September / October 2017
Visit during Hurricane Maria.
Only 4 days after hurricane Irma had passed I was able to fly to Puerto Plata and luckily the damage was not as bad as expected. In particular, many trees were blown over, wooden houses vanished and also the beaches affected.
I got off to a good start and the first 10 days passed without any problems.
The flooded North coast
It had already rained for more than four weeks when I arrived, and the North coast of the Dominican Republic (DR) had been declared a disaster area. There were another two weeks of torrential rains during my stay. Houses, roads, bridges and crops were washed away and there were also some victims. This had not happened for 60 years. Mopping up with the tap running was put into practice here. The airport was closed several times because everything was flooded. The water washed into the hotel rooms a few times. I had put my bags and everything off the floor out of precaution, but the next day the water was also dripping a bit out of the ceiling and, of course, onto a soft case…..
However, boots, umbrella and a hairdryer help you through everything (if there is electricity).
Staying only two weeks instead of three in Sosúa ensured the necessary stress. Certainly in the DR, where everything is checked (or not) at the last possible moment!
TUI has made trips for three weeks enormously expensive, therefore only two weeks away.
It was very hot in May and many normal rains stayed away. There had already been a long drought and besides many, lengthy power cuts, water will also now only be supplied in dribs and drabs to the population. The tourist resorts, however, notice nothing of this.
During one of my visits together with Judith and Roberto to the Colegio Asher, for the first time I saw the inside of the big yellow building, which is also visible from the road from Sosúa to Puerto Plata. This building was built by the Canadian Samaritans, and they provide it free of charge to the Colegio. The school itself must pay for everything else. The building contains one great big room for up to 400 pupils and is also multifunctional. The current number of 240 pupils can therefore still increase considerably. The adjacent second building, which is still under construction, contains many classrooms and will hopefully be completed in August.