Mama Juana Series: Life in DR

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Falling in Love with Las Terrenas

I will never forget when I fell in love with her. It was June of 2011. The sky was a golden pink and magic hour was upon us. The ocean was calm and the sound of waves (if you could have called them that) was drowned out by my ATV. But that didn’t matter to me in the least because in place of the soft sound of waves, freedom combed my hair and the sea breeze was my breath. My...

Kickass T-Shirts by Muchacha Power | Made in the Dominican Republic

If you’re not interested in hearing a story about “girl power” today – keep it moving. Strong girls grow up to be strong women. So, this post is all about empowering girls. While a t-shirt might not start a revolution, it can make a statement and spread a story. And this girl power t-shirt tells exactly the kind of story I want to share with you, and more importantly, my kids. Muchacha Power started simply and, as the mom of a strong, smart, and beautiful Latina girl who...

These 3 Lip Sync Battle Videos Explain Why It’s the Best Party of the Year

Imagine 15 mini surprise parties of hearty laughter and unadultered hollering. An evening of, willfully and gleefully, having no idea what to expect next… that’s Lip Sync. On an open air rooftop of Santo Domingo this past Friday night, the wind was howling and the sky was cloudy. If we were pirates on the high seas, I’d be worried. But the performers of our 4th Lip Sync Battle Party were on fire… if fire was doused with gasoline and then an explosive was thrown in....

Dominican Independence Month Has Me Emotional AF

Today concludes Dominican Independence Month at CMS. The Early Elementary kids parade through the school in a parade while the older elementary kids participate on Comparsas, a show beyond all shows you’ve ever seen an elementary school put on. Throughout the school, there are celebrations and music and smiles. And I’m here, sobbing in a corner. Ok, maybe that’s exaggerating. I’m not sobbing in a corner but rather all around in random locations. And don’t think Husband is any better. The...

Coffee Talks: The Only Thing That Matters When Moving with Kids

During these last few months of searching for our next move abroad, we talked about it endlessly with everyone. Everyone except for our kids. I wasn’t scared to tell them; I just didn’t have anything to tell them and “I don’t know where we’re going” didn’t seem like a solid answer for their inevitable followup question. Last week, after Husband accepted the job offer in Guadalajara, it was time to talk and here’s what I learned from that talk: when...

Dominican Art and Date Night in the Colonial Zone

Last night was date night and, in spite of traffic and crummy weather,  we took it to the Colonial Zone for a Dominican Art exhibit that we heard was happening at Galería Toledo. We had an idea of where the gallery was located but we needed to do a little searching. I asked the doorman who stood outside of the Nicolas De Ovande Hotel, “Oh La Casa de Betty?” He asked. I repeated the gallery’s name, “Galeria Toledo.” Apparently we were...

SnapShots: An Expat Thanksgiving at Cabarete Beach

Talk to most expats and what they’ll tell you they miss most when living abroad are the special moments they miss back home; holidays probably being the biggest and hardest. With holidays come attached nostalgia, memories, and traditions and moving away from that could be impossibly hard but our community at CMS and our Annual Thanksgiving at Cabarete Beach hasn’t been your typical expat holiday. It has all the feels of a family dinner with with none of the mess or...