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Dominican Republic

Is retirement to the DR a good idea??

Is retirement to the DR a good idea??

Postby Mad.Les » Mon 8 Jan 2007 00:09 GMT

Hi all,
well its a bit quiet on this site so lets see if we can get it going with my first post..

I am due to retire in 5 years, in the short space of time between now and then we have to decide on where in the world to live, then buy or build a house.

We are going to be looking for a villa/house, (not a condo), 3 bed min, 2 bath min, close to the sea, budget of up to $400,000 total spend including charges. taxes, lawyers etc etc..It needs to be in a nice area, good shops and if possible an area with good scuba diving.
Is there an area like this in the DR?? If so where and who should we contact.

We have done some homework and have decided the DR looks worth the cost of a trip so we are there in March ....

any advise any would be appreciated...like yes its great or no dont do it..

best wishes
Les

PS its now the 7th Jan and its rained 6 days solid! we cant wait to see the sun again.
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Postby DRAddict » Tue 9 Jan 2007 16:54 GMT

I totally agree with you Les - it HAS been too quiet on here for a LONG time.

Pleasantries first - WELCOME to British Ex-Pat Forum, WELCOME to the Dominican Republic forum & WELCOME to posting!! What part of the UK are you from?

Is 'Retiring to the DR' a good idea? We think so - did that 14 years ago & have loved (almost) every minute of it. It is not just the sun, it is the whole environment/style of living here that pleases (& sometimes amuses) us. However, like moving from West Kensington to somewhere in the midlands, how you adapt & integrate with the area is what determines whether it is a good decision in the long run. Hopefully, over the forthcoming months, we can go through a bunch of things that may help your decision making.

£400K is FAR too much to devote to your property purchase - you are going to have to leave some of that behind for the UK authorities to tax you on ....... or find some creative way of supplementing your retirement pension &/or OAP when you get here :lol: I NEVER recommend buying or building a property here within the first 6 months of LIVING here, you need to gt to know the country, the people AND the way of doing business before you go down that road!! Heck, the DR may not suit you & your family once you come to stay for a period of time & selling houses is aways much more difficult than BUYING them! 'Poco a Poco' Sir - take your time (literally - bit by bit).

Having said that, I know a couple of trustworthy Estate Agents on the north coast - was that the area you were looking at? There tend to be more Ex-Pats up here than the south coast IF that is important to you. I also know a couple or twelve reliable lawyers who will give good advice, but with both (lawyers & Estate Agents) it would a good idea to build up a social relationship before going down the line of professional help.

We rented property here for the first (almost) two years & then only bought because we had fallen in love with the house, knew the owner (who was returning Stateside for medical reasons) & were convinced that the DR was to be our homeland for the rest of our lives. Many people retire here & do not want the 'responsibility' of owning their own properties, whereas others insist on buying first & suffering later! It was only after 8 years of living here that we decided to have a place built to OUR specifications in a locality WE thought safe & quiet, knowing that we now had sufficient exposure to how to get round problems as & when they arose. Newcomers don't normally have that exposure!!

So, where to go from here? Feel free to continue asking questions on here obviously & if/when you want to be a little more 'selective' in your questions, you can PM or e-mail me. Things like 'Residencia', 'importing container loads', cost of food, provisions, household goods, cars .............. (the list is truly extensive) can be placed here without problems - your financial information however, is probably best kept more private!! IF you are coming to the north coast for your 'recce/holiday' let me know & perhaps you would like to visit our abode for a longer & 'face to face' investigation of your possible future here. We promise you the "Warts & all" approach as we do not like people coming in under misunderstandings of how life is NOW but more importantly, how we see life going in the next 10/15 years.

A couple of questions for YOU Les - do you speak Spanish already? Do you have experience of living in other countries than the UK? Have you read Ginnie Bedggood's articles on the DR that she wrote for British Ex-Pats? I'll introduce you to more 'information areas' (like our website & those of re-location firms [but they charge money!!]) when you feel you are ready for such!

Thanks for the post & I look forward to more 'chats' in due course! ~ Grahame.
Oh, BTW, it has been raining here for 4 days!! Fortunately it is warm enough to take additional showers in if required!! Hasn't stopped any games of golf either - that is still a weekly ritual!! -G.
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greetings !!

Postby Mad.Les » Wed 10 Jan 2007 01:27 GMT

well hi and a happy new year and all that sort of stuff...
its great that you took the time to write, very kind and useful...ok here are some details, nothing worthy of a private message yet...

