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The Sailing Rosenthals
Survivor Luperon
Connie Rosenthal
07/30/2009, Luperon, DR

Cleaning the growth off the dinghy

There are tribes, challenges and rewards, so it must be Survivor! In the cruising life there are the usual challenges, but add in the location of Luperon and it's GAME ON! There are currently 3 or 4 tribes or teams; Team Te Oigo, Team Selkie, Team Wanderlust, and Team Sandy Annie. The challenges are varied. One is getting diesel or gas which entails loading the dinghies with jerry jugs, traveling to the muelle (dock), shlepping the jugs either by walking (usually) about a mile or two to the gas station and then getting a motoconcho or gua-gua back...or walking back. Occassionally a team will get really lucky and get picked up by a kind soul. We feel that is like having immunity. Another challenge is cleaning the dinghies. First we offload as much as possible from the dinghy, then we grab our bucket of cleaning paraphenalia and drive the dinghies to the beach. The engine has to be removed, the dinghy turned upside down and the scraping begins. Barnacles and other assorted sea critters are rigorously removed. Care must be taken in our case especially, since we have a soft-bottom dinghy. We must ensure that the blades stay flat so as not to puncture the dinghy (major points off!). Then the scrub brushes come out and the appropriate chemicals are applied to get the green algae off. Dinghies are uprighted, engines reattached and we're done. So far, no one has been voted off and we're pretty close in points. We're still waiting for Jeff Probst to show up and give us some rewards!

08/18/2009 | Sharon Kasper
I've heard of Dirty Dancing, now I've heard of Dirty Dinghy. Glad to hear all is well -watch out for those hurricanes!!Love, sharon and bruce
Dancing Dominican Style
Connie Rosenthal
07/26/2009, Luperon, Dominican Republic

Bruce and I are taking merengue, salsa and bachata lessons twice weekly. Boy, do we sweat!! It is great exercise and very romantic. My parents taught ballroom dancing for many years and Mom had a dance studio for 22 years, so I grew up with dancing. Bruce always admired the way my parents danced together and with the advent of "Dancing with the Stars" he has developed in interest in learning. Of course, I was thrilled when he mentioned that he would like for us to take the classes. We have classes on Mondays and Thursdays from 4 until 6 and we immediately go to Captain Steve's Restaurant and get in the cold pool to chill out. Now, when we walk along the streets and hear different songs being played, we can identify whether the song is suitable for merengue, salsa or bachata. We even danced in the pool the other night! It's great to still be able to learn.

07/27/2009 | Myles
I really miss you guys and am so jealous of your location. Any work there for a bum like me. I would love to come back. I have friends in Sousa, who own 'the Coco Hotel'
07/27/2009 | Terri Potts
Wish Lyman wanted to learn. I think it would be a blast!
09/27/2009 | Diana Ruelens
WONDERFUL!! Making memories.
Fresh from the vaca (cow)
Connie Rosenthal
07/20/2009, Luperon, Dominican Republic

How cool is it to get milk fresh from the cow!?

I take the dinghy over to a dock and climb out, follow a skinny path up the side of the hill to visit Senor Arturo. He pulls out a chair for me and prepares the cow. He ties her back legs together and gathers his stool and bucket. He lets out the baby from the fence and begins plugging its mouth onto the various teats to stimulate the milk flow. He has the baby suckle about 30 times, alternating teats. He then ties the baby to a tree and begins milking the mom. After he has the amount of milk he wants, he strains it through two strainers directly into the container I have brought. He unties the baby and lets it continue eating. I pay $50 pesos for a half gallon and he also gives me fresh mangoes off the tree. It's just as cool as can be to know where my milk comes from and see the actual process. I often make smoothies with fresh milk, papaya, banana, mango, and pineapple and I know where each of these items originated. It feels good, healthy and pure.

07/21/2009 | Kitty
What a great blog. Your pictures are amazing. We need one of the dancing!
Kitty and Bob
07/22/2009 | Diana Ruelens
I grew up on milk from the farm. Don't forget to shake it. We use to skim the cream off the top and make ice cream out of it...aaahhh those were the days.
07/25/2009 | saniti
Thanks so much for sharing! Are you guys still singing together?Thinking of the impromptu duet in the diner we were lucky enough to experience! Thinking of you. Be well.
Chris Andy Rachel Jake and ELI ( now riding a bike! first grade next year!)
A Look at Luperon
Connie Rosenthal
07/20/2009, Luperon, Dominican Republix

Luperon is an active and alive small town with incredibly friendly, resourceful people. There is no industry here so folks make do by using their homes as small tiendas (stores) or colmados (restaurants). They feed each other and sell whatever they can. There is no welfare in this country, so families take care of their own and share with their neighbors.

The grande muelle (large Government dock) is where we park the dinghy and then we walk into town. The main streets intersect at an establishment called El Pichichi. The roads diverge and Duarte goes straight and Independencia branches to the left. El Pichichi is a hopping place most nights and especially on the weekends. The photo below shows the activity. There is music (when there is power) and you will hear merengue, salsa and bachata music and see folks dancing. Bruce and I had our first dance lessons today and boy did we sweat! We have lessons on Mondays and Thursdays.

We often eat at Captain Steve's Place which features several choices as specials at $100 pesos ($2.80 US). Tonight Bruce had filet mignon, baked potato and veggies. I often have the fried chicken (with the same side items). That price is unbelievable! Steve has a pool that is completely in the shade. We usually walk in, hop in the pool, shower off and then eat and do internet. The pool brings the body temp down several degrees and makes for a cooler night sleeping.

When one walks the streets of Luperon it is not unusual to see chickens, goats, cows, dogs, cats, ducks and horses. All the animals get along with each other. The houses butt right up to the street with no front yards and folks sit in their chairs right on the sidewalks. There is a general feeling of activity all the time. Some of the young men make their living by driving motoconchos. These are motorcycles you ride as a passenger. Other folks provide transportation with their vehicles, called gua-guas, and they pack in as many people as possible before leaving for the destination. It is very inexpensive, but you get to know your neighbors very well.

More to come later.

07/22/2009 | Jeannie Mazurek
I am truly green with envy. We used to get fresh milk from my grandmother's cow when I was Little...1000 years ago ! Miss you
Loving Life in Luperon
Connie Rosenthal
07/16/2009, Luperon, Dominican Republic

Bruce shopping at the weekly vegetable market

We arrived in Luperon on June 19th and have been enjoying the town and the community ever since. We plan to be here through most of hurricane season before heading toward Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, where we will likely stop and work for a while. By next summer we should be enjoying the eastern Caribbean islands and may spend the following hurricane season in Grenada. It's all subject to what plans the Lord has for us, but that's the basic outline.

We hope to be loading our previous blogs from and adding to this blog over time. Meanwhile, life is great and we are happy and blessed.

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