Expat

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The Dawning of {Family} Time

Since making the decision to teach and live abroad, I have felt myself actively appreciate what our life has to offer in a way that I never did when I was living in the States. We have so much family time, spending whole afternoons sitting around at the park with friends, weekends full of micro adventures and get togethers and laughter.  Weekly massages. And definitely Shelly, our nanny, with whom most of this is made possible. Our life here is a party where our venue is...

In This Place

Rafaella Rubio Kaufman Legra was born on October 7 at 9:28pm. By 9:29pm, daddy was crying in the hospital room like a newborn baby girl. I was not. When we brought Rafaella home and placed her in her bassinet to watch her sleep, within moments, Husband’s eyes were welling up with tears at the momentous scene that is watching your baby sleep under your roof for the first time. Mine did not. As Olive and Jersey began to take notice of...

Never Forget

This past weekend we returned to Cafe del Sol. We came the first time on September 11. On one of the most significant days of my past, I was on the beach with new friends smoking cigars and drinking rum drinks. When we were here that day, I thought about what day it was and like every year, I was conflicted by what I should be doing. Part of me wants to curl up in bed and wait for it to pass,...

SnapShots: Happy Fabulous Birthday, Fabulous YOU!

Happy Birthday, you Fabulous YOU! Yes. I am referring to myself when I say “you” and also when I say “fabulous.” So fabulous you is actually fabulous me. So happy fabulous birthday to me. And why not? This year I turned 32 and I have it all and isn’t that the definition of fabulous? Extremely pleasing or successful – that is the definition by the Free Online Dictionary. So, yeah, fabulous me who has it all! And fabulous you, too, who could...

The Malecon Kitten: Animal Avenger Strikes Back

We took our car yesterday to our mechanic on the Malecon. For my fellow driving New Jerseyans, the Santo Domingo Malecon is comparable to the New Jersey Turnpike but without rules. Those of you not familiar with New Jersey vernacular, it is a bat shit crazy highway. When we were about to leave, I saw this adorable kitten hopping around the cars and running around the lot. Having been there before I was pretty sure it didn’t belong to anyone and...

Taking It In – Thanksgiving in Cabarete 2011

Video of our weekend to follow blog This Thanksgiving I opened my email to find a letter from my mom. I love getting emails from my mom because she hardly ever sends them but this one was quite special. This was my first Thanksgiving away from home, and although our new little family (Mike, Rafaella, Olive, Jersey, and I) were living the good life in Cabarete with amazing new friends, holidys always make it harder to be without your family...

An American Born Abroad: Part Dos

When most parents think of their kid’s first year they think of pretty normal milestones: first smile, first words, first steps, first birthday. Most wouldn’t include first passport. It was very important (especially to her Cuban abuela) that Rafa be American. In fact, when we first told my mom about pregnantly moving abroad her first question was whether or not our baby would be an American citizen. So here, mom, without further ado is her passport and Consular Report of Birth...

Chinola Margaritas and Amazing Women

Ready… Jump. Splash! When Husband and I would talk about our move, we knew that we had made a good choice. Besides leaving our family behind, the choice to come overseas was a no-brainer for so many reasons. But how would our idea of living here and our reality match up? When we got here we realized that our reality was much better than anything we ourselves could have dreamed up. Everyone was welcoming, helpful, accepting, genuine, it was almost unbelievable. And...

DR Pros and Cons: Another Day at the Park

There are many pros and cons to living in Dominican Republic. Here are the ones I’ve come up with so far: CON: you miss people like crazy. Especially now with a baby, I wish my parents could see her more, I wish my sister could know her niece, I wish BF could know her daughter-in-law (hehe!) PRO: Though I hate missing the actual people sometimes I can’t help but feel relieved that I don’t have to go to all of the...

My Total Truths: #4 Decisions Can Always be Changed

My Total Truths is a series based on a list of things that I know to be true and have served me as mini-life lessons. # 4 – Decisions can be hard, but they are necessary. My family back for New Jersey after 5 weeks in Santo Domingo almost a week ago and the mere thought of it breaks me down to a Hurricane Irene level cry-storm. I was lucky enough to have my mom with me for so long (2 weeks where...