Visibility is restricted on an airplane.

Unless you have a window seat and are inclined to gaze out a small porthole, it is easy to forget you are thousands of feet in the air inside a fancied up tin can that runs on computers most of the plane’s time in the air.

If you look outside the plane porthole you see parts of the plane sometimes, but mostly you see clouds, Mother Nature’s sunscreens. Sometimes they are white as your grandfather’s hair while other times they are puffed up like a boxer’s right eye. The clouds take fantastic shapes, and, at this moment, look suspiciously like the mushrooms growing in my back lawn this last Spring.

The terra firma of the Dominican Republic fills the porthole as we fly closer to the end of this trip and instructions for landing are given to us over a sound system that doesn’t inspire confidence .We are thanked for our compliance, urged to take all our belongings with us, go through Customs, and enjoy our trip.

The island is large, even from the air, and grows cocoa, tobacco,sugarcane,coffee,rice,beans,potatos,corn, bananas,cattle,pigs, chickens and eggs.I remember seeing little Dominican Republic stickers on clusters of bananas sold in my local grocery. The island is about the size of the U.S. state Georgia and is one of the largest of the Caribbean islands. The population is ten million and growing and feeding that many people takes work. When people get hungry, trouble isn’t far away.

Setting down with a bump on a wet runway, this ninth Scotttreks trek, has begun, for real.

Picked up at the airport by my Airbnb host, Berluis, we drive down the Avenida de Americas lined with palm trees and ocean on the left, weather worn commercial and residential buildings on the right.

This country shares its island with Haiti but most prosperity indicators here point up.


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