Hi guys its Barry in D.R. No time for the hanging around the mango tree over the last four days. All of the DRescapes. crew wants to thank everyone who has helped us gain the popularity we did in such a short time. Also quick thanks to the hundreds of good folks who have already signed up to www.drescapes.com looking at alternative options to better survive the upcoming changes. Be on the lookout as more information will be coming out to you real soon. Your support is letting us know people are ready for fresh ideas along with a new way of thinking from experience. Providing just one more option to perhaps better survive the upcoming events is exactly what we’re all about.
There was one question I received several times from people that submitted a contact form. I thought it was worth some immediate research. Basically the question is…. why will it be any better here on the north coast of the D.R. when the US dollar finally collapses? Why will this area of the D.R. not experience the same turmoil and riots?
I had an opinion why we will faire much better here, but I too wanted some reassurance. What I learned even surprised and pleased me. In a moment I’ll share my findings.
In a recent post I attempted to describe the difference between knowing something and experiencing something. I used balance as an example. To understand balance just look it up on the net. You’ll quickly see that it has to do with equilibrium and the inner ear. To Experience balance… well you won’t until you take a good fall off your bike and pick up a scrape or two. Then however you will have experienced balance. Quite a difference from experience to understanding, isn’t it?
Since I haven’t heard all that much talk from the local folks about the coming crash of the paper currencies and in particular the US Dollar, I’d thought I would ask one of my closest friends, Julian, about it. Actually his whole family is family to us. The term friend is way too all-purpose of a term to be using.
Since the US Dollar is accepted and traded alongside the peso here in the D.R. it seemed to me to be a good question to ask. I got together with Julian over a beer or two and started to probe the subject at first and see if he would shed some light on how the local farm people and colmado owners (small stores featuring local products only) felt about it. Since my life’s experiences and travels have been so vast I’m not one who is easily shocked, but in this case I was.
Julian knows what I’m doing with the Drescapes web site and he offered to venture out and visit several farms with me. Together we would ask the Finca (farm) owners exactly what their thoughts were. Great! I replied but first I want to wander around Cabrera and ask three or four colmado owners what they felt about it prior to heading out to the fincas. On the first day of my quest that’s exactly what I did. I stopped into four of the small colmados
where my wife Liane likes to pick up our local fruit, veggies, fish, chicken, eggs and cheese. Spent most of the day gathering my information and continued home to catch up on what I needed to do for the Drescapes site during the evening.
The next morning I met Julian, but as usual got a late start. Things just never seem to happen on time here in the Caribbean but long ago we’ve gotten used to it. If you decide to come for a visit or even eventually settle here you’ll have to adjust to that as well. When someone says I’ll be there on Monday and doesn’t show up don’t stress over it. The next time you see him in town and ask why he never showed up he’ll answer back with something like “I didn’t say next Monday”. I swear this is true and you will get used to it, but now back to the adventure.
About 11:00 Julian and I started to head out past Loma Alta to stop at our first finca. We were going to Naranjito, El Jamo, Loma Alta, and Catalina. Julian’s family knows all these finca owners for many years. Some of these relationships stem back as far as 3 generations. Our trip would consist of four different farms.
All of our conversations started in the usual Dominican fashion by asking about family and listening to a story or two about their ancestors. Slowly we shifted the conversations to a much more dovetailed subject. What they felt about the economy and more important the future of the American Dollar. What follows might surprise you; actually it should surprise you a lot if it caught me off guard. The colmado owner’s thoughts were pretty much supportive of the farm owners. Since Julian never asked how it went with the colmado owners the day before, I decided to keep quiet about it and later on do a comparison myself when I had finished visiting everyone and had their answers.
When asked about the Dollar, all answers were very close in what they were expressing, just through different words. They know the dollar has not been really worth anything for a while now. Everyone we spoke to also was well aware of the fact that the only thing holding it together currently is the oil being sold in US dollars. That in itself surprised me but what follows next really caught me off guard.
