Dominican Republic: Betzamel Lopez
1)What is your average weekday and weekend like?
During the weekdays, I usually do the essential work for school: study for exams, prepare for presentations and expositions, complete my homework, etc. Twice or three times a week, I exercise on my treadmill for an hour, while watching TV. Sometimes, I am involved in community service work, since I am a volunteer at the Dominican Red Cross Organization, and that requires at least three hours from me weekly. My weekends are not very hectic. Fridays are my day off: I usually go to the beauty parlor to get a manicure and pedicure, and I always get my hair blow-dried, which is a very Dominican-like practice. On Fridays as well I normally go out with some friends, to a party or simply to the cinema or for an ice cream. On Saturdays I go to Portuguese class. On Sunday mornings, I go to church, and at lunchtime I have a special meal with my family.
How many hours do you go to school?
Eight hours a day.
How many hours of homework do u have weekdays & weekends?
Around six to eight hours daily.
How many hours do u have for yourself weekday &weekend?
On the weekdays, I barely have time for myself, since my school is very demanding. On weekends, especially on Friday, it is when I have the greatest amount of free time.
2)Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself starting medical school, which is my all-time aspiration.
3)What is your favorite thing you like about living in the Dominican Republic?
I love our warm climate, which resembles as if it were always summer! I also enjoy the fact that the Dominican Republic is an island, and as such, beautiful beaches surround it, and we are able to go anytime during the year because of our tropical weather.
4)What do you dislike most about living in the Dominican Republic?
Our traffic system is very chaotic, due to the fact that the citizens drive very carelessly and that many traffic lights in the streets do not work properly. In addition, the Dominican people in general do not respect the traffic signs and laws, and this affects the correct flow of vehicles in the streets and highways.
5)What are Dominican students most passionate about?
The Dominican government is characterized for being very corrupt, and the government officials make use of the public funds for personal luxuries; we all aim to change that in a future.
6)What do Dominican students know about Turkey and how do they view Turkish people?
Turkey is a very unknown country in the Dominican Republic. We, in general, know where Turkey is located and know about its major cities, such as Ankara and Istanbul. However, not much is known about Turkey here. A very small minority knows the country and its people, including me.
7)If someone were to visit the Dominican Republic, where would you recommend they visit first?
Punta Cana, since it is our major touristic zone, renowned for its gorgeous beaches, hot climate, and extravagant hotels and resorts, far from the city and its noise.
8)Any one interesting fact about the Dominican way of life?
We are used to having the same meal for lunch every single day, and, apparently, no one gets tired of it. This meal consists of white rice wetted by red beans, accompanied by a piece of meat or chicken.
9)The Dominican Republic is one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America but still the unemployment rate is very high. What do you think causes this contradiction? Do you have any possible solutions in mind?
I would have to disagree on that. Dominican Republic is not one of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America; for that, I would name Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Mexico. We are advancing, but very slowly. Our unemployment is chiefly caused because the companies and businesses, searching for greater incomes, tend to have fewer amounts of employees than they actually need. In addition, the public officials and employees (even the diplomats) lose their jobs immediately a new president is elected, because each president appoints the people who are to occupy these work spots. Therefore, every four years, hundreds of people lose their jobs and become unemployed.
10)How is Dominican Rock music different from other rock music styles?
Dominican Rock is more a Latin American Rock. We do not have a type of Rock specially ours. The difference between the Latin American Rock and the rest of Rock styles would be the language, of course, and the intensity of the singer’s voice, since our singers hardly shout or use a very elevated tone of voice, but rather a normal one.