We had a nice trip to Las Cueva de las Maravillas last Saturday. There were about 30 people on board the bus, including Rex, my supervisor from the embassy. I was right in my tongue-in-cheek guess about picture-taking within the cave–the photosynthesis from all the flash bulbs going off would eventually lead to the degradation of all the old Taino pictoglyphs on the cave walls. So, I can’t show you any photos of the interior of this beautiful cave system.

The upgrading of the cave is brand new–the folks who are responsible have added motion sensor lighting, so that only one area of the system is lit at a time. When the group progresses to another area, the new area gets lit up and the previous one goes dark again. Their are stainless steel handrails, subdued foot lighting that never goes out, and, in places that are appropriate for it, marble flooring. The visitors center is all new and they are constructing a new entryway on the main road. It was very impressive. The tour guides all spoke excellent English and were very knowledgeable about the cave’s history and about the state-of-the-art upgrade.

After the cave tour, our group had lunch and relaxed for several hours at Cumayasa Ranch, where you can go horseback riding, take a river trek, or relax under the covered patios surrounded by peacocks. All in all, it was a good trip.

One of the peacocks–I was able to creep up on it before it got miffed and walked away.


I hung out a lot with these guys. Here we are just before grabbing a lunch buffet of Chicken Cumayasa, Macaroni Tuna Salad, Roast Eggplant, Red Beans and Rice, bread and dessert. From the left front, clockwise are Alex, Spencer (both members of embassy families), Roberto (I think), Rex (my supervisor), and Ken (who works with USAID at the embassy).


We’ve had a bit of turnover in players, with new ones arriving and others leaving. A few players have been released, and one fellow, quite fluent in English, very bright and a pleasure to have in the class, called it quits in order to continue his education. He wants to go to university and major in Linguistics. Many people were sad to see him go, including me.

I’ve become pretty good at knowing most of the players’ names, so my memory must be getting better. . . it’s either that or the fact that half of the players seem to be named Jose or Juan. 😆

And, by the way, Nai seems to be doing very well lately. Many thanks for any thoughts and prayers you may have sent his way. More later.