Photo caption: Selling fruit and vegetables to merchants (background) and pedestrians along his route through the streets of the capital, a boy, wearing a t-shirt advertising Puerto Rico, uses a rope to steer an emaciated horse towing a cart that rolls on salvaged automobile tires and rear axle.

By sharing these insights and memories, I hope students will conduct more research and uncover the hidden truths and secrets buried by time, isolation and neglect. Perhaps it is impossible for Haitians and Dominicans to unite to form one island nation, but they can never be completely divided by a national border or a DNA test. Dominican schoolbooks may try to bury or alter the past, but those who seek the truth will not be blinded by any propaganda. Cockfighting to the death may die in the Dominican Republic only after bullfighting dies in Spain first. Someday, maybe in one hundred years, women will play major league baseball or play dominoes with men in public, but it may take longer in this very macho society. Hopefully, sooner than later, the people of this country will learn the value of protecting their natural resources and keeping their beaches clean.

Despite all of its flaws, the Dominican Republic has taught me many truths and I will always treasure the experiences that it gave me and the friends I left behind.