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Dominican Coffee 101

11 Jul

The DR is famous for its coffee. Or maybe just famous for the sheer amount of coffee that they drink here. I probably drink around 4 or 5 cups of coffee a day. I wake up to a fresh cup from my favorite neighbor every morning around 7:30, usually receive several cups from neighbors around town during the day and cap off my afternoon with another cup from my favorite doña around 5.

One of the best parts about living in the mountains (despite it being a million degrees cooler) is that we also grow coffee. During certain times of the year, everyone’s front yard is filled with coffee beans drying, which are later roasted (with sugar) on a wood stove.

Full disclosure: we actually don’t drink coffee here but espresso made using a greca.

  • Step 1: Fill the bottom part of the greca up with water.
  • Step 2: Fill the filter with ground coffee. I like to sprinkle a little cinnamon on top!

Coffee Grounds

  • Step 3: Screw the lid on and place greca on top of the stove. Boil until you hear coffee rise to the top chamber.


  • Step 4: Repeat as often as necessary! If you are Dominican, you would also add at least two tablespoons of sugar per cup of coffee and serve it in a little tasita to all of your neighbors!

Campo Chores 101

12 Nov

After being sworn in as a PCV (yay!), I am officially living in La Lima for the long haul. Adjusting to living in the sticks has required me to get used to using a latrine, climbing a hill 15 minutes to attempt to find cell service, fighting off tarantulas and also doing chores.

Raised in a family where my mom (love you mom!) insisted on making your bed every morning and vacuumed the entire house at least twice a day, at 25, I think I´ve pretty much mastered the art of household duties. Now living in La Lima, I make my bed, sweep my room and even mop my concrete floor every morning. Something I hadn´t tried yet in country was my hand at laundry..

Let me preface this by saying that I would always, if given the opportunity, choose a wash/fold over doing laundry myself and it´s safe to say that about 75% of my wardrobe at home is dry clean only (in Charlotte). Despite this, I definitely know how to use a washer/dryer but yet, I had to ask my dona the other day to teach my how to use the lavadora.

  • Step 1: Fill the lavadora with hose water and soap and put clothes in. Remember to always start with whites.Lavadora
  • Step 2: Rinse soap from clothes in bucket of water.Bucket 1
  • Step 3: Dip clothes in fragrance/fabric softener.Bucket 2
  • Step 4: Line dry.Line drying

Easy enough right? Although, I don´t think I´ve quite mastered this because my dona insists on observing my the entire time I do my laundry, it actually wasn´t as bad or time consuming as I anticipated. My dona also not so blatantly mentioned that it is a really good thing that they have a lavadora now because until recently, the had to take all of their clothes down to the river to wash. That would have been a sight.. In any event, if you get a chance on a warm fall day, may I suggest line drying your clothes? My clothes have never smelled so nice. Or maybe that´s the fresh DR mountain air? More soon! Adios!