Tuesday, April 26th

 "Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow. " -Anita Desai

 The Conservatory 

The Conservatory 

 Deck 9 aft

Deck 9 aft

Breakfast in the Conservatory and then off to Spanish class in the library.   It was a fun interactive experience. With a cheat sheet in hand,  we broke into small groups and wrote a conversation.   I've had spanish in school but many people had none.   It made no difference. We laughed a lot and learned a little. 

 The Library

The Library

At 10:15 we were back in the Curzon Lounge for a class called Getting to Know the Dominican Republic.   We learned a little history and some dos and donts.

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 Uh oh

Uh oh

Around 11:30 we were docked at Amber Cove,  Puerto Plata.

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After a quick lunch we got ready for our afternoon impact activity. 

We met in the lounge at 1:15 and were assigned a sticker number for our trip to the chocolate factory.   We departed around 1:30 and finally got a good view of our ship. 

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These bungalows can be rented while we are in port.   They are not cheap. 

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The buses were all lined up and ready to go.   We pulled out at 2 on the dot.

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After about 35 minutes, we arrived at Chocal Chocolate Factory. It is a women-owned co-op in the Altamira section of the country.

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We were divided into 4 groups of 11 people each. Our leader was Stephen from the organization, Iddy. He led us from station to station. We started off with a cup of hot chocolate which was delicious. Our group started with the final step - wrapping and boxing the chocolate bars.

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Our next stop was the 1st step of chocolate-making: sorting the cocoa beans.  Small or flat beans cannot be used since they burst during the process.   

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The 2nd step was pulling out the pieces of the shells of the beans that were not removed in the cleaning process.  

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Our final station was pouring the chocolate into molds.   This was fun and messy.   We got a cup of melted chocolate at the end.    

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After a few minutes in the little (very little) store,  we drove back to the ship.  

We had another lovely dinner with some of our new friends and retired to our room to prepare for an early start in the morning.

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