Back in the DR

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Dominican Republic: Messages, Questions or Announcements for Dominican Republic RPCVs: Back in the DR

By rmrudd13 ( - on Friday, April 01, 2005 - 7:56 pm: Edit Post

Ray Rudd 2002 - 2004
Well, I had a feeling that I would be back. i just didn't know that it would be this soon. I served in the Dominican Republic from February 2002 until November 2003, when I had to leave early due to family illness.
The time that I spent here in the DR made a definite impact on my life. Seeing life through the eyes of a people and culture totally foreign to that whick I grew up with in the US made me recognize the things that are important in life.
I lived in the mid-sized village of Enriquillo in the Province of Barahona in the southwest of the country. Driving over the mountains to reach Enriquillo, you pass through some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. Those same mountains make it impossible to use cellular phones in Enriquillo.
I spent my time here working with a group of high school aged youth, teaching them computer use, maintenance and repair. Though many of my students didn't seem to take the classes too seriously at the time, the majority are now studying computer programming or engineering in University. I have kept in touch and most have expressed their gratitude for what they learned in our classes, though gratitude and thanks were the furthest things from my mind as I taught them and afterward.
Now I am back in the DR after nearly a year and a half in the States. This time I am living in San Pedro de Macoris, just east of the capital city of Santo Domingo. I am working on opening an English language school.
Though nominally, I am working with an organization on this project, I am here on my own, sloughing through the process of finding classrrom space, office space, business registration, etc.
As I mentioned at the beginning, I knew I'd be back. This country had become my home. I felt more at home here than in the US.
Culturally, the most important thing here is the family. The least important thing is your job. When you meet people for the first time here, they ask about your family, are you married, do you have children? In the US they ask, where do you work, what do you do?
I've heard it explained perfectly, "In the United States people live to work, in teh Dominican Republic people work to live".
Unemployment, lack of money and material goods is a way of life here. Just like the daily power outages. You don't complain about it, it just is. You go on and do the things that you need to do, without excuses or complaining.
What a lesson could be learned from the Dominican people.

By Alissa Mayer ( - on Monday, January 08, 2007 - 12:58 am: Edit Post

Hello Ray,
I have no idea if you still check this site or even if you are in the US or still in the DR. Anyways, I am leaving to my PC service in the DR February 13th! I am going to be an education IT volunteer and would love to be able to ask you some questions about your experience. If you see this and are willing to share, please post again so I can contact you! Thanks!

By RPCVRamon ( - on Thursday, November 08, 2007 - 3:32 pm: Edit Post

I have been back in the US for 2 years now. Not a day passes that I don't think of my family and friends back in the DR. I am working now to get my fiancee to the US form the DR. She was my neighbor in Enriquillo and one of my best friends. I am hoping and praying that I will return to the DR soon. It feels that I have left a part of me behind; that I cannot be complete again until I return.

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