For those who know me, you know I don’t like to be real serious. I prefer to see people smile and laugh. When I was in the area of LaRepresa I met this woman who had a great sense of humor.
She lives in a small wooden home made of what appeared to be wooden slats or clapboard. My friend Leslie greeted her by saying “Feliz Navidad (Merry Christmas).” That is just about the only thing that Leslie can say in Spanish, but this young lady got a real kick out of it considering it is October. She even did a little dance for us and then invited us to sit on her front porch.
Her home, with a thick concrete floor, was very neat and clean inside. I noticed on a shelf she had several whiskey bottles, all empty. I jokingly said to her with the help of a translator, “I see you are a big fan of whiskey.” She laughed and said, “No, no – I like the bottles, they are good for decoration (No, no - Me gustan las botellas, que son buenos para la decoración).”
Our conversation then turned a little more serious. She told of how she suffers from diabetes and her blood sugar level is currently too high. I felt bad for her because high blood sugar levels can make you feel sick to your stomach, weak and groggy. Despite those pains, she still managed to laugh at some of the things I had to say when I told her I was a crazy American (Americano loco).
She told me she receives her medication from the nearby Farmacia del Pueblo El Caobal (The Pharmacy in El Caobal). I asked if she was out of medication and she smiled and said, “No.”
In 2014, there were 669,000 cases of diabetes in the Dominican Republic. Keep in mind the country is about half the size of the state of Tennessee, but has well over 10-million residents.
Despite her illness she had a great laugh. She loves her husband who works hard daily and she loves her home. You can’t get much better than that.
“I see skies of blue, and clouds of white,
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world.”