Born in London, moved to a town between Gatwick and Brighton 16 years ago...I am in the fire service and have nearly done my 30 years (yea!!!) and will be out with a pension by age 50.

3 grown up kids from 1st wife; like a mug re-married 5 years ago.

Mother in law probably will join us, she is retired and in her 60s..If she come over she will buy her own place..shes actually a nice old bird so I dont mind.

Right so why move abroad......mmmmm in order?

1........ weather, Im half Italian and love the sun, I suffer bad with 'SAD' in the long dark months, get all grumpy..
I have ALWAYS wanted to live abroad, never in my dreams could I consider staying in this country..think it was being brainwashed as a kid watching Robinson Crusoe..Spent several years in various places including the Far East..

choice of where to live, we have come down to 6 countries.... in order, with good bad points ...

DR good, weather & reasonable property prices, reasonable scuba
bad, crime rate, hurricanes

Bahamas good, weather, scuba diving speak English
bad, expensive, hurricanes

Turks & Caicos good, weather, cheaper than Bahamas
bad, barren

Italy can speak lingo, nice weather
bad, you think UK red tape and tax is bad? try Italy

Spain weather,
not that cheap and its well spain(yawn)

France, would be lovely except for the french being there.
bad, high tax ...and the french

2.... money, we have a very nice house here but with a £300k mortgage plus the bills we are running to stand still. A 2 bed flat here is now £280 k
Fuel at over $8 a gallon (4.5 litres)
council tax £250 per month
gas bill £100 per month
could go on.........


3....WHEN we sell up we will have cash at todays prices about 500,000 US $ (not £), this is it...we will need to ship stuff , buy new stuff, get a car etc etc so my guess is 400k for the house give or take a bit and 100k for a nest egg.
Its enough for a good retirement in the DR, but would mean that if we stayed here we would spend the rest of our life in a flat...

4...my pension if Im abroad is paid gross, if I stay here I loose about £300 per month in tax

ok, so other bits of info...I speak Italian and find Spanish just about understandable, bit its like a Londoner speaking to someone from Newcastle!!
Neither myself or my wife Alison speaks a word of spanish...yea I know learn some, I will if it all works out.

No need to worry about schools, well I hope not!

As I have a max of 5 years to go, the plan is .... this year decide on a country. years 2, 3 and 4 decide on an area...maybe we will fall in love with an area on our first trip and buy, maybe we will hate it, who knows..
year 5 sell up buy, rent or tour the world . If its a good idea to buy land as soon as we find something suitable we will, then sit on it and have our house built in year 3 onwards.

I cant see myself needing to leave any cash etc in a UK bank, will probably go for an offshore account unless you know of a reason why not to...

Im a scuba instructor so if needed I guess I could get work..

Is there anything ie food you miss from UK?

whats better north, south or east coast? heard south gets hit hard by hurricanes..

well thats it for now, we arrive in DR on 3rd March and plan to spend my birthday on the 9th in the SUN....its now jan 10th, 9 days of heavy rain.

:roll:

chat soon
Les
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Postby DRAddict » Thu 11 Jan 2007 04:35 GMT

So, we now have this mental picture of a 44/45 year old suave fireman coming down the ladder from some young maidens bedroom with said young maiden tucked over his shoulder still in her negligee!! Not a bad start Mad.Les!! Between Gatwick & Brighton you say? How close to Crowborough? I have a dear friend living there. We also have friends at Crawley & an ex insurance colleague called Barry who lives (or lived) in that locale!

The DR certainly has the sun - no 'SAD' here for more than a couple of days at a time! Crime is NOT as bad as it is painted in the UK media & as long as you integrate, remain low profile & humble, there will be NO PROBLEM on that score - certainly not on the north coast & in the right area anyway!

Depending on what you want/need to buy/build, US $300K should be ample (US $250K for the house & US $50k for settling in/lawyers fees etc). Tax on the property would be somewhere in the region of RD $20k (US $700) per ANNUM! - but I'll confirm that when this years IVS rates land on our floor! Gas consumption will be in the region of RD $1,000 for 4 months (US $10 per month) & electricity at RD $8,000 per month (US $200) unless you manage to keep it below 700 KwHrs in which case it will drop to US $90 approx per month. I would advise solar heating for the hot water system to help keep bills down! More on this later!

