Above is a picture of Don Fabio. I found him working his conuco one morning in late July. We were playing ball with his grandkids and several other villagers on the other side of barb wire fence while he picked at weeds, and chopped branches with his machete. The utility of a dominican man’s machete would put an average North American man’s tool bench to shame. As we played beisbol, Don Fabio put in a full morning’s labor with one hand and a machete, only stopping to ask if his grandchildren were behaving, and offering them a quick blessing.
Below is a picture of Rodrigo catching a mid-day Atlantic breeze from his porch. I shuffled by his house on my way to see the cliffs of Cabrera that look over the Atlantic Ocean. As you can see from the picture, his shaded patio is just yards from the cliffside. As any warm-blooded dominican would do, he invited me to sit with him and charlar un poco. He told me about his career as a resort waiter, the few jobs he maintains as a retiree, and the good fortune he feels he has won by having a healthy family, and a humble home near the sea. Beyond Rodrigo is the scooter he uses to taxi people throughout Cabrera, often serving as a messenger service, as well.