DR S.W. Regional Tour Barahona to Paraíso Part 2

Location of our first video. That is before our plan changed by meeting the old man

Location of our first video. That is before our plan changed by meeting the old man

Liane and I woke up the following morning refreshed and ready for day two. Over breakfast and after a quick glance at our map decided to make the town of Paraíso our next stop for the night. Remembering what was mentioned in part one of the series we always go with the flow so it was not much more than point of interest. Anything could change and if something more interesting did come our way we’d look at it no different than running into a detour when traveling down the highway. We’ll just take it and enjoy the different views.

After breakfast we decided to take a quick look at the beach. While in itself the beach was nothing spectacular especially when comparing it to the vast other choices surrounding the DR. This mind you is only our opinion you’ll have to decide that for yourself but for us the sands of Barahona had nothing that stood out.

Sit Back and Enjoy:

Funny thought just crossed my mind while writing the last sentence. There’s an old Meatloaf song titled “two out of three ain’t bad.” In one of the verses the words “you’ll never find your gold on a sandy beach” comes up midway through the verse. I suppose that’s true when mining for gold but funny as it sounds somehow gold always had a way of being measured by several different values. Read on and you’ll see what I’m getting at.

Click Here for PDF English Map of the DR

Ever hear the statements “it’s as good as gold” or “it’s worth its weight in gold” mentioned before? I would venture to say the same can be said when calculating the values for time and freedom. They all seem to net a different value for all of us. In fact what’s deemed precious holds a different meaning for all of us and the older we get the more we come to recognize it.

Seriously we all measure what is precious in different ways. Consider opening your mind and start understanding this. After all It's you folks that Liane and I are listening to when we hear your discontentment of what seems to have eluded you for so long.

Seriously we all measure what is precious in different ways. Consider opening your mind and start understanding this. After all It’s you folks that Liane and I are listening to when we hear your discontentment of what seems to have eluded you for so long.

Over the years it’s been my experience that by visiting and living in so many places I’ve become comfortable in measuring the value of my gold by living a peaceful unstressed lifestyle. Knowing tomorrow won’t be much different than today. Having a great relationship for almost 20 years with Liane that seems to get better every year when you already thought it was near perfect. Once again that’s perfect for us as perfect is another word that’s acquired a different meaning for all of us.

Keep in mind as time marches on this changes for every person and it’s up to the individual to find what works for them. All I can say with love and respect to all my readers is the following” it’s my sincerest wish that you are happy with your life…BUT if you’re not that you have the courage to change it.”

We thought it would be a decent first video if I were to sit in this beached local fishing boat and have the sea as our back ground. It was a little wooden fishing boat beached on the sand about 200 feet from the shoreline. Several other boats were beached in the same vicinity. Liane started to roll video when this lovely old man came up to us and said Hola. He must have been in his 70’s and had such a warm demeanor about him that we decided to put down the video camera and strike up a conversation but first we headed under a nearby tree for shade.

There are so many wonderful opportunities if people would only take the time to see them. Seems to me over the last decade the definition of the word opportunity has gotten mixed up with the word profit.

There are so many wonderful opportunities if people would only take the time to see them. Seems to me over the last decade the definition of the word opportunity has gotten mixed up with the word profit.

After introducing ourselves we all had a brief conversation together. He went on to mention that was his fishing boat I happen to be sitting in. I said I was sorry for not asking permission and he started to chuckle. He continued by saying it was his pleasure that we found his boat the best one to do such a film only wait till he bail out last night’s rainwater first.

We both thought how sweet and courteous of a person he was that we didn’t bother trying to explain the camera wouldn’t pick up the three inches of rain water in the bilge from last night’s shower. He was a proud man that started to tell his stories while bailing his boat. We both found these personal life stories to be very interesting and once again proved a point Liane and I have lived by since we’ve known each other. It’s not what happens in life but how you choose to accept it. The previous might be another respected way for folks to measure what gold’s truly worth but it’s only a thought. It’s up to those looking for what’s missing… missing in their lives that might find it worth considering as an option.

Apparently this sweet old man was once the owner of a large piece of farm land. He mentioned that this land spanned over 6500 Tarrea in size. Tarrea is a local measurement of land spanning just under 6800 Sq/Ft of mass. It is equal to 629 Sq/Mt for all of our readers who are more used to the metric system. There would be 6.433 Tarrea to an acre so this property was slightly over 100 acres. Not a bad size farm by anybody’s standard.

We discovered so many farms in the highlands. Even after all our time here it still blew us away. Truck after truck of organic fruit and vegetables were just everywhere.

We discovered so many farms in the highlands. Even after all our time here it still blew us away. Truck after truck of organic fruit and vegetables were just everywhere.

He continued in great detail telling us about this once owned land. It was perfect for growing several vegetables local fruits and how the lay of the land supported many old caves dating as far back as when the Taino people roamed this land. If that were to hold true that would place these dwellings back into the late fourteenth century during the time of Columbus. You could feel the attachment this land still held deep within his heart by the emotion expressed within this wonderful person.

Liane and I had to ask what happened to your farm. He told us all about how several years ago he took out a loan and used the title as security. Liane and I know this is common and many good folks fall easy prey to these people. The interest is set high and most borrowers simply cannot pay back the principal and over time barely being able to cover the interest. Eventually they lose title and therefore ownership.

