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Why I want to take a class in agriculture

August 14, 2017

bani conuco

Hello from the Dominican Republic. I wasn’t planning on any international trips this summer, but after a few stressful months (I might touch upon details in a future post) I decided: I’m going. Since my decision was so sporadic, my husband didn’t even get to request any time off from work. Most of my visits to this tropical island are spent in different locations: my dad’s hometown, a trip to my mom’s hometown, a few days at a resort, and then finally a day or two in Santo Domingo – the country’s capital – before heading back to New York City. But because I somewhat tagged along last minute, I’m really just spending time in Bani eating mangos, fried fish, feeling the breeze from the palm trees while sitting on the terrace on a rocking chair and spending little time as possible on social media. 

bani republica dominicana

On my first full day here I walked a few steps to the conuco (small land for farming) to check out the crops. There we have plantains, avocado, bananas, mangos, and coconuts. As I write this, I’m sitting by a sour orange tree.

See the photo below.

sour orange tree Dominican Republic

Sour Orange Tree in Bani, Dominican Republic 

A few years ago I said I want to take a course in agriculture and learn how to plant crops. I haven’t done that yet. I have many uncles and some aunts who know about farming. 

There’s something magical and special about walking into your yard and just picking up a vegetable or fruit and eating it right there. I can literally reach out my arm and pick a sour orange right now to clean and season the goat for tomorrow.

(By the way, I woke up to that poor goat’s cry. I remember being a kid and playing with a goat for an entire week only to see it and hear it being killed. I didn’t eat goat for the next 10 years. But now, I almost feel guilty admitting it, I eat chivo again.) 

garlic

Farm to Table 

While my parents prepared the goat for tomorrow, I peeled and cut the garlic. Who knew garlic was so sticky? (As you can see, I’m not much of a cook.) 

bani RD I bought this dress from Old Navy about two years ago right before our Mediterranean Cruise. I wore it to La Sagrada Familia. It’s a perfect little number for the heat and humidity here. I’m also being a little more cautious of the bugs so I’m trying to wear long pants and socks everyday along with my mosquito repellent bands and spray. I’ll tell you which ones I use in another post. 

conuco republica dominicana

I’ve never had a pet, but seeing Boca Negra, a dog my mom brought to Bani from San Francisco de Macoris about 10 years ago, is so comforting. Sometimes I’m afraid of him, but for the most part he’s super friendly. Look, he even smiled for a photo!

republica dominicana bani

With all the ish happening back home, (Charlottesville, 45, million-dollar condos in my neighborhood,) sometimes the “simple” country life seems more appealing – though it isn’t easy. 

I’m so grateful to be here; it’s been three years since my last visit. Maybe I should sign up for an agriculture class and come more often. What do you think? 

Dominican blogger

Would you take a class in agriculture? 

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Mercedes Sanchez

Mercedes Sanchez is an on-air style and beauty expert, spokesperson, and the founder of BeChicMag.com — a lifestyle blog covering fashion, beauty, and travel. She's offered style and beauty tips on NBC, CBS, BET, HuffPo, Telemundo and Univision. Contact: mercedes[at]bechicmag[dot]com.

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