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Posts Tagged ‘Dominican Republic’

Enjoying the Ride

In Blogging, Career, Contributors, En Español, Family, Finances, Lifestyle, News, Relationships on February 20, 2016 at 00:01

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By Geisel Checo

This part of my life, here and now, is what I call enjoyment. You may have that description attached to your 20s but for me, the 30s are a true joy.

Let’s get you started, I am about to hit 37, father of three boys and married to my best friend since I was 28 years old. So my thirties got me married and with a first-born little person.

We were overseas in another Caribbean island working for a local Construction Company. I say another island because I was born in one, the Dominican Republic. Therefore, my first son was born in Trinidad & Tobago of two Dominican Parents. Three years after, now in my thirties, we decided to have a second child but in the middle of it I decided not to renew my contract with the company for two more years so we went back home.

Being an engineer, with two children, getting back to the labor market after five years being overseas it is only fair that the ride started to get bumpy. Got a job, which I lost in the matter of months due to rough economy times while my wife was unemployed due to the pregnancy. Thanks to my experience in the field, I got a job in a matter of days but it required being away from home every so often.

If two little boys were not enough, we got preggo again for a third time! And with it I was transferred to Haiti for a high profile project that required a Project Manager with my expertise, or so they said… But it was! Being a Dominican in Haiti is not an easy task due to some business that happened over 170 years ago but we cannot forget our past nor our history. Even though the project was very demanding and going out for drinks was not an option, I decided to write a book on my own. I have a blog in which I write about my real and imaginary life, but to write a book is something else.

So between chapters of my stay in Haiti I had the concept of what I wanted to write about but never set my foot down to finish it. Until one day that I read about a contest for Spanish speaking writers with an opportunity to have your digital book printed out in paperback with a well renowned publisher. By that time I was Operations Manager handling five projects simultaneously since I was promoted after the high profile project was handed over to the client.

I started writing the book on or around 3am due to heavy work load because there were two of the five projects with an end date approaching and extra hours were put into play to meet the dead line. I would reach home, take a bath and start singing “it’s 3am I must be lonely” (all rights lay with Matchbox 20) and then set to write my own piece.

It took me a month to finally have it presentable or so I like to think, or maybe it was because the end date to publish it was due and I only got an hour left to do so. I rushed into the laptop, in the middle of my working day, with my boss and the Minister of Education present on the job site and I minded my own business. It was like that or nothing.

At the end, I did not even make it into the top five of which a winner was going to be elected from, but I wrote a digital book, in a month, not sleeping and with lots of responsibilities on my shoulders delivering the two mentioned projects. I am aiming to print the book on my own and put it on sale in bookstores all over the Dominican Republic.

And that’s where I say that my thirties are about enjoyment, even being a bumpy ride, with ups and downs. If all these were to happen while in my twenties I would probably be divorced by now, pressure cracked in my professional life and would have never written a book from scratch and from inside my head with my own story.

So I’m not inspiring you to not turn 30 but to embrace it, wish it and dream it. It is the start of a ride to enjoy to the fullest!

I would like to thank Laura and her empowering blog for asking me to contribute to it and I’m looking forward to contribute again, probably on her upcoming blog ‘Now That I Am In My Forties’ (just trying to set the idea in your brain!).

P.S.: If you have the time and can read in Spanish, please visit my blog at www.entrelapizypapel.blogspot.com and/or purchase the digital version of my book ‘El Presidente de la Nación’ on Amazon.

Geisel in a glimpse:

morning person – sunset collector – lover of a good wine, golf and antiquities – habano’s savorer – full moon contemplator – husband of my best friend – father of three – brother of two – proud son – creator of stories, both real and imaginary.

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See You in April

In Family, Lifestyle, News, Spirituality on March 22, 2015 at 21:30

February 18th was Ash Wednesday. I saw it on Facebook. Even though I’ve been planning in detail for the weeks before, during and after Easter, it didn’t cross my mind to think when was the beginning of Lent.

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Growing up in a Catholic environment, I remember Ash Wednesday, as an exciting day. At school, we’d have a long mass where our Director/Priest would impose ashes on our foreheads, student by student, while repeating “Del polvo vienes y en polvo te convertirás” (“For dust you are and to dust you will return”. -Genesis 3:19) At home, we wouldn’t eat meat that day and then the following Fridays until Good Friday. I’ve never been a big fan of meat, there was my excitement. Friday lunch at the vegetarian restaurant? Bring it on!

