Day six in the Dominican (part1) Day seven in the Dominican

RussTasha16Years

This day actually started at about day two in the trip. Knowing my 16 year wedding anniversary was going to occur on this trip, I asked Pastor Raul where I could pick up some pretty local flowers. This is when Pastor Raul educated me that it is too hot locally to keep prepared flowers on hand for such gifts. I asked what the customary gift to a 16 year bride would be and Pastor Raul laughed – a little. I asked him what he would do for his bride. Pastor Raul suggested he would take his lady to a nice local restaurant. So I boldly asked, “Can you help make that possible as a surprise for Tasha?” To which he graciously applied in the affirmative. Then he went above and beyond over the week. He took me to the only florist (in my opinion) that must be around. The lady had a very secure residence with a roof-top cooler/freezer that given the heat around us must have been nearly literally to die for. I picked out a beautiful floral arrangement and we left together and I had no idea what it would cost. LOL (but it turned out to be cheap by U.S. standards). The visit with the florist was actually very peaceful given the other excitement/drama we had experienced on the trip.

On the big evening, Pastor Raul “sneaked” us away from the rest of the group much to the surprise of Tasha. He took us to a restaurant named Maisson Suisse or something like that. He escorted us in and asked us to be seated in the VIP room. We were the only ones seated in what looked like a bridal reception room for about 50 people. Raul left and we were alone with Spanish speaking only waiter. We had our translating books and a couple of years of high school Spanish between us and we had a great time. The first thing they did was turn up the air conditioner and after DAYS without it what an awesome new appreciation I have for air conditioning. Tasha and I had a great evening stumbling through the menu and reminiscing on years and years of marriage, two kids, several pets, etcetera etcetera. There were a couple of other stories about our venture on our own in to the non-English speaking dinner trip into the heart of Azua, Dominican Republic, but I’d risk going on and on…

When the dinner came to an end we walked out to wait for our ride. We had trouble communicating with the restaurant host to explain we wanted to wait for a ride. He seemed eager to make us leave. But our ride wasn’t there. We didn’t know where on earth we were!! Luckily, I had the cell phone number of a contact and we were able to get a Spanish speaking representative on the phone and we were allowed to wait. But while this was happening, a man reeking of vodka, carrying a very long/large shotgun was wandering the street towards us! Turns out he was the hired guard that would stand behind us as we sat and waited for our ride!! Too wild. What a fun anniversary dinner for a couple of corn field kids like us.

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