While dreaming of people and places in Ocala, I suddenly awoke and was startled to find myself in a cabin on the side of a mountain in the “Dominican Alps.” My initial disorientation and anxiety gradually abated as I spent the early morning hours praying, thinking, and talking with Ben about different things.
Donna had left the remainder of her bag of apples with the Duncans, so we ate fruit this morning with our French toast. Afterwards, Celia and I moved the laundry from the inside balcony to the outside balcony, where both the clothes and I began to rapidly assume an improved state of being under the penetrating influence of the hot sun and the crisp, cool air.
A small dog and three puppies joined us on the porch. Apparently they had parasites – one of them stumbled on malnourished, deformed limbs to carry his swollen belly from person to person, enthusiastically greeting each one as only a young dog can. I was saddened and sorry that we couldn’t do anything to help them.
We spent most of this lovely, restful day basking in the sun, eating, wandering in the yard, basking some more, taking pictures, dozing in the fresh air, bringing in the laundry as it dried, basking again…
We reveled in the scenery as much as in the climate. Our location in the Cordillera Central mountain range lay only about 20 miles from Pico Duarte, the highest point in the Caribbean islands at over 10,000 feet. The view reminded our family of the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains that Ben grew up near.
After a lunch of beans, rice, and chicken, I started putting together a jigsaw puzzle that we had found in a cabinet in the dining room. I was surprised when Arianna helped me a little bit, but Jessica didn’t. Later, we sampled a delicious new flavor of Lay’s chips: queso blanco. Unfortunately, they seem to be available only in the D.R. – even Amazon doesn’t carry them!
In the afternoon, Jared, Ben, and Jessica hiked to the top of a nearby hill and back.
As the three explorers made their way back and the rest of us waited for them out front, the evening clouds directed the setting sun to spin a rippling gossamer of pure light over the valley below.
Dinner consisted of spaghetti with meat sauce and chunks of queso blanco cheese, followed by coconut candy and homemade chocolate chip cookies. After the smaller girls went to bed, we stayed up for awhile playing a game similar to Taboo that Ben has on his smartphone. Then we settled in for the night, looking forward to doing the same lovely lot of nothing all over again tomorrow.