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Post-Election

Since I’m writing this, I obviously wasn’t injured by celebratory gunfire in the aftermath of last week’s elections. In fact, Boca Chica was fairly normal last Saturday–the taxi driver told me that the BIG and crazy celebrations were going on in Santo Domingo and other large cities. There was, in fact, a fairly long line of cars and pickup trucks loaded with people waving the purple banners of the victorious incumbent, Leonel Fernandez, heading out toward the main highway leading to the capital.

Election2

All the candidates here had an identifying campaign color–purple, white and red. This probably made sense in the past when many Dominicans were illiterate (there are still some) but could associate with a color. I confirmed with a Dominican friend that colored ballots with photos of the candidates are used in the voting booth. Anyway, the election craziness is over and things are back to normal in the Dominican Republic. (Hah!)

Here are a couple of Leonel supporters having a few cervezas before joining the parade.

Election1

I FedEx’ed my signed contract and other documents to Korea a few days ago. The process is moving along very nicely, and I hope to receive my visa in a timely manner. I think the documents are all in order, but whenever you’re dealing with a government–well, you just don’t know what other hoops you might have to jump through.

Political Violence

Lest anyone think I’m exaggerating about the dangers of the election in the D.R., here’s an article about violence that resulted in 3 deaths yesterday. I’m going into Boca Chica later, but I really don’t expect to run into anything of this nature.

Update

There was a LOT of confusion among the players and coaches about when everyone would be allowed to go home to vote. The voting age here is 18, so most of the Dominican players are eligible to participate in the elections, but they have to vote in their home districts. The main scuttlebutt was that they had an intra-squad game today (they did) and would be allowed to leave when that was completed, but they would have to be back for Saturday morning practice. That would have been a completely illogical restriction, but the final word was that they were allowed to go home after the game today, and Saturday practice was called off. Good news for all, except the foreign players, who, of course, can’t participate in the election. But, I called off English classes today, so the Venezuelans and others were happy about that.

I went into Boca Chica to see if anything interesting was going on, but the place was completely shut down. Almost all the small, neighborhood grocery stores, bars and restaurants on the main strip were closed, but the beach establishments were open for business as usual. As if it mattered, the beach was pretty empty, too. I’m told that tomorrow will be interesting, to say the least, with celebrations, marches, occasional gunfire (!!!), and general mayhem to commemorate the victory of the winning party. I have been warned to use a bit of caution (and I will) if I planned to leave the camp, but I have to go into Boca Chica to see what happens. Going to Santo Domingo would be much more interesting, but since I have to go there on Monday, I’ll just use some of that caution and stay out of the city tomorrow. Hopefully, Boca Chica will be interesting enough–if so, I’ll try to get some photos while avoiding any gunshots aimed in my direction. (Just kidding). 😮