First of all, a confession: I have told several minor friends and even a few mere acquaintances about the Lifestyles Resort in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. As I write this, the Lifestyles secret police are likely surrounding the base camp and preparing to execute a classic pincer move - one team fast rope descends onto the roof and swings in the windows while the other makes a frontal assault, sub machineguns spraying - anything to keep the VIP lifestyle that much more exclusive.
If I die in a blaze of gunfire, though, it was all worth it. Last week at Lifestyles Resort I finally lived the VIP lifestyle I so richly deserve. There, on the beach, laid out on a plush bed, pina colada in hand, drinking in the warm Caribbean rays, I finally realized my own self worth. Like all things, though, it came at a price.
All around the VIP area there were signs reading “Tell it only to your best friends.” An awkwardly phrased yet foreboding notice that this lifestyle is to be kept secret by the privileged few. The mere act of writing this blog will likely sign my death warrant .
Seriously, though, it was a great time in the DR. Yeah, I know, all inclusive resorts are lame, right? Maybe, but not when you’ve just spent a month taking bucket showers and eating nothing but rice and beans, and certainly not when you’re with 21 of your closest friends and colleagues. If I’d laid in my bunk in Haiti a few weeks ago and tried to picture the environs most diametrically opposed to my own, I wouldn’t have thought of Lifestyles, but it was quite a departure indeed.
Not that I deserved it, really, not as much as my companions who’d all been in country considerably longer. I took a break from the work in Haiti because operations were shut down for a week beginning on what was to be the end of the project. I didn’t feel I needed time off, but it made sense considering the circumstance and I was happy to bask in the enjoyment of some folks who had really earned the break.
Now, after a week of anpil volleyball, beach, food, and drink, batteries charged, it’s back to work on the school build. Stay tuned for a blog post that speaks to this, the other reason I’m here.