Headline November 08, 2016/ ''' *PUERTO PLATA PANCAKES* '''



*I leave this above line, to the brave and the brightest amongst you*.

Hopping from school to school and college to college, I demanded to see the labs? Any lab?: Chemistry? Physics? Computers? Any library? 

Where is the students cafe?  How much do you charge for this rotten Patti? Why don't you get this fan repaired?: Where are the students washrooms? Show them to me.

How many students can't pay their fees? What then is the policy? Do the students have any recreation? Any playgrounds? When was this school last painted? Any visiting doctors?  

What do you mean to do with your lives? I ask the students, Do you have any industry here? Where are the jobs? So, how do you plan to fight back? How do you handle a drug gang?

Weary and disorientated, I slogged and  headed back to the calming and lifting  abode of the Patron Saints. 

On a beautifully lined  pavement, Lilli es and Daffodils and red, yellow chrysanthemums, just swayed, as if dancing. And  -with my long-haul walking shoes for a pillow-
I joined the bed chambers  of the homeless.

They all set around me, and the circle grew. I ordered tea for everybody, as they regaled me story after stories of life's daily ordeals. And they all wept, as if on cue. 

With darkness growing all around me, I bare-footed back to the side of the Patron Saints,   to pray alone, reflect, and seek blessings, as I heaved myself together-

To start the long journey back to an identity, that the society and the world calls *home -sweet- home*.  
And to all those great challenges, and opportunities,  that stay surfaced, as the World Students Society rumbles and grumbles and at times, looks aghast.     

The World for Once, was lost: First know thy enemy.

PUERTO PLATA IS FAMOUS  for its beaches, which are quite lovely. Modesto and I drove along the coast until we came to a pair of adjacent beaches, Costa Rica and Long Beach.

We sat at a beachside cafe called  D'Mario and ordered a  cafe con leche and a milkshake made with sapote -a soft tropical fruit that tastes vaguely of caramel and blends-

Wonderfully into icy, milky drinks. The total cost was 115 pesos, or about $2.50. Beach chairs can be rented for 100 pesos.

I HAD A GREAT TIME EXPLORING  with Modesto, but some activities are more fun when done in a group.

On a different day, I sat out with 10 fellow cruise passengers in a rented white minibus [my share was $10] for 27 Charcos, the waterfalls of the Damajagua river.

Yes, there are 27 waterfalls, and yes, it is possible to jump, splash and slide down each and every one of them.

Visitors can pay for access to seven, 12  or all  27 waterfalls, we decided to do the whole thing,  and each forked over $12.

Plan to be gone most of the day, and bring food and water. if you want, lunch can be provided for you, which adds $7 to the price of your waterfall adventure.

Our dutiful guides, outfitted us with helmets and life jackets, and we began a long, uphill trek that took about an hour.

We stopped periodically to catch our breath, our guides forging ahead and encouraging us by happily shouting:
''Only five more minutes   -Dominican Time!''

After five minutes had passed,  then 10,  we soon learned the meaning of ''Dominican time''   -whenever you get there, you get there.
But even the  most  out-of-shape  of us got there, and that's when the fun began. 

One by one, we slid, jumped or otherwise traversed down more than two dozen waterfalls of varying length and ferocity. Some were just trickles into a deep pool, others were mammoth 20-foot plunges off a rocky cliff.

For some of the scarier jumps, those who didn't wish to plunge were able to glide down the smooth rock, as if on a waterslide.

Access to the different falls depends on precipitation, one of the guides explained; if their hasn't been enough rain, some of the pools will be too shallow to jump into.

A few words of advice: Wear a swimsuit, one that you don't mind getting slightly damaged. Also, wear sneakers.

They'll be drenched, but it's far better yo have the support when you're hiking on the sharp rocks; those who rented the park's thin water shoes ended up with very sore feet.

Last, leave your phone in your car  -it's going to get soaked, [You can lure an additional guide and to follow you the whole day and take photos].

By the time we'd completed the last waterfall, we were tired and famished. After tipping our guides  {everyone chipped in a few bucks} we piled into our van and headed back to the ship.

It was a full, exhausting day  -the duty free shopping and $3 cappuccinos of Amber Cove were almost a welcome sight.

That evening, thanks to the  all-you-can-eat dinning aboard the cruise ship, I had two entrees and two deserts.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the World. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society and      Twitter    -!E-WOW!-  the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Poverty's Secrets '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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