I always associated DR with physicians until my son got his assignment for the Amigos Program, a non-profit organization which sends volunteers to Latin American countries to encourage self-development. He's going to Azua in the Dominican Republic, often referred to as "DR."
I'd never heard much about this DR, except as a small group represented in the Olympics. My brother, however, said his wife and mother-in-law went there on holiday, and they enjoyed the beaches, the sparkling Caribbean waters, the five-star hotels. I loved that image, and even bought a shoe-string guidebook to the place. What an amazing island!
On the other hand I found it hard to believe that a non-profit would spend months preparing my child for aquamarine waters and white sandy beaches.
A past volunteer suggested reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. On the surface this Pulitzer Prize winning novel is about the love life of Oscar, a poor New York boy who is originally from the Dominican Republic. But it's a complicated story--with footnotes and lots of Spanish--about the fall from grace of a prominent physician during the Trujillo regime. Oscar is the doctor's grandson.
While at times confusing, the book gave me some insight into Azua, which Diaz calls "the Outland, the Badlands, the Cursed Earth, the Desert of Glass, the Burning lands, the Doben-al, the Salusa Secundus, the Ceti Alpha Six, the Tatooine." (like I said, at times confusing.) The book gave me insight into the Dominican Republic, a lovely island which has suffered nightmare after nightmare in its leaders. Or more specifically, its Leader Trujillo.
Do you have stories about the DR? Books to recommend?