A decent SUV 2000 or younger will set you back US $12,000 plus, but it WILL be a necessity for the roads here - especially if you are likely to want to travel around the country. The roads are diabolical & driving is only slightly better than in Milan! :lol:

Italian is close to Spanish so you are going to have NO problem picking the language up. Is your wife good at languages? She will need to get some Spanish fairly quickly to get around the stores without being fleeced as a 'Gringa'! Maybe whilst you are here on holiday/investigation during March, 'Yours' would like to join 'MINE' for a visit one Tuesday to the supermarket & other shops. WE could probably force another beer down whilst they are doing so? If 'Mother-in-law' is going to be coming too & as there won't be room in Ginnie's jeep, she will have to join us with the beers! No problem as she is roughly the same age as me & we can talk OLD PEOPLES things! :roll:

Hurricanes are virtually Zilch on north coast - we have had ONE go through in the 14 years we have been here & that was down to 60 mph by the time it got to us. Picked up again for Haiti, true, ..... but WE were spared. The one prior to that was 'David' back in '80 something!

Petrol is now at US $4 per gallon (4 litres) Diesel is at US $3 per gallon. Car tax is between US $70 & US $200 p.a. depending on age. Car insurance is between US $200 & US $1,400 per annuim depending on type of cover AND age of vehicle.

That £300 you have saved by having your pension sent direct to the DR will just about cover all your food shopping each month AND allow for a part time maid! Interest rates on savings are quite a bit higher here than in the UK, so any excesses can be stashed away (free of local & UK taxes) until needed to buy your house or other capital outlays & you won't lose out by doing so! :lol: An Off shore account should not be necessary but I will gladly discuss this further with you if/when you wish. For comfort zone, you might want to put some U$D into an Isle of Man account JUST in case things should go belly-up for you out here!

I can gladly introduce you to the British & Italian Consuls for the north coast - one is a long term friend, the other a good neighbour! There are a few scuba diving companies here on the north coast - North Coast Diving has perhaps the best reputation. They are based in Sosua, about 20 miles away (25 minutes drive as we are not talking M25 type traffic jams!).

We don't really miss anything from the UK. OK, decent teabags are hard to find so we have friends bring us 400 or so at a time, & Marmite is an occasional treat for me - but MISS it, ...... not really. British weather??? Yeah, ... really miss that 8) British Rules & Regulations?? Nahhh I think we can do without those too. We have learned to love 'Going with the flow' & 'thinking outside the box' - keeps us very young & we look forward to another 20 years at least on this planet! AND ALL of which will be spent in the DR!!!

Once you have made your mind up on location for this holiday, let me know & we can arrange a meet-up. If you want advice on hotels to choose on the north coast, just yell & I will respond accordingly!

Come back here or elsewhere if you need more local guff! ~ Grahame.
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Postby Mad.Les » Thu 11 Jan 2007 08:30 GMT

Hi, spot on with the age, not so sure about suarve...I look like I had a big paper round as a kid, and it was all uphill...

We live in a town called Haywards Heath, halfway between Crawley and Brighton. Anyway, March only me and the wife going over to DR, were taking pictures and video for her mum.
Not suffering with seasonally adjusted disorder 'SAD' so far this year, which isnt bad seeing how its the 11th today and we have had 10 days of rainso far. Could be because I am now taking vitamin D pills, could be because we are going on holiday in a few weeks, could be because I can see light at the end of the tunnel at last, who knows.

Whats the cost of a large plot of land in a nice area? or is it just worth buying a house.

I have read problem stories about the customs there, how did you get on shipping your stuff over or did you buy new....guess it means new TVs and everything electrical...

You gave some prices in RD$ then US$...I thought they were the same, so why is gas so high? something to do with heating the pool...what about water charges..

Guess you must have contacts in the UK still, so prices here wont be any supprise, everything is such a rip off.
Wages go up say 2% because of a cheap European labour force, and bills are going up between 4% and 100%...Tax here has gone up 6% since Labour came into office, not that any other party would probably do different.

