A year ago it was raining in Tavernier, Florida. Back then, our daughter, Karen, was soaked by rain as she slept under an open hatch. The smell of mildew was my biggest worry. Here, in the Dominican Republic, rain causes more serious issues. The rain has been persistent and heavy enough to cause road damage. Some schools have had walls collapse (Dominican Today).
In Luperon, which is where we have been anchored during hurricane season, the sidewalks were flooded. The quiet, mangrove canal that lines the entrance into town became a rushing river, filled with large logs and debris. Eventually, the canal breached its banks and flooded the road in one place. I am glad that we didn’t have to walk along the road when it was flooding.
For days the Luperon harbour was full of hazards, and adopted a strong and offensive colour of brown. Here are some pictures that show the Luperon harbour after the heavy rains.
Our four children are attending elementary school in Luperon. They were sent home due to safety concerns. Rain was coming into the classrooms and flooding the floors. When I picked them up from school, I had to steer our dinghy carefully to avoid hitting the logs, bottles, and cactus that were floating in the water.
My kids were home from school all week. Meanwhile, my husband, Rick, was away in Miami for a few days picking up boat parts.
My kids are ages 10, 8 and 5 year-old twins. They have the energy of about a thousand caffeinated squirrels. So, one day last week, the kids and I ventured off the boat to have lunch, ice-cream and play with some other local children.
Here is a picture of the ball diamond we visited. The ball diamond was very wet but was a meeting point for a couple of stray dogs, and children, including some schoolmates.
Below are some pictures of children being children.
The kids in the photo are what Lenore Skenazy would call “free-range children” because, putting myself aside, the kids were playing in the ball diamond without adult supervision.
If you’re wondering, “Lenore, who?” then you might recall the story of the woman who, in 2008 let “her then-9-year-old son take the New York City Subway home alone” (Wikipedia, Lenore Skenazy).Her parenting views are seen as controversial today. But, back in the day, the unsupervised time that she advocates, was simply called “childhood”.
I was amazed to observe how kids play in their rawest form – away from adults, electronics, organized sports, or play structures. I insisted my kids wear shoes but, otherwise, did my best to maintain a low profile.
Our kids quickly got involved with the activities on the field. Here, the boys are with a group of local kids, picking cherries.
They jumped over everything they could find.
The kids found some Styrofoam. They made “snow” by rubbing two pieces of Styrofoam together. Eventually, I intervened.
I was amazed to see how differently the kids played in the absence of structure. The children ranged in age from about 5 to 10. The children organized themselves to play dodgeball, they wrestled, threw sticks for some stray dogs, and threw rocks – sometimes at each other.
It was raining here again today. We’ve packed schoolbags. But, if there’s rain tomorrow my kids will not be going to school. Rick and I are readying the boat for departure to the Caribbean (Puerto Rico and parts south). But, if our kids are off school, then they can come to town with me and run wild at the ball diamond.
Life is good on SV Aphrodite.