Our first stop was Bayahibe on the south coast. We were so fortunate in our accommodation! The place is swarming with resorts, but we got to share the most beautiful home of an Italian-Dominican couple and their adorable 2 year old daughter. A freshwater pool, infinity pool, and you could dive right off the coral bench into a deep calm sea! After the snow and cold of a typical Montana winter you don’t get much closer to paradise than this! Click the “YouTube” button to the right to watch a short video I made. And stay tuned; our next stop is Santo Domingo!
I do not love winter! I know, I know, “I live in the wrong place“ you all say. It’s not totally my fault… I was born here. But since I don’t ski, or ice climb, or snowmobile, or ice skate, or any of the other extreme things people in Bozeman do, I’m getting out. For a few weeks anyway. Some friends of ours asked us to join them in the Dominican Republic for the month of February. We have never been to the Caribbean so we thought, “hey, fun, let’s do it“. We fly into Punta Cana on the East Coast on 24 January. I hate what resorts do to a people‘s culture and environment, so we won’t be doing that. We are staying in people’s homes through Airbnb. We’re looking forward to visiting national parks, historical attractions, Amber and Laramar mines, and my extreme husband will probably do a lot of kite surfing on the north coast. Maybe we’ll learn the Merengue or Bachata while we’re there!
I’ve done some reading to prepare. I really liked “In the Time of the Butterflies“ about the Mirabal sisters, leaders of the resistance against the dictator Trujillo. “Feast of the Goat” was a little harder to get through, but still a worthy novel. I also read, “The Dictator Next Door” which was helpful in understanding Trujillo’s rise to power, The Good Neighbor Policy of the Roosevelt administration, and others that some say propped up the dictator for so long.
If you’re thinking “I don’t even know where the Dominican Republic is”, don’t worry, a lot of people I tell don’t know either. It shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. Columbus landed here on each of his 4 voyages to the New World. Santo Domingo, the capital city of the Dominican Republic, is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas.
If you like the vintage glass jewelry that I make you should watch this video:
It's filmed in the Gablonz region of the Czech Republic, and demonstrates the amazing processes used to create the glass buttons, cabochons, and chandelier components that I now use in my jewelry.
Even though it is in Czech, this short film brought tears to my eyes! This is why I work with Czech glass! It is imbued with history and craftsmanship. I like to think that the pieces the men and women created in these glassworks before WW2 have a new life in the jewelry that I make. They are being set for the first time. Their beauty and the labor that went into their fabrication can finally be appreciated and shared.
My next trip abroad may just have to be here, the Gablonz region of the Czech Republic!
We pulled honey out of our FlowHive today! It worked amazingly well. I've put a video on my youtube channel, you should check it out: YOUTUBE
Not really, I just felt like "making" something with my hands. Nice overcast day at the beach! And let the tide take it away.
The great thing about a bad weather forecast is that I get the beach all to myself! Ever since I arrived in Nerja people have been apologizing to me for the rain. It HAS been raining cats and dogs here, but then it clears for 20 minutes or an hour and it's gorgeous! And it keeps the huge throngs of people away. And I won't be getting a sunburn.
We met up with a friend who used to live in Bozeman on Sunday, and he and Andy have rented a car and gone off to El Chorro in search of some Spanish rock climbing. The weather forecast for all of southern Spain looks pretty wet for the next several days, but I hope they are able to get a few climbs in.
Meanwhile I'm in Nerja, actually getting a lot of work done. Processing all the ideas gathered from the trip thus far and doing some sketching. It's kind of making me itch to gack in the studio! Ha ha.
But it then there's this...
Alison B. Sweeney
Why We Travel?