Un cerveza por favor! Uno mas. Dos mas….
If you could google terms in my Spanish dialect, these would automatically prepopulate as most frequent words used during my week in the Dominican Republic.
From the moment we interacted with a few members of the resort staff, it was clear that English was not the main language of the island. My reaction to this was the same as any ignorant American… “Pssh, You think I remember any Spanish I ‘learned’ freshman year of college? Ha. This is a resort. I’m not even going to try.”
I don’t know what switch flipped in my brain, but after my first night at the bar I wanted to slap myself for being that ignorant. What was I thinking?! This is not my country. We are guests of a place where the main language is not English.
So. I decided. From then on, I would learn enough Spanish to at least interact with the staff members.
This being my first time in a country where I should try to speak the native language (scratch that—I traveled to Germany when I was 9 and within 24 hours I was plagued with pneumonia—so that trip doesn’t count), I was surprised to find that the general reaction to your efforts was enthusiastic and well respected. Even if you were not good at it, they seemed to appreciate any attempt, probably just because they were not very good at English themselves. Simple concept really. Although English IS a generally universal language, you will be a lot more respected if you try to speak any native language. It will make your life a lot easier–and you make friends that way!
Punta Cana is the paradise destination that housed 400 colleagues and their guests from around the world. I was on the event staff that made rewards trip seem flawless to all of our attendees. As something that is commonplace for an event planner—the experience of being wined and dined from the moment you step onto the resort is something that is foreign to me.
Even though my days are mainly spent behind a
registration desk, I could not be more content and
humbled by the experience.
There’s nothing better than working all day and
drinking all night at an all-inclusive resort in paradise with the funniest, craziest events team I’ve ever been a part of. There have been so many crazy stories and experiences that I can’t fit everything into one post….
Stay tuned for more adventures from Punta Cana!