We returned home early Friday morning from nine days in the Dominican Republic. It was our first experience having a warm Caribbean holiday and it was great. We did create many new memories, enjoyed wonderful new experiences and learned new things. The sun, sand and ocean were great.

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Using a local “moto” taxi was also a fun experience.

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And taking an eight-hour trip into the mountains to visit a coffee farm where shade grown organic coffee is grown was one of the highlights. Fifteen  years ago Julia Alvarez and her husband Bill Eichner bought a clear-cut mountain side and started their coffee farm. I believe it was to give back to the country they loved. The mountainside is now lush with tropical trees, wild fruit, shrubs and plants with coffee bushes interspersed throughout.

When we arrived at the farm we were met by Autumn, a young college graduate on a two-year volunteer program with the Peace Corps. She is working with a village of forty-four families to do health education. In a few minutes Michael arrived. He is on a one year program working in the community and on the farm helping to promote bio diversity. Both were very informative and we learned a lot about health needs and issues in a mountain community as well as the tropical vegetation and what takes place on an organic coffee farm.

Perhaps more importantly, I was impressed with the two young Americans spending their time in a Dominican mountain community helping to improve the lives of the people there, and I was reminded once again that our world is made better by those coming behind us.

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Before we started our trip down the mountain we had a sumptuous meal with a wonderful couple on another coffee farm.  We were impressed with their gracious hospitality.

IMG_0380Most significantly I came home realizing that when you spend time with the people you love whether it be on the beach, a mountain top or at home you have had a good day.

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