Great thats my early morning moan out the way, time now to go out in the p*ssing rain and go to work..

must be time for my pill... :(

chat soon
Les
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Postby DRAddict » Sat 13 Jan 2007 19:39 GMT

Sorry Les, as I am not fully into your sense of humour yet I am not really sure if you misread/understood what I wrote or if you are 'pulling my chain'! Let me put in writing again:

Gas consumption will be in the region of RD $1,000 for 4 months (US $10 per month)

i.e RD $1,000 for FOUR months = US $30 divided by 4 (& allow a bit for rounding up etc) = US $10 PER MONTH (i.e. £5.00)!! That is EXPENSIVE????
Gas is propane here & you buy a tank (50lb/75lb/100lb) then get that refilled when you run out - it is advisable to have two tanks though (100lb plus minimum of 50lb as back-op) as refilling can take a day or two!

Haywards Heath is the town I was thinking of where my insurance friend Barry Bedford-Ford used to live. Ginnie (She who must be Obeyed) poked her nose into our conversation & said to tell you that she used to work at Hassocks - I think that was when GOD was just a young lad!!

Whats the cost of a large plot of land in a nice area? or is it just worth buying a house.
Depends on the area of course. Costambar beach front land from about US $55 per square meter - slightly off beach front from about US $30. A more 'Posh' area might set you back US $100 per square meter, whereas over in the tourist areas US $120/130 per sq meter is more the going price! Tease tend to be the EX-Pat conclaves & not for someone who wants to immerse him/herself in ALL things Dominican!


I have read problem stories about the customs there, how did you get on shipping your stuff over or did you buy new....guess it means new TVs and everything electrical...
Electricity IS 110 so different to UK, you are right. You CAN run 2 x 110 v lines to give you a 220v socket, but we reserve those for carving knife & occasional recharging of 220v items!! We did NOT bring a container load in - we sold everything in the UK (in a 10 week period) & made do with 3 suitcases we brought with us. We stocked up later with 5 more suitcases (two filled up when we stopped over in Miami) when we revisited the UK 16 months later!

Customs CAN be a big problem, it depends on how you approach them & the professionalism of your shippers. Get it clear AND IN WRITING from your shippers that it is a 'Door to Door' service & they accept ALL costs over & above what you negotiate with them for doing the COMPLETE job!! However, leaving a couple of bottles of wine or a casket of British beer to sample whilst customs are checking your goods, is always a good idea :)!
Making sure the container is properly RE-sealed is also an excellent idea!!

Now, just to make you feel a lot better, ................ I couldn't go to golf today because of the pouring rain!! TWO days of the stuff has waterlogged the course for the day. When it rains here it RAINS - not just cats & dogs but elephants & rhinoceroses too. I even saw a giraffe running down the road with knee high wellies on!! Mind you, the sun is out now & the course should be fairly dry by tomorrow morning! 8)

Time to go pick some limes off the trees in the garden, put some of the bananas into a plastic bag (increases ripening time) & see how the melons are doing! We don't have a swimming pool as there is that great big one called the SEA just down the road & that does not need cleaning weekly!

Have you decided which area & which hotel yet?

Have a nice weekend. ~ Grahame.
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Postby Mad.Les » Sun 14 Jan 2007 13:52 GMT

Hi,
well what do you know, its the 14th Jan and a day of sun..any more rain and I would have started collecting the animals in pairs.

We are booked into the Iberostar Costa Dorada, Puerto Plata.

I wasn't pulling your chain just having a 'thick' moment...thought US$ was the same as RD$... I guess you only need it for cooking? Our gas bill has just gone up from £50 to £100 per month, about 180 US$. And thats just for the heating and hot water, we cook on electric...so yes, $10 looks quite nice from here!!

Wherever we go we will need a container, even if its just for the wifes 400 + pairs of shoes and her 7 wardrobes of clothes....Me? cant wait to dump the lot and buy new stuff in the states...never intend to wear dark blue again!

So where abouts are you in relation to the place we are staying?

Funny you should mention missing real 'T' thats all my wife goes on about as she likes Earl Grey...yuck, what sort is available and what one do you miss..

chat soon
Les
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Postby DRAddict » Sun 14 Jan 2007 16:38 GMT

Hello again Les,
For ease (& convenience) I'll respond to each question in a 'Cut & Paste' style if I may.

Mad.Les wrote:We are booked into the Iberostar Costa Dorada, Puerto Plata.
So where abouts are you in relation to the place we are staying?

5 minutes drive if I drive slowly - 4 minutes if I have to drive quickly (& no traffic jams!)

Mad.Les wrote:I wasn't pulling your chain just having a 'thick' moment...thought US$ was the same as RD$... I guess you only need it for cooking? Our gas bill has just gone up from £50 to £100 per month, about 180 US$. And thats just for the heating and hot water, we cook on electric...so yes, $10 looks quite nice from here!!

