If you are a foreigner living in Haiti, you can technically only be here for three months at a time. Some people choose to completely ignore this, other follow it strictly. We fall somewhere in the middle. We have heard they are less strict at the airport, if you are over your three months they don’t seem to notice or care too much. However, we’ve heard the border guys are way strict about it. So, since our three months was up last week, and we want to visit the Dominican anyway, we decided to go and check it out. It was a bit chaotic at the border, we were there on a Friday, and every Monday and Friday is ‘open border day’ which allows Haitians to get in and out with relative ease. Other than a big Haitian man shutting the gate on us serveral times, we made it through, paid our fees and were off. Three blocks into the DR you can board a huge bus, complete with cushy seats and a/c. We even went into a nice office and bought real tickets- that was how we knew we were in another country. It was about a two hour drive to Santiago, one of the DR’s bigger cities. All I know is we saw Domino’s Pizza and a bunch of nice car dealerships…it was strange. We sat for just a bit, waiting for the next bus to take us to the coast of Puerto Plata. It’s a beautiful area on the ocean, with lots of hotels, restaurants, and fun things to do. We picked a hotel that was a little ways down the coast from there, since we are not big crowds kind of people. The hotel was great-only $45 a night!! They had a nice restaurant with tasty food, and were just a few minutes walk from a gorgeous and quiet beach. We went into the town the next morning and oh my goodness. It’s a cute little place that is a mix between Oceanside and Carlsbad. It was really nice!! We found a bakery, yes a real bakery for breakfast!! They even had cute shops with home decor stuff and some surf shops selling surf clothing and boards! It was bizarre and wonderful all at the same time. We spent the rest of the day at the beach, and enjoyed dinner at this fancy hotel that had a restaurant right on the water. It was a whole different world! Unfortunetely, we had to pack up and head back home on Monday-way, way too soon. The crack up was the bus we boarded to head back to the border town was packed with Haitians, the first time any of those buses we had ridden was full. They over sold the bus-who does that?? We got on only to find no seats and about six of us with no where to go. I couldn’t help but laugh, as I heard chicken clucking all throughout the bus, as we joked with the Hatiains. We already felt like we were back home! So, Brandon and I set our bags in the isle way and sat down on top of them. After only a few minutes though, one Haitian guy told me I could have his seat, and he would squish with his two friends. How stinkin’ sweet is that?? I am reminded once again of the way that Haitians take care of each other, and kindly accepted his seat-with a chicken in a pillowcase beneath me. Even with the what Brandon called “a tap tap ride with a/c” we will for sure be going back!!