I received a call on Tuesday from Nelson the assistant Mayor of Cabrera. A Big THANK YOU To Assistant Mayor Nelson. While we are friends I was surprised at what he had to say. He informed me the President of the DR (Danilo) was due to arrive on Thursday October 30th. He invited me to the assembly which I thought was really a nice thing to do but what came next was totally unexpected. Earlier Nelson had mentioned if I want to get a decent view to arrive about two hours early. I did and even had time for a couple of beers while waiting which is always a good thing.
So here I am sitting by the ocean in a quaint little place called Mir a Mar which in English means see the sea. Some of you who have been here would know the place as the food is excellent and there is always a refreshing breeze so you’re always comfortable. Minding my own business while sipping on a cold one about one hour before the Presidents arrival three guys dressed in suits come to greet me. All three were bearing microphones in their ears. The kind you see in all news videos or movies with the coiled cord routed neatly behind their neck and almost seem less continues flowing underneath their shirt and ending up who knows where.
As they got closer one of them asked do you speak Spanish… I said I did but then he automatically switched to near perfect English as he could hear the accent was not native Spanish. The leader of the team then asked if I would follow along and go with them. Instinctively first thing that came to mind was asking them if I could take my beer with me. He Smirked… Being from the DR they of course saw nothing wrong with that. So we all Departed together… Them, Me and a cold Presidente Beer. GOD I LOVE THIS PLACE!!!
Not long after I see Nelson the Assistant Mayor waiting to greet me. The barriers were slid out of my way and here I am right behind the stage where President Danilo will be in just a few minutes. Now all of you who know me are aware of the fact that politics and big gatherings are not my thing but I have to admit this was a first and kind of cool being able to shake hands with a President who I actually admire. Facts speak volumes and what he has done for the DR is nothing short of brilliance.
Click onto the link Medina cuts ribbons on 34 public works at northern towns from today’s Dominican Today electronic news feed.
I was mingling a bit with some of the other folks behind stage while at the same time snapping off a few pictures of the ever expanding crowd. By now the whole area was wall to wall people. Banners for the purple party (different political parties in the DR are represented by colors. The DR is a totally democratic political system) signs held up high the people carrying cards and letters were too numerous to mention. Within a few minutes the helicopters start to approach the area. There were a total of three one was a Medi. Vac. The second was more of his security and the third was military.
One at a time they started to land in a small field next to the platform where in a few minutes the President will be receiving some plaques of appreciation followed by a brief speech. About ten more minutes had passed when an entourage of black new Toyota Land Cruisers approached the area. Out of nowhere several more security people engrossed and surrounded the immediate area.
That’s when I actually realized the huge favor the Mayor and Assistant Mayor had done. Both know that DR Escapes has been relocating and bringing quality folks into the region and that’s exactly what they want. In fact after it was all over when I was thanking them and expressing how special this was is when Nelson mentioned how special it is what we are doing for the area and in particular the town of Cabrera. He knows we are reaching a market that would be very difficult for the town of Cabrera to reach out to on its own… and both the Mayor and Assistant Mayor are pleased about it.
President Danilo arrived and commenced with his short but to the point message. For me a key point during his speech was mentioning the other improvements coming to our area. Several more new roads have been slated to be paved. These should be key areas for the DR Escapes people to have on their radar list. After six meetings with the Mayor the President made it public that we are receiving those long awaited speed bumps all throughout the Main road of Cabrera. Felicita, Monica along with the directors and staff from one of Cabrera’s private schools worked hard to petition for this. Other roads including the one running up to my family’s project will soon be paved so that’s a huge plus for us and the good folks from DR Escapes. The President went public announcing all these projects have already been funded and approved so this is a go folks!
After the speech was over and cheering subsided the President made his way exiting the stage. Surrounded by body guards he stopped to address several of the town’s people and meet a few while shaking hands with the many. I was one of them when the Mayor stepped in and introduced who the “Gringo” was and what we are doing for Cabrera. President Danilo had a very warm and sincere appreciation of what we are all about… you could see it in his eyes.
I hope you all appreciate being kept in the loop and enjoy the photos. It’s the closest I’ve ever been to the President of a country and honestly one of the few I’d ever be grateful to actually meet in person. Danilo is a great President and even a greater person. Enjoy the pics as I’m still recovering from the bruises received while positioning myself to get them. Till next time this is Barry in DR.