit room, and to my surprise, was one of the newer janitors I had noticed.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Food & Fun

Picnic at the Botanical Gardens The Santo Domingo National Botanical Gardens has organized "El Picnic,” a family day with food trucks, electronic music, art and other cultural attractions for 19 and 20 November 2016. The organizers have announced that DJs Poteleche, Marcos Cabrera, Bubu Vega, Ugo, Bob Hache and Heff Huffner will be playing the music. From 11am. Admission is RD$250 adults, and children enter free of charge.

Street Food Festival in Santiago
Food trucks will be bringing a variety of food to Santiago's Jardín Cabrera Vidal on 3 and 4 December.

For information on upcoming events:

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Panamanian Paradise

Conde Nast Traveler:

Graham Greene made the first several attempts to visit Bocas town in 1976. Panama, he wrote, had "persistently haunted my imagination" from childhood, his curiosity fired by the glamour of piracy that lay around Panama in the story of how Sir Henry Morgan attacked and destroyed Panama City.

He was intrigued because it was the furthest point west that Christopher Columbus reached off the coast of Panama, and perhaps because the South American Handbook stated "no tourist ever goes there."

These days people do go there. The archipelago, with its ramshackle main town, verdant rain forests and alabaster beaches, was a raw iteration of an earlier Caribbean tucked twenty miles south of the Costa Rican border. The islands lack of infrastructure, with no electrical grid, had protected them from overdevelopment and kept food and lodging prices low.

One lodge is considered "nudist friendly" and there are two small resorts on Bastimentos, a twenty square mile island with stunning beaches. One of the resorts is hidden on a hillside; the other, steps from a beach.

Bocas town is the capitol of the entire Bocas province. The pace is deliciously slow and seductive. You may sit on the deck behind the Hotel Bocas del Toro as water taxis buzz across the turquoise water to nearby Bastimentos and Isla Carenero.

El Ultimo Refugio, a thatched-roof restaurant leaning out over the harbor, serves up coconut shrimp and cold beer. Aqua Lounge Hostel & Bar is known for its water trampoline. The Red Frog Beach resort has 31 villas to rent or buy (with plans for more), a hostel, an 84-berth marina and a zipline.

Dinner at La Loma may feature freshly caught red snapper with lemongrass tamarind broth, served with coconut rice, braised red cabbage. Dessert includes chocolate from the lodge's own cacao farm.

Cayuco, an ecolodge, opens onto a beach and a vista of blue horizon. Casa Cayuco also has Wi-Fi.