I am glad we got that sorted out - I was worried I had given the impression that something was expensive over here!!

Actually, you can buy gas refrigerators, washing machines & dryers here, but due to the salty atmosphere & the corrosion of pipes etc, this is not always the most economical way of going 'LONG term'. Be aware of this 'Corrosion' problem when you consider your "BEACH FRONT' property as well!! More on all that later!

Mad.Les wrote:Wherever we go we will need a container, even if its just for the wifes 400 + pairs of shoes and her 7 wardrobes of clothes....Me? cant wait to dump the lot and buy new stuff in the states...never intend to wear dark blue again!

Question 1) for the wife ............ "who the hell wares shoes in the DR"??
Question 2) for the wife ............ "who the hell wares European clothes in the DR"??
Question 3) for the wife ............ "who the hell CARES" in the DR??

Ginnie wares flip flop type sandles & so do I - hers cost between US $2 & US $3 per time, mine about a dollar more! Last me for 6 months & if I can't repair them after that - bin them & get another pair!!
Shoes are for weddings, funerals & showing off .................................. for everything else there are 'Flip-flops'!!!

Clothes here are comfortable, light, easily washable & (preferably) NON iron! When WE come to the UK, we come with ONE thick sweater plus the warmest clothes we can comfortably travel in. Then it is a quick visit to 'Help the Aged', 'Oxfam' or similar, buy up some warm clothes, use them for the period of stay & then hand them back before we leave!! Works a treat & no excess bulk to put in travel cases!

Time to start thinking "Outside the Bun"!!

Mad.Les wrote:Funny you should mention missing real 'T' thats all my wife goes on about as she likes Earl Grey...yuck, what sort is available and what one do you miss..

My 'Her Indoors' doesn't drink tea at ALL. My tipple is 'every so often'. I might get through 100 teabags in 6 months, so my present stock of 394 should last me until December of 2008. I get "Yorkshire STRONG Tea Bags" brought in whenever I find myself getting down to 70 or 80 left in the last box. Earl Grey etc. IS available here I gather, but it is very expensive & FRIENDS (yes you will have many when you live in the Caribbean) should be persuaded to include your imported needs as part of their "Holiday Costs"!!

If you feel like a get-together whilst you are here, let me know dates. If you PM or e-mail me, I'll respond with our telephone number & then we can discuss a day to meet up, chat about any tours etc you might want to do, & introduce you to some of the decent Estate Agents, Banks, Diving Company executives etc., you might want to meet!

Off to knock some balls up the driving range now as a means of getting my own back against not playing in Santiago yesterday!! ~ Grahame.
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Postby Mad.Les » Tue 16 Jan 2007 15:26 GMT

Hi,
tuesday afternoon and guess what its been raining all day, no change there then...Must admit the thought of more rain is starting to get me a tad fed up.

Thanks for your last post, and re your questions...

Question 1) for the wife ............ "who the hell wares shoes in the DR"??

My wife Alison would.

Question 2) for the wife ............ "who the hell wares European clothes in the DR"??

Same again

Question 3) for the wife ............ "who the hell CARES" in the DR??

Alison says , probably no one...but she would anyway...
What do I know, shes always right because Im a man...

My idea of heaven is flip flops, t shirt, shorts, a pair of sunglasses and a fishing rod....doesnt even need a hook, just to relax and watch the world go by..

Anyway, we have been looking at web sites with houses around Sousa and a bit further east, what sort of area is it? ie holiday homes or a decent all year round community.
Is that a good place or is there better....SCUBA diving in that area seems to be better as well..

Read a report that Punta Cana has lots of bugs, is this the usual exageration or is it true, and what about the rest of the island.

Do we need to take maleria medication in March..doctor says yes, buy Im not sure..dont like the idea of taking it if I dont need to as they can have side affects.

Would be good to meet up and have a beer, let me know when your free as we have no plans..

Oh yes one last thing; when I have visited countries in the far east I always used to take a bag of stuff for the children at the local school, pens books, sweets, ....is this a suitable idea for DR..if so where is a school with children who would benefit and what do they need....


chat soon
Les

46 days and counting
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Postby DRAddict » Fri 26 Jan 2007 23:04 GMT

You ain't going to believe this Les (I probably wouldn't if I were in your shoes) but I spent a bit of time on Wednesday compiling a witty & somewhat extensive response to your post. When it came time to 'sumit it', the damned web-page had malfunctioned & I lost the complete reply!! You are now going to get an abbreviated response!!

