Following our calling to the Dominican Republic


Cops, Sweat, and Tears

IMG_5499I have mentioned numerous times how interesting it is driving here, especially stopping at red lights.  Another “fun fact” about driving in the capital and being American is that the cops LOVE to pull you over for no real reason.  Often, as my friend, Ashley, commenting on THIS POST, they want a “donation”.

Seriously, in the beginning, we would get pulled over almost every single time that we would drive into Santo Domingo.  It was so frustrating!

I had a friend tell me that we should take a picture of the police officer with his name badge clearly visible the next time that it happened.  She said that they would typically back off then.

One day, Mo and I had gone into the capital for a few errands and a quick “day date”.  When we turned left at a light with about 20 others cars, the cops pointed us out and told us to pull over.  We literally had done nothing and were in the middle of the pack.

We pulled over, the cop asked us for our paperwork, and began to make up a reason that he pulled us over.  I had had enough!  I pulled out my cell phone and started taking pictures.  The cop immediately got defensive and told me to delete the photo.  Mo was driving so he was in the middle of all of this.  At that time, I didn’t speak a lot of Spanish but was attempting to “give him a piece of my mind” in Spanish and in English.  I was telling him that “we were sick of being pulled over when we did nothing at all and that all he wanted was money.”  I told him that “we were going to report him.”

Of course, he understood NONE of what I was saying because, truth be told, it was mostly said in English with some Spanish thrown in here and there.  The cop starting saying “Why is she so angry at me?” and “Tell her to delete that picture.”

Remember, Mo was right in the middle of all of this and was paralyzed with fear!  He seriously thought we were going to Dominican jail, and he was about to becoming someone’s “Mrs”.

He looked at me with pleading eyes and said, “Tamara, I really think we should just give him some money and get out of here before we go to jail!”

About this time, I put my face in my hands and start crying!  The cop is suddenly like, “Ok, hey, here’s your paperwork.  I don’t know what I have done to upset her so badly but why don’t you guys just get out of here?”

He leaves, we drive off, and Mo turns to me and says, “What the mess is wrong with you?  You never cry.  What got you so upset?”

I just looked at him, smiled, and said,

“I wasn’t really crying.  I just wanted him to leave us alone.”

Moral of the story:

A crying woman translates the same in all languages! (Hehe!)




This week has been another exciting and busy week.  We have learned so much this week about learning.  As a former teacher, I have always had a traditional belief about how school should “look”.  Homeschooling and living in a 3rd world country have been teaching me to consider another perspective.

One day, this is what PE looked like…


The girls swimming at the dam with Ariel and another neighbor, Rocielle.

IMG_5464This is Ariel.  We’re not sure whether WE have adopted HIM…or HE has adopted US, but we have all fallen in love with him.  He goes on bike rides with Mo and Lauren almost every day.  He has also been coming over to sit around the kitchen table and do homework with the girls.  He is precious and extremely well-mannered.

IMG_5481This was SERIOUS exercise for this old lady!  Who needs CrossFit? LOL!

IMG_5422Lexie working out at the neighbor’s gym!  This barbell idea is so creative.  I love that the people of this community don’t waste anything.  They can usually find a use for just about everything.

IMG_5420In Marine Biology, Lexie dissected a shark this week.  At first, she was little apprehensive about this activity.  Then, she got a little help from some our the neighborhood kids.  LOTS of giggling took place.  They were so intrigued and weren’t scared to “get their hands dirty”.

Sonja and Esmeralda

Sonja and Esmeralda

Sonja is the principal at the girls’ school…as well as the pastor’s wife…as well as the one that administers the vaccines for the dogs in the area…as well as many others things to this community.  Needless to say, she is one tough lady…and works very hard.  Beside her in the picture is a lady named Esmeralda.  She is 8 months pregnant with her 6th child.  She is a tough chick too!  We hiked mountains together the other day that caused me to get out of breath.  She never missed a beat and never complained.

Sonja found out that Lauren wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up.  She asked Lauren to go around the community with her.  Not only was Lauren invited to go, but she was trained to administer the vaccines also.


Lauren and the veterinarian student administering vaccines.


That is something that she would have never been taught in a traditional 8th grade classroom in the states.  She was on cloud nine…and it only fueled her desire to be a vet!  What a wonderful experience!


While making our rounds, we visited two farms that were next door to one another.  The owners of the farm are Chi Chi and Jose.  They were so kind and showed us all around their farms.  We saw peacocks, turkeys, fruit trees, ducks, geese, goats, chickens, bunnies, and numerous talapia farms.  All of us learned so much.  Jose pulled us over to a banana tree and showed us this (in the above picture).  It’s a hummingbird nest with 2 baby hummingbirds in it.  The nest and birds were so tiny.  The whole experience felt like the best field trip…EVER!  They told us that we were welcome to come back anytime…and even invited the mission teams to come visit as well.


Don’t these turkeys look like they have had a really bad day.  I had to post this because they just look tattered and worn out!

Needless to say, my children have been learning in ways that traditional education could not even begin to teach them.  God is such a wonderful teacher!  He has definitely opened my eyes AGAIN to the fact that my way and my way of thinking is not the only way to view things…and most definitely is never as good as His way of thinking.  My children are experiencing unique ways of learning…and being able to serve others in the process.  Gotta love that!!!

OH…one last thing…the verdict on the pig is a NO…


….everyone meet Sandy….

…the newest member of our family!


We found her abandoned on a beach.  She immediately feel in love with Lexie…and vice versa.  My kind-hearted kids (and husband) couldn’t leave her there.  We now have our 3rd world dog!