Dominicans have a wonderful way of expressing themselves. Almost always they will supply an analogy along with their answer. Again all these answers varied to a slight degree with the things they were using to compare with, but not the message they were trying to portray. Julian and I would sit back and listen. Here is a translation of a typical response … “You know. people may have been educated in a school and can still be stupid. We were schooled on life and are not stupid because we know what life really is. We have family in America and they have many things but one thing they seemed to have lost when leaving here is their smile. I see pictures and we visit but nothing ever seems good to them. We remember they were never that way when they lived out in the country. They have big nice cars or homes and we only have little scooters and small houses… that is fine. We smile on our scooter they don’t in their Car or house. For me the car is not worth the price. Neither is the house.” That’s the closest to English I can get from a direct translation. Most of you who know Spanish, it’s like all other Latin languages, it will not translate back in perfect format. I was shocked by hearing that. Julian on the other hand just sat back, peeled another orange he grabbed from a tree, and smiled at me.
We then started to shift the topic to the US Dollar and the economy. I quickly found out these folks are smarter than most MSM brainwashed westerners. They have known for a long time that the US dollar is not going to survive. They know that most other countries purchase their oil in dollars and that’s what has kept it going this long. As I listen, I’m floored and Julian is enjoying the balance of his orange and smiling at me. See he already knew all this but just wanted to open my eyes, so I can forward this to other people. These are NOT SELFISH PEOPLE!! But as everywhere in the world, there’s good and bad, and one has to dig through the dirt to get to the gold. You will never find it on the surface.
I wanted to save my most important question for last, which was…. what will you do when the dollar becomes worthless in America and the rest of the world? I was surprised by this reply… “Well, this for some things will be a problem, but we live through many such times before and we still live. Texaco and Isla gas for gas I don’t know. I think the rest of the countries will have this problem also. For things that come from other countries maybe trouble, but I am thankful we make so many of our own things here.
But for our local things like food, our eggs, chicken, pig and cow meat, cheese, milk, rice and all of our local fruits and vegetables we will continue to trade and bargain and take both peso and dollar. Many of us have talked about this for more than one year and we all agree to do this for what else can we do”.
I restated …..but it has no value why would you take it, I don’t understand, no one in America will be? Their response…“How can a piece of paper ever be worth something? We take it because Jose, Esmely, Elias, Felicita, Fernando, Guango and everyone I know who buy and sell what we grow will take it. Again I say, for gas and my scooter I cannot say now, but eight liters will go for more than one month”.
We thanked everyone we visited and of course the usual reply “thank you too” was mentioned as they waved goodbye. Most of them said come more often and stay longer, but for us it was time to head back to our own homes. I was amazed not only of their understanding of what actually is happening in the world, but of how such a simple plan will actually work well for this part of the country.
On the slow drive back to Cabrera, I couldn’t stop thinking of what these people had to say and how much more I had learned about these people over the last three days. People I thought I already knew well to begin with. I thanked Julian for taking his time and he smiled back at me as he answered. Tú eres mi hermano no? (You are my brother, aren’t you) and I am… this is true.
Sure there will be issues in obtaining some things and it won’t be easy, but I’m even more convinced after these interviews than ever before, the basic necessities will be available and in no way will it be anything remotely comparable to the same hardships and carnage about to be felt in the western nations.
We switched drivers. Julian slept and I couldn’t stop thinking about the many lessons I had just been taught. Two that stand out in my mind are I now have experienced the only thing that ever made paper money have value…. the willingness of the other person to accept it. I always understood it was the perception of value but now have gained the experience of living it. Oh yeah the second one is how lucky we are to be living here with such a true sense of belonging.
This is Barry in D.R. and I’m out.
Footnote: You are not going to want to miss my next article. Received a call from a longtime friend in Nagua that some people wanted to talk to me about this same subject and it was for me a completely different angle that I know you’re all going to want to know about.
Also spoke to our lawyer while he was on holiday. He’s returning soon, and from what I understand you’re going to like the news he will share about how affordable it will be for you to get your Dominican Republic residency and passport. I’m expecting great prices!!!