From Chocolate to Michael Jackson

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Good Morning,

Yesterday (Monday) might have been the most enjoyable day thus far, though we are headed on an excursion today that should be quite amazing. I have some small concern as it is a bit overcast, the most since we have been here, but the clouds seem to move quickly, so we will see.

So yesterday morning, for the first time on my life I actually went to a spa. I did an hour plus session in which they defoliated my skin and I learned this is not that hard of a thing to do regularly without buying a bunch of OTC cosmetic-type products. The amazing lady who worked with me was very informative. After that treatment, I was covered in chocolate and wrapped in plastic. What a different experience. I learned chocolate firms and hydrates your skin. So I can lay in it and eat it too. Who knew?? After 20-25 minutes I got washed off again and then I was treated to a deep tissue massage (she told Me I had the tightest neck and shoulders she had ever seen and told me I need to head back in a week for another massage. Guess that will have to be somewhere else. After getting all squared away I sat peacefully in a garden-like setting and had chlorophyll water and a freshly made juice with no sugar. The entire two hour period was phenomenal. Guys who think they are too manly for such an event need to rethink. As I say, my “man-card” is not that fragile.

When I retuned, inspite of a shower the hint of chocolate still emanated from my body. As a person so aptly noted, there are certainly worse smells in the world. Shortly thereafter, it was out into the world of loco manejando y más loco motocicletas for another adventure. We made it back for our daily meal at el cocinero and yo comí un salad distinción (salpicón de marisco) y batata frita. Jacqueline laughed at how I said “batata”. Then it was more traveling about town to try to get Sr. Galán a functioning phone. I am not sure a 3GS will work with the needed software updates. I don’t think that is going to be an easy or cheap fix. One thing I am trying to be better at is not not get caught up in schedules. By the time we got back to the resort, it was almost 5:00 p.m. We spent the next couple hours by the pool, but I did find a few treasures during the day too. The evening was spent at a show outside in a elegant setting listening to Andrea Bocelli and sipping champagne. Then it was off to a different venue and listening to a Michael Jackson tribute. That was amazingly realistic and superbly done.

There was one damper on the day when I read that Robin Williams had passed away and more tragically through or by his own hand. I remember Mork and Mindy. Dead Poets Society is one of my favorite movies and Good Morning Vietnam is right up there. Mrs. Doubtfireor Patch Adams have all been influential movies in my mind. Amazing that one who could make so many happy was so much the opposite. My heart goes out to those close to him and who are so profoundly affected by this tragic loss. It is a poignant reminder of the complexity and frailty of life.

It is now actually Wednesday morning very early and I am awake; I want to get this posted before we leave the resort because my internet for the next day and a half will be gone and I am not sure about power until later today, so my phone will be off more than on. That is not such a bad thing. Last night I erased about 4 months worth the text messages of my phone. I know I have up to the last week on my iPad, but I am not sure about the last week. I think I have up to yesterday because the last back up to the loud on the phone was the10th.

Yesterday we went on an island excursion. It was like living in a postcard. All the pictures were amazing and it was fun because there were a number of Germans so our guide made all announcements or the giving of handy facts in English, German, or Spanish. I could understand about 2 1/2 of the 3 announcements. It was helpful to hear it in German first and Spanish second because it forced me to work on my listening and comprehension skills. While there was a chance to swim in the ocean in this place what was shallow and a chance to go snorkeling, I was content to be in the sun. The amount of food that day completely blew out the healthy diet and the rum and coke flowed too freely. The ride on the bus took us through a number of places and the poverty along the way caused me to think about how many people live so differently. I know I do not have to come to another country to see that, but compared to Bloomsburg, it is so much more apparent. Next to a tin shack you will find an amazing paradise. What has been most enjoyable is to see Jacqueline and her husband. He is the nicest man and so laid back. He is personable and handsome and just plain amazing. I am anticipating Sr. Galán and the visit to his home town today. The town is La Vega. It is the first time he has been there in 14 years. I will write about that and the day in my next post.

Last night we made our last stop at El Cocinero. I got a picture taken with the staff and we met the wife (co-owner). She also invited me to the restaurant in Allentown. I promised then I would come. I think I have a place to take The Galáns for dinner. Well, I need to get up and moving. It is light outside. It has been a unforgettable 5 days. One last full day before we travel to Santiago tomorrow and I am back on a plane.

Thanks for reading.

Dr. Martin

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