Mad.Les wrote:......... re your questions...

Question 1) for the wife ............ "who the hell wares shoes in the DR"??

My wife Alison would.

Question 2) for the wife ............ "who the hell wares European clothes in the DR"??

Same again

Question 3) for the wife ............ "who the hell CARES" in the DR??

Alison says , probably no one...but she would anyway...


You will be delighted to hear that this attitude WILL change!! High heels, click-clacky hard heels are murder on the feet & legs - pavements (sidewalks to any North American speaking people looking in), are un-even to say the least & lack of carpets ANYWHERE make hard landing for the feet all the time. Sandals & pumps/trainers will be a godsend to Alison!!!

Mad.Les wrote:What do I know, shes always right because I'm a man...

This TOO will change!! The DR is a MCP's dream home. In the UK I was a downtrodden Boy-Friend not allowed to speak too often - here I am allowed to speak every time I get her sanction & say what she has told me to say!! :shock:

Mad.Les wrote:My idea of heaven is flip flops, t shirt, shorts, a pair of sunglasses and a fishing rod....doesn't even need a hook, just to relax and watch the world go by..

I'll show you the area by the port & Fort San Filipe where the locals go. Haven't seen anyone catch anything yet, but they all appear to be calm & happy!

Mad.Les wrote:Anyway, we have been looking at web sites with houses around Sousa and a bit further east, what sort of area is it? ie holiday homes or a decent all year round community.
Is that a good place or is there better....SCUBA diving in that area seems to be better as well..

Sosua is not my favourite place in the DR - too 'touristy' for my liking & also too many "Costa del la Crim" type Ex-Pats. Many there would not be welcome back in their own country of origins!! However, each to his own & there IS a more active social life there! Diving is a North Coast activity & Sosua has a few good diving schools - Northern Coast Diving being the predominant one!

Housing as a result is quite a bit more expensive there than it is east of Cabarete or west of Sosua Abajo! Prices of a three B/R here in Puerto Plata would be around the US $80 K upwards range! This is one (& only ONE) of the reasons I recommend renting for 6 months or so before going into BUYING property! You need to look around for an area that suits YOU!

Mad.Les wrote:Read a report that Punta Cana has lots of bugs, is this the usual exageration or is it true, and what about the rest of the island.

Do we need to take malaria medication in March..doctor says yes, buy Im not sure..don't like the idea of taking it if I don't need to as they can have side affects.

Personally I would go with your doctor's advice. We took the Chloroquin tablets for 3 years when first moving here & although we didn't get too many malaria carrying mosquitoes, we did contract some other nasties which had we NOT been taking chloroquin, could have laid us low in a rather unpleasant way. Two Tablets once a week is not a hard thing to swallow for the protection they offer!!!

Mad.Les wrote:Oh yes one last thing; when I have visited countries in the far east I always used to take a bag of stuff for the children at the local school, pens books, sweets, ....is this a suitable idea for DR..if so where is a school with children who would benefit and what do they need....

Exercise books, pencils etc are always welcome here. Try not to forget the teachers needs too though, black/whiteboard rubbers (erasers to the North Americans lest I get misquoted!!) & maybe some sticky "STARS" or similar for putting on 'Good Works' submitted by students!! If you can find a friendly stationers or supply shop that is prepared to DONATE something - so much the better!! How about Alison having a look for some word games (in English is fine) in the Charity (Thrift) shops near you??


Mad.Les wrote:Would be good to meet up and have a beer, let me know when your free as we have no plans..

PM or e-mail me & I'll give you my Tel. No. We can then chat once you arrive. Most days are fine for me as I can stop typing & do that another time! Donations to the Foundation I help with are more important than silly questions from tourists!!!!! :lol:


Mad.Les wrote:46 days and counting

Even LESS now that I have taken almost 11 days to get round to reply to you!! I might have a call for a couple of small items if you have space in the luggage - Pancreatin Enzyme tablets & McDougall's THICKENING powder! Names & quantities will be sent if you let me know you have a few cubic centimeters available!! (less than 1 Lb I suspect!).

All best ~ Grahame.
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Postby Kay » Sat 27 Jan 2007 14:16 GMT

Point of info:

Thought I'd mention it since this thread has a lot of £ signs. Due to a server change any £ signs written prior to the move have gone weird. Feel free to edit your posts to fix them if you want to.

