Saturday, November 2, 2013


Sister Douglas, our Mission President's wife, gave us this word of advice before we arrived on our mission.  She said, "Katherine, you know how we have driving laws and rules in the US?  Well, you will be less frustrated if you just forget about them when you get to the Dominican Republic.  There are no rules."
Truer words were never spoken.  

Where's your blinker?

Behind this horse-drawn cart on our way to pick up the missionaries.

Choose your lane of traffic

"Traffic Rules" in the Dominican Republic

  • If you are a car, moto, bicycle or pedestrian and you need to text, just stop in the middle of the road
  • If you are a pedestrian and need to text, just stop in the middle of the road until you send your message
  • Feel free to talk on your cell phone while driving your moto in between cars while driving as fast as you can
  • Be sure to back up on the street if you've missed your turn, don't worry about oncoming traffic
  • Don't worry about replacing your headlights on your moto, continue driving at night without them, it makes others become great defensive drivers
  • Bored of white headlights, go ahead and change them to green lights (the color of choice) or blue lights or multicolored lights that flash like the lights in a disco.  Hey, everyone needs a change now and then
  • If two headlights are not enough, go ahead and put on six headlights because you can blind the oncoming cars and everyone will move out of your way
  • Feel free to park on any side of the road and in any direction
  • Go ahead and drive on any side of the road until you are ready to have a head on collision, then be sure to get out of the way. . .go ahead and live on the edge
  • If you are a moto, you can drive down any side of the road, in between trucks, cars, and you can make a u-turn in front of a car and head down the opposite side of the road
  • When stopped at an intersection, pull next to the car in front of you and make a left or right hand turn.  It is more exciting when two cars pull up on either side of you and turn in opposite directions
  • Don't worry about stopping for red lights.  The red lights just slow traffic down.
  • Tail lights are not necessary on vehicles
  • While driving, be sure to dodge the roosters, dogs, pedestrians, bicycles and horses that randomly roam the streets
  • It is not required to use directionals
  • No brakes on your moto?  No worries.  Just be sure you are not wearing flip flops when you try to stop.
  • Looking before you turn would take the excitement of driving away
  • Be certain you have money to give to the people who are washing your windshield, if you happen to stop for a red light, or for the people who are selling you sunglasses, baseball caps, cell phone chargers or fruit
  • When driving next to an Ambulance, feel free to pass him on both sides at the same time.  Don't worry about cutting him off.  He will get out of your way.
  • When streets are flooded, don't let that slow you down.  If you are driving a moto, simply put your umbrella up and hold it in front of you so the rain doesn't get in your eyes.  Don't worry about the umbrella blocking your vision.
  • Cram as many people as you can in your car, truck, taxi, gua gua, moto. . .no seat belts required
  • While driving a truck loaded with vegetables to sell, be sure to put at least six people on top of the vegetables to keep them from falling off the truck
  • Helmets are not required on motos
  • While driving a cement block truck, be certain to have someone sitting on top of the blocks.  Don't forget to call your friends on your cell while you are keeping the blocks from falling down
  • Motos are free to zoom through red lights without slowing down or looking to see if there are any cars, motos, pedestrians or bicycles coming.
  • Park you car in the middle of the road if you need to get out and talk to someone or run into the store to pick up an item 
  • If the traffic light does not work, don't bother to repair it because no one pays attention to the color of the light
  • If your moto breaks down, repair it in the middle of the road where it stopped.  Don't move it to the side of the road
  • When dodging the holes in the road, be sure to go around the hole onto the incoming traffic lane.  The bigger vehicle wins

Anything can grow in the Dominican Republic anywhere
Notice the weeds in the left corner of the photo.  Those are the same weeds as in the photo above.
The truck is going around the weeds in the road. Yes, he was heading straight towards us. Why
didn't he go around the weeds on the other side of the road?  That is far less exciting!

Safety is first.  (By the way, I took this photo in my side view mirror)

Gua Gua (transports people like a bus) For 20 pesos you can
get to where you want to go.  No limit to the amount of people
they will carry.  Ask the missionaries:-)

Talking on the cell

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