Apparently his story wasn’t much different than so many others we’ve heard over our years of living here. Sad when good folks are used as pawns in a larger game of chess. Seems a lot more citizens we meet currently living in first world nations are swaying in that direction feeling as if they’re the pawn on the chess board. The folks suffering from more advanced stages leaves them feeling like the pawn only surrounded by a knight two bishops a rook and the queen is just a few squares down on the next diagonal line. I’m referring to these other pieces as alphabet organizations you’ve all come to know over the last ten to fifteen years.

Continuing on we found this person to be so interesting that we had no hurry to go anywhere. There goes that flow thing I keep mentioning. By now it was after eleven in the morning and felt it was more like spending fifteen minutes as compared to the almost three hours we did. But his stories of how he lost his land and had to then become a fisherman to feed his wife and family were holding us with baited breath (pardon the Pun) so we opted to stay a bit longer.

I mentioned that I had a bottle of rum in the truck and asked him if he would like to share some. He thanked us but said no it was too early in the day. I said I understand and perhaps if we’re still here later on you’ll change your mind. I said my wife makes the best Chinola juice (passion fruit) to go along with it. He looked back up at me from his bailing, smiled and said you mentioned nothing about Chinola juice. This makes it all different and said please go and fetch it while I continue bailing. Off I went to retrieve the cooler and a few cups. We shared the nectar and after a few drinks our smiles were somehow enhanced just a little bit more. Time flies when you’re having RUM… or something like that anyways.

We mentioned that we were sorry about his loss of the land but he insisted that was long ago and he loves to fish every day and have good food and a wonderful wife. He said God has smiled on him by allowing this to happen and also providing an uneducated man with new and previously unknown wisdom so the same mistake will not happen to him again.

One of the many farms out in the mountains. This one was located around 4500 feet above sea level.

One of the many farms out in the mountains. This one was located around 4500 feet above sea level.

Although he seemed to understand our western perspective of sorrow by losing something of value he quickly stated: Please do not feel sorry for me I have a wonderful life. Apparently even he retains his own distinct value of what is gold. Liane and I have always understood perception of people’s values but after hearing his stories we both came to understand with a bit more clarity than we previously did.

These people as simple as they are possess something that even with all our possessions we as a people are looking for still lost in the foggy abyss. Somehow it continues to elude most of us westerners and I feel will continue to for quite a long time to come.

A few more hours had passed and it was time to say goodbye. Together we stood face to face and with a smile shook his hand and I said to the old man “walk with God.” Liane hugged him and gave him a kiss on his cheek which produced a smile that seemed to enhance the sun by one or two degrees.

Liane and I are so blessed to have met so many wonderful folks. They have brought us and understanding that age is only a number. By the way these folks are in their nineties.

Liane and I are so blessed to have met so many wonderful folks. They have brought to us an understanding that age is only a number. By the way these folks are in their nineties.

That’s the time he said I really enjoyed meeting you both. You are not like many of the tourist gringos that come here to Barahona. I would like to give you a gift if you will wait for me to go home and retrieve it. Liane and I looked at each other since the day was almost gone said thank you we will be here. Little did we know his house was over half an hour away. There’s that flow thing I keep telling you about yet one more time but he finally did return.

He said he wanted us to have these two little gifts. He said it would give him pleasure if they would remind us of him and our day together every time we looked at them… we can assure you from the both of us it will. Another misconception of western understanding is the following belief: for a relationship to be successful it has to last for a long time. Folks ponder over that for a minute before continuing.

Heading back down from the mountains. This was our view as we were entering Paraiso. End of day two. Continue when I have more time.

Heading back down from the mountains. This was our view as we were entering Paraiso. End of day two. Continue when I have more time.

We boogied on down the road and as the dusk was fast approaching we arrived at our next bunk down for the night Paraíso. Some measure the value of gold in ounces, some in dollars and still others like me measure its value by experiences and all of us are correct. The real question is are you happy in your life not how you measure something value.

Funny thing about that meatloaf song I mentioned earlier in this post. Another line goes something like this “you’re looking for a ruby in a mountain of rock but there ain’t no Coupe-de-Ville hiding at the bottom of a crackerjack box” You may want to consider looking for that ruby in a different mountain and the DR has many from which to choose from. Until next time this is Barry and Liane in DR.

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Dave September 3, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Glad you had a good trip Barry…and some well deserved time off. Thank you for sharing it with us.

We’re looking forward to seeing the videos. The island is beautiful! Not just the scenery but so many of the people also. Hopefully some day soon we’ll be able to do some exploring ourselves.

Hasta luego mi amigo

Barry September 4, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Sure we will.
B

juan j.m. September 4, 2014 at 4:39 am

Excelente Barry. Truely a great post. I love the way you see things. You are truely a man of vision and understanding. As i read about your experiences in DR, i must confess that i’m a bit envious (but in a good way) and i’m whishing i was there with you all. In due time. Looking forward to maybe taking a similar roadtrip in the near future. Keep doing what you do Barry and please leave the light on. God bless you all in the DRESCAPES family. Bravo!! Juan J.M. in Apopka, fl.

Barry September 4, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Thanks for the comment. Sure one day you will be talking trips here in DR. Best Regards
B

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