of the charm of living in the Dominican Republic is how different
it is from your country of origin. Walk down the street in any small
village or town and you will be amazed at how many people appear to
know you. They don’t, of course, all know you but they will all greet
you and smile – it’s the way things are here. Resist, if you can,
the urge to turn to your partner with a wary, suspicious ‘Do I know
him?’ Do what the locals do, acknowledge the greeting, return it and
Some things about the DR are less productive of good health or even of an extended lifetime. Witness the driving skills or lack thereof and you might well wonder how the DR’s 10 million inhabitants have actually managed to live as long as they have!
What the new expat won’t know, and can’t be expected to, at the start, is how to achieve the normal tasks of everyday life in this environment and it is for that reason that Ilana Benady and Ginnie Bedggood have written Moving To and Living In the Dominican Republic. Between them they have been living in the DR for some 30 years. There was no ‘How To’ manual when they moved here, so the information contained in the book has been gleaned from their own, not always easy, experience.
Yes you can ask the helpful locals, assuming you have Spanish, but be prepared for literal responses rather than being told everything you need to know! This is partly because other people don’t know what it is you don’t know and don’t wish to offend by assuming you know very little. The second reason is that interpersonal relationships are considered very important in the DR and people do NOT want to upset you by telling you things you would prefer not to hear, even though they are the truth. Thus ‘Is the bread shop open all day?’ will elicit the response ‘yes’ because to a local ‘all day’ means the time bread shops are open here viz. 8 am (give or take!) to midday and 4 PM to 8 PM. Go at 2.30 PM and it will be closed.
After 4 or 5 experiences of this nature, the new expat could end up feeling that the locals don’t know what they are talking about, or are being deliberately obtuse. Neither is the case, but the new expat’s lack of information can place them in both a vulnerable and powerless position. Moving To and Living In the Dominican Republic seeks to remedy this by providing page after page of factual information as well as advice. Looking for a school for your children? Read the section on Education and see the directory of schools. Looking for a doctor or surgeon? Read the section on Health Care and see the directory of medical facilities. Want to become a legal alien? Read the section on Immigration and Visas. Not only does this book provide the information, in many aspects it also walks you through how to use that information.
Have it under your arm when you apply for a driving licence or set up a company in the DR and you’ll impress even experienced expats with your level of knowledge!
Ginnie Bedggood May 2010
Until sales outlets are fully established & books are held 'In Stock', people interested in buying should contact either the publisher (contact info see press release) or Grahame Bush - can be contacted on email@example.com or via his web site www.casabush.org .
Kindle version at Amazon.com & Amazon.co.uk or
Amazon Canada now available at:
Welcome to the website of Ginnie Bedggood, first time author, British expatriate and unabashed Dominicanaphile. Here you will find information about the book Quisqueya: Mad Dogs and English Couple as well as articles published by the same author.
You may have happened upon this site whilst surfing the web from snowy Saskatchewan, rainy Rochester or freezing Felixstowe. And you may be asking ‘What am I doing here?’ Well, if you want to know what I am doing here in the Dominican Republic, read on.
Rest assured that there have been times when, despite living on a tropical island, I have asked the same question. Expat life is not for everyone and expat life in a developing country takes a certain laidback attitude while you sit and wait for it to………develop.
If you are accustomed to first world efficiency then life in the DR (as it is more commonly known) will be a little different. The word ‘mañana’ is one you will often hear. And whoever told you it means tomorrow? Sometimes the experience is akin to pulling teeth. Without anaesthetic.
The purpose of this website is thus to tell it like it is, from my perspective. Warts and all. You will find advice for aspiring relocators to the DR. What you will not find are enticing, alluring invitations to buy your place in the sun. The web is replete with those, urging you to invest ‘before the price goes up’.
Of course, the wish to save money is universal. But far more important in the long term is the relocators’ sense of well being and happiness in a country which is the right one for them. Discovering whether the DR is the right one for you takes time, effort and preparation.
I found the right one for me fifteen years ago. For me it isn’t the weather which makes the DR my home, it’s the people. Let me introduce you to them.