Its the morning of day 5 and luckily I didn’t post this too soon 7am very sunny, 8.30 had a short heavy rain shower now and about 9.30 rain started again. It’s very heavy still warm but not as sticky, not sure what today will be like in the end.
Yesterday it was breakfast at preferred club then off to Bayahibe to see Denise and give the donations to the school. I was so excited to be doing this and I know it will be the highlight that stays with me. We had pencils, pens, erasers, sharpeners, about 15 maps of the world, 2 atlas’s, map of europe, 5 pairs of black sand shoes for the kids (if they don’t have the uniform they can’t go to school), 2 inflatable globes, a wooden build your own skeleton. Denise was great translator for us and the principle let us know that a book like the atlas was cost 6000 pesos upwards, which is about $150 or £95, a map £25….some of maps had been a website giveaway and the books in great condition but only £2 from a charity shop!! I really understood then why they are luxury items. It’s state school but they get vey little funding. They do have a library, which up to a few years ago was the only part of the school. We asked about books, they don’t learn English here so if you are thinking about bringing any book donations they wouldn’t have use for any written in English. It is all Spanish books.
The extended area of the school housed the classrooms, we only saw the kindergarten age room. It’d expected them to be much worse but it’s clear the principle cares about the school, clean and bright colours around. The toys around are very old and that is what is clear. They don’t have the money for what they’d class as luxury items and we to be fair probably take for granted.
The school year had finished at the end of May but there were some kids collecting their report cards, there are just under 200 who go here. If you are thinking about donating anything at all it is all gratefully received. Denise was a fantastic help in finding out what the school needed. Or if you just want to drop donations with Denise she is happy to pass them on.
Huge thank you to those of you that have done this already I know the donations post got a few people surprising Denise and her husband with gifts for the charity and the school, thank you so much.
We also took a walk around the village and I’ve pics of things of interest which I’ll post when back in the UK.
It was a hot walk back to the hotel, Mr King deciding to do the not so sensible thing of try playing tennis in 34 degree heat!!!! So it was Cooling off time at lunch in the cafe area with a couple of snacks there, I love their chocolate chips cookies. Pizza from the pizza station by the main pool as well for lunch….yumm loved it last year and it’s great still.
We met Mel and Ross at the managers party. This is the 1st time we’ve stayed to the full one here and it was great. The showing who the managers are then them coming out and speaking to everyone, handing out champagne. One comment they said which was very important “if you have any problems when here, please let us know when you are here so we can try and sort it”.
This is really important, Mel got her honeymoon banner sorted within 2 hours of mentioning it, it hadn’t seemed much but to her she felt she was missing out and now having it does feel better.
After the party it was on to Portofino for dinner. Ceprese salad followed by steak for me, aubergine lasagne followed by beef for hubby, minestrone soup then steak for Ross, salad then Chicken for Mel. Mel and I had the chocolate desert and it was ok. All of us agreed that the mains were great and the steaks fantastic.
Service was good but not great, at the end it was a little odd (I’d heard of this happening on TA but never met anyone or seen it myself) the waiter puts a card under my nose and asks me to write on TA and mention him in the review.
I’m not sure if this is because we said we remembered him from last year or not but it didn’t sit great with me. Mel was the only one there at the time and she agreed it was odd and didn’t feel great. I’m not going to mention his name on here as don’t think that’s right.
I asked others about this last night and no one has had this happen before and it certainly didn’t happen last year so in my mind a 1 off.
I said I’d ask other people opinions and give there experience as well and 2 couples mentioned they ate at Bordeaux the previous night, both eating later than normal for them and that service wasn’t good. Food for 1 couple ok but for the other it wasn’t so good. Both putting it down to it maybe winding down towards the end of the night. One of those couples has been here 2 weeks and said only had that happen twice both times Bordeaux, the 1st when there was a wedding party in so they understood the slow service then. Everywhere else they have found great.
We ate there the same night at 6.30 and service was fantastic, it is our favourite place.
2 couples went to the Mexican the same night though and raved about it! That was their favourite so far.
We went back to the preferred bar for drinks and a sad goodbye to Hector and new friends we have made.
I hope I’m managing to give a fair and varied view by including the opinions of others and will continued to do so at the next 2 hotels.
I’m leaving here today in a few hours with a heavy heart but knowing I will be back again one day (I just need that lotto win 🙂 ).
This year has been even more special than last and thank you so much to everyone who has helped make dreams come true.
Looking forward to Dreams Punta Cana, will post later from there.
Keep dreaming big