[Update: now fixed globally on the server. - Dave]

For more info, FAQs, and general fault reprts, please use the main forum, rather than going off-topic here.

http://www.britishexpat.com/expatforum/ ... /index.php
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Postby Mad.Les » Thu 1 Feb 2007 17:26 GMT

Just been to the local doctor for my holiday jabs, now I feel like a Voodo doll...heres a shocker, tried to get the Maleria pills you suggested but they are no longer available in the UK...To get a weekly pill its necessary to get a private perscription then pay for the pills about $100 for the 2 of us..a cheaper option was the daily pills available over the counter but that still cost us over $50....so much for the National Health System here!!

Have been thinking about the advice on renting before buying, and what we will probably do is buy an apartment for up to $50 k then look for a house or have it built, then either rent out the apartment or maybe my daughter will come out to live there as well..

Had a look for thickening powder but can only find granuals, is this right or should I look somewhere else..

I have started putting a few bits by for your local school, but it would be useful to get a shopping list of desperately needed things, ie do they use chalk/black boards or white boards with marker pens.. are sweets a bad idea, how many children are there roughly...

I know we cant change the country with just a few items, but I want to take some lovely memories away and leave something in return.

chat soon
Les

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Postby DRAddict » Tue 6 Feb 2007 04:18 GMT

Greetings Mr Pincushion! I trust the intrusions into your body are now less painful & that you have resumed the task of getting your suitcases packed & weighed!!

Re Malaria pills, have you purchased them yet? I could have a word with the local Pharmacist & see what he has in stock (& at what price). Chloroquine might still be available (over the counter too if you know the right guys)!!

You are absolutely correct - it IS Thickening GRANULES. As I never need thickening things (SWMBO tells me I am too 'Thick' already) I plead the fifth amendment or whatever it is these days!! I have dropped you a PM with a small 'other request' if you have a Holland & Barrett reasonably close to you!!

White boards ARE used & marker pens will be useful. Cleaning fluid for these would also be good (If you can get it past the customs OK in your checked baggage!). Sweets are NOT a good idea in my mind as the kids have enough problems with their teeth already from the very sweet cakes & sugar cane they consume!! I always hated it when tour guiding heeos through the countryside when passengers threw candies (menta in Spanish) over the side of the jeep at the children running alongside. MY jeep never did that as I told them (sometimes quite sternly) not to do so - always seemed very "Imperialistic' to me!

Now second hand clothes, shoes & games etc from Oxfam, ..... these in my opinion are GOOD. If you have any old tools, especially woodworking tools, then these can go into the woodworking shop & help the kids there learn how to use them correctly. Forget anything electrical as (besides being too heavy to transport) we use 110v over here & the UK tools are generally 240v!! Baseball stuff is good for the boys (they are mad on baseball here) but as UK doesn't have too much equipment like this, any books or DVD's etc on baseball would go down well.

Please keep a list of what you spend on items wherever possible - I recall the administrator likes to list everything received & always asks approximate cost of individual items!! If you have a list already compiled, it will save the process at the school & the important task of seeing the children will be started that much quicker.

That's your lot for now - I'm off to prepare for a visit to the dentist tomorrow! Just a couple of weeks now & (hopefully) the sun will be on your backs! ~ Grahame.
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Postby Dave » Tue 6 Feb 2007 05:17 GMT

Grahame, are you sure you managed to PM Mad.Les? I tried a test PM just now, and he doesn't yet qualify.
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Postby Mad.Les » Tue 6 Feb 2007 16:10 GMT

hi gents....never got the PM as I obviously dont qualify? not to worry you can send it to me at les.maddams@hotmail.com

Now got use of my left arm following all the jabs...not sure about having six on the same day though..said to my wife thats how the troops got Gulf war syndrome ...had her worried for a day or two till she found out.. :lol:

Will sort out marker pens and some other bits..

Had a couple of nice days here recently, very cold though...cant wait for the feel of the sun warming my bones..

Bought the maleria pills so no worries there.

We do indeed have a Holland & Barratt just down the road so let me know what you fancy..

Have seen a picture of a nice house design east of Sosua, we fancy taking a drive over there one day is there a decent car hire firm near the hotel.

Tickets just arrived..we need a holiday sooooo much !!!

chat soon
Les
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