Just got back from a nice spring break with the wife in the Dominican Republic. Awesome trip.
Some quick things before I do a major post on it later:
We have no idea of what poverty is in this country. Most Dominicans live in tiny hovels, with tin roofs. No running water, no indoor plumbing, no electricity. Nothing. Yet people in Haiti are desperate to get in to the DR... How bad does it have to get in your country that you would be willing to risk your life to get in to a backward place like the DR??? Really freaking bad.
Despite being so very very poor, the people I visited with were very proud of their country, rightly so, and of their homes. Most people could learn something about their version of cleanliness. All of the small one room, tin roofed houses I saw were cleaner than my house.
At least at the resort we stayed at, they have very little care for privacy during nature's call... The female cleaning staff simply walked in and started cleaning. Didn't matter what you were doing at the time.
The DR has some of the best beaches in the world for swimming. The reefs along the coast broke up the big surf, and left gentle waves to hit the shore. This made the water a deep blue, and the beaches a fine almost powder like sand. Awesome.
Rum goes good in anything.