A Dominican Retrospective: Part 1 of 10


I can not remember the first time I met Ambiorix, he is my cousin after all, but I do remember the last time I saw him. Having spent his whole life in DR he moved to the Netherlands in the winter of 2009 to be with his mother who had emigrated there about 10 years prior.

I myself had been going through hard financial times in London and as these were my closest relatives I ran to them. I stayed with my aunt and cousins for about 2 months before returning to London. A few months later Ambiorix was caught crossing the border into Belgium and was deported back to DR.

For someone who had lost his chance to a better life, Ambiorix has never lost hope. This was of course extremely bad timing as his wife had only just been admitted into the Netherlands on the day of his deportation. He has not seen her since he first left DR.

On the day I arrived in DR, due to my own 'deportation' like state, Ambiorix was one of the few who came to the airport to collect me. He made all the arrangements for the pick up service, for my house to be cleaned and fixed up, and was my go-to guy the entire time I was there. He rode around in a moto and regardless of the weather, heat, or time I could count on Ambiorix for anything. If you've read my Dominican posts then you know I was on a secret mission (secret only to my family) to re-discover my roots and uncover the lies that had been fed to us since birth. There would be leads that took me into the mountains, or vast cemeteries, but it didn't matter; Ambiorix was there by my side to make sure I did everything I wanted to do without ever even knowing why.

He never asked me for anything, not even an explanation, and seeing how he lived I could not understand why. Surviving on a salary less than the equivalent of US$100 a month, and handling the administrative tasks for our entire US based family (in addition to his wife's family in DR) I could not understand how he could offer me food everyday, use of his moto (petrol is very expensive in DR) and the luxury of his time. I will never forget his generosity, and I do hope I can do more in return.

During one of my final visits to Ambiorix's house I discovered that his tin roof was leaking. This was no simple leak, no simple patch job. There were tiny and not so tiny openings throughout the house, letting in little rays of light during the good times and pouring in streams of water during the bad. In the middle of a storm we waded through his house and I could not explain how someone with a seemingly impossible life could continue to go on with a such a smile.

Ambiorix is either one of the strongest people I have ever met, or he is so beyond insane he can not take in what is happening around him. There is however no doubt that someone is watching over him, seeing him through all of these feats, guiding him.

I could not offer Ambiorix much but I do hope that as I continue to get more financially stable I am able to pay for his new roof. Even if he only enjoys it for a day before being reunited with his wife, as I hear he's recently been granted an appointment to meet with the Dutch consulate in DR. Fingers crossed cousin... I might be seeing you in Amsterdam soon enough...
A Dominican Retrospective: Part 1 of 10 A Dominican Retrospective: Part 1 of 10 Reviewed by Christ贸pher Abreu Rosario on 06:05 Rating: 5

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