In spite of years of hearing about it, repeating these symbolic acts, receiving catechism instruction, and having devoted friends and family around since little, I admit that I never reflected much about Lent and the idea of preparation for it, sacrifice, fasting, and abstinence. I do remember that we don’t sing the alleluia during lent. I remember some friends planning sacrifices such as not eating sweets, my aunt taking a vow of silence during Easter, and my grandpa staying quiet and almost silent on Good Friday. It’s not that I was a rebel, I just didn’t feel the call to renounce to some given pleasures, maybe because they were not even that pleasant to me and anyway, I was used to offering promises (not talking on the phone, not wearing earrings, and practical deals like that) in exchange of good grades every month.

A week off of school will come with Easter and that was exciting enough. A trip to the beach, the mountains, or at least to grandma’s house, almost three hours away from home. A few counted years, I remember going to a viacrucis (way of the Cross), a procession and visiting churches to see the “Monumentos”. Every four years, Easter will be right before presidential elections in the Dominican Republic, therefore was part of the last stretch of the political campaign, just to add some color, noise and folklore to our so called highways and toll stations. Then the news would report the balance of the losses of the week. Confusing.

When I moved to the United States I lost touch with all those traditions. I almost never realized when Easter was happening, unless I had a Spring Break type of show to work on, friends were visiting from DR during their time off, or one of my favorite bosses would announce that she will be taking Friday off because it was Good Friday.

Now that I am in my thirties, one of my goals is to awaken and strengthen that spiritual being that has been dormant inside me. I have been learning about how much sacrifice, fasting and prayer help to grow our spirits. Considering how blessed I have always felt, I started looking for ways to do more, not necessarily to ask and get more, but to first rejoice in how much I have.

This is why this year; I am giving up social networks during the Lenten season. I have been thinking about making this sacrifice for a while, in the name of productivity because, beyond of the time that I set apart to work on clients’ campaigns or share content for our blog, I waste a lot more just in pure procrastination and stalking, modern acts of sloth. Productivity was not convincing enough (“I need to know what’s going on”, “I need to be ‘out’ there because I live away from everybody”, “It’s helpful, I learn a lot there”, etc.), because I didn’t want to stop. Guilty pleasure or addiction? Not sure. But today is the perfect day to connect and give through my heart because I have a bigger purpose: Sacrifice as an act of gratitude for what I have received and as humble preparation for what is yet to come, thanking God for his mercy.

I will miss the Oscars’ gossip, big and small announcements, and compliments to recent and old pictures. I will also miss good news and bad news. I am sure I will hear about Daylight Savings Day (even though time doesn’t change in my current coordinates), the Irish Pubs around won’t let me forget St. Patrick’s Day and I might fall for a couple April’s Fool jokes.

I apologize in advance, because I know I will miss birthdays.

It’s OK because He gave up everything for us.

The hard part? I will miss all of you.

Wishing you a beautiful time of reflection and spiritual growth,

Laura

NOTE: I might post on the blog, but I won’t share it on the social networks until April 6th. If you would like to receive our posts, make sure you sign up below to receive them in your inbox. Thank you!

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2014: Midyear Recap

In Career, Family, Lifestyle, News on July 1, 2014 at 09:00
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Looking back…grateful!

The first half of the year is getting close to its end. As we start preparing for a summer filled with fun and activities, I would like to look back and share with you a quick mid-year recap. In some aspects it has been a slow year, valuable work projects have been cancelled or postponed, but I have learned my lessons and made important progress in different areas of my life. Keeping an eye on quality over quantity, it’s been a positive year.

What have I done so far in 2014?

-January:

As I mentioned on “Back for Good”, 2014 started with a contrasting mix of productivity and lethargy. Excited about being devoted to an amazing professional project indeed, even strength training every day. Mid-January, fun came in all different forms: family and friends joined us for a special corporate extravaganza: My husband’s company anniversary and annual beach week. Perfect dose of excitement and exhaustion!

-February:

My “creative” year started in February. After a long break, I started blogging and writing again and through them, found love in  everything around as you can read on “Love Now”.

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Looking back…grateful!

I also went away for a production gig and celebrated my dear Dominican Republic posting our National Poem on February 27th, our Independence Day.

-March:

Without planning it, March was a great month for reflection.  I started “Learning From Those Younger Than Us” sharing with you the short film  “NICA”  about a mid-20s young man who trades in his dismal 9-5 lifestyle in an urban metropolis for a “simpler life” thousands of miles away. On March 8th, I invited you to celebrate what unites all of us without exception: LIFE with “International Life Day”. And the highlight of the month was the wonderful experience I had working an awards show in my country. I am proud to realize how much we have learned and how eager we are to keep learning!

-April:

I was planning for an uneventful month. No traveling, which occasionally sounds more exciting than the opposite. House hunting got in the way, and there I was visiting, emailing, calling, texting, harassing landlords and real estate agentsjust to move to the first place we saw! But that didn’t happen until June 1st; therefore you need to keep reading! Then the unexpected happened: My husband surprised me with tickets to Little Corn Island! Beautiful piece of land off the coast of Nicaragua in the Caribbean Sea. To arrive, we drove one hour, flew one hour and sailed for one hour but then we were pedestrians for four days! Neither cars nor roads on the island!

Little Corn Island Collage

Looking back…grateful!

Everything was worth it! We had a wonderful getaway, ate delicious food, enjoyed nature, relaxedcan’t wait to go back!

-May:

May was fun! It started with the wedding of one of my best male friends. I can’t recall the last time I had so much fun before that night! What a blast!

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Looking back…grateful!

The middle of the second quarter of the year was also a great opportunity to refocus on what matters most and regain the passion to pursue our goals. I shared my empirical exercise on how I do that on “Six Steps to Achieve Your Goals”. While spending much needed quality time with family and friends, they convinced me to open an Instagram account that you can follow here @Laura.Sgroi.

-June:

On Sunday, June 1st, we moved to our new house.

Our house

Looking back…grateful!

A beautiful colonial residence that feels like home since the first day we stepped in. Here I started P90X for the 90th time, wrote that application for that dream project that I am dying to tell you about, but that I’ll keep a secret until I have the results;), celebrated my husband and my friend Malena’s birthday and started writing again while cheering for the World Cup matches.

This is my 2014 so far. What about yours?

How were the first six months of the year for you?

Hope you are having a great year!

Please share your mid-year recap and stay tuned for our next post about our Plans for the Second Half of 2014!

Thanks for stopping by!

Yours all year round,

Laura

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¡Feliz Día de la Independencia Dominicana!

In En Español, News on February 27, 2014 at 09:24

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En verdad.
Con dos millones
suma de la vida
y entre tanto
cuatro cordilleras cardinales
y una inmensa bahía y otra inmensa bahía,
tres penínsulas con islas adyacentes
y un asombro de ríos verticales
y tierra bajo los árboles y tierra
bajo los ríos y en la falta del monte
y al pie de la colina y detrás del horizonte
y tierra desde el cantío de los gallos
y tierra bajo el galope de los caballos
y tierra sobre el día, bajo el mapa, alrededor
y debajo de todas las huellas y en medio el amor.
Entonces
es lo que he declarado.
Hay
un país en el mundo
sencillamente agreste y despoblado.

Algún amor creerá
que en este fluvial país en que la tierra brota,
y se derrama y cruje como una vena rota,
donde el día tiene su triunfo verdadero,
irán los campesinos con asombro y apero
a cultivar
cantando
su franja propietaria.
Este amor
quebrará su inocencia solitaria.
Pero no.
Y creerá
que en medio de esta tierra recrecida,
donde quiera, donde ruedan montañas por los valles
como frescas monedas azules, donde duerme
un bosque en cada flor y en cada flor de la vida,
irán los campesinos por la loma dormida
a gozar
forcejeando
con su propia cosecha.

Este amor
doblará su luminosa flecha.
Pero no.
Y creerá
que donde el viento asalta el íntimo terrón
y lo convierte en tropas de cumbres y praderas,
donde cada colina parece un corazón,
en cada campesino irán las primaveras
cantando
entre los surcos
su propiedad.
Este amor
alcanzará su floreciente edad.
Pero no.

Esa es otra canción. Escuchad
la canción deliciosa de los ingenios de azúcar
y de alcohol.

Y esta es mi última palabra.

No quiero más que paz.
Un nido
de constructiva paz en cada palma
Y quizás a propósito del alma
el enjambre de besos
y el olvido.

(Fragmento de “Hay un País en el Mundo”).

Pedro Mir 
( 1913-2000)

Thanks to all our viewers and readers around the world!

In Uncategorized on September 22, 2012 at 13:08

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