My trip to the DR (a Brian post)

Well, here I go. Macey said I have to document my trip to the Dominican Republic on the blog, and that I have to do it now because all her posts have to be in chronological order, and she has other things to blog about. So, here it is.

This semester I am in a study abroad program that is sponsored by the Civil Engineering department at BYU, and counts as my senior capstone project. For the project, we were split up into groups, and each group was assigned a collaborating group in the DR.

The other two groups were doing dam feasibility surveys in different regions, while my group worked with a couple of engineers from the National Institute of Water Resources to help automate the decision making process for water distribution in Santo Domingo and the surrounding farms. We are still working on the deliverables, and won't finish until about the end of the semester.

But let's be honest, you are here for the pictures, not to listen to me ramble on about evapotranspiration and aqueduct efficiency. So here you go!

Landing in Santo Domingo. #ClassicWingPic

At INDRHI (the agency we worked with). It was pretty gorgeous.

Just in case you didn't believe I was really working down there.

Rafael (left) and Israel (right). These are the engineers my group is working with. They are ballers.

Heading out to look at one of the dams involved in the system we are analyzing.

Looking down the spillway of Valdesia dam. I don't know why, but dams have always fascinated me.

Passing a sugar cane farm on our way back to INDRHI. The DR is a beautiful place.

The day we went to look at Valdesia, the other groups were driving to the north side of the country. They were gone ALL DAY. Our trip was only a couple of hours, so while we waited for them to come back we went to lunch at a restaurant with a porch OVER the ocean. It was pretty neat. You could tell it was a porch by the way it was. #getit?

Our workspace while we were there. That's Jocelynn and Jeff. My other team members. They're great.

Look at that focus.

Jeff and Jocelynn. 
I was the only member of my group that spoke Spanish. So I spent around 8 hours a day translating while we were there. My head still hurts just thinking about it. I actually translate pretty well, since I had to every week in church in NYC while on my mission. But doing it for this long was pretty draining. That's what I'm doing here.

And here.

And here.

And yes, even here. Does your head hurt yet? 

We took a tour of INTEC University while we were there. The other groups were collaborating with students from this university. This pretty much sums up the whole trip. Kristen, Sam, and Matt. Some of the coolest peeps I know, and they just happen to be civil engineers. They keep me sane. Also, I look stoned. I blame it on the jet lag. 

Our advising professor, Dr. Nelson, gave a lecture at INTEC, and lots of people came. Yeah, he's a pretty big deal.

This is all of the students who are working together on the project. My group didn't really get to know any of the INTEC students, since we were always with Rafael and Israel. But they seemed to be pretty nice....

Dr. Nelson on a morning news show. Do I have to say it again? Ok, I will. He's a pretty big deal.

We worked hard until thursday, then headed north to a resort to relax over the weekend. It was awesome.

Got in some sand volleyball with a bunch of European tourists. Party. #sunsoutgunsout

Much form. Such jumping. Wow.

Church was great. Including a nice young lady who walked in during the sacrament and fell to the floor convulsing and screaming. Apparently she thought she was in an Evangelical church. Classic.

Our hotel was about half a mile from the temple. So we walked home from church (which was a bad idea) and stopped on our way. Pretty cool place.

This is how I spent all of my down time. Playing dominos with Matt, Sam, and Sam's brother Enos. This was taken at 2 a.m. We had been playing since 5 p.m. Yeah....

The airport sign as we were leaving seemed pretty serious about it. I will definitely be returning some day.

Well, that's about all I can handle in the picture department. I hope you enjoyed it. The end. 


  1. So cool Brian! Um and random, Jeff is in Clark's and my ward! haha Provo is so small...

  2. Loved the pictures, but wished you'd said more about evapotranspiration and aquaduct efficiency. As I was reading the signs I said to myself, "Hey! Brian speaks Spanish. I bet that was helpful." A little too helpful I guess. Sorry about the headaches. But the question left unanswered is why it was a bad idea to walk home from church. Inquiring minds would like to know. Sounds like a great time was had by all. The Dominican Republic is gorgeous.

  3. The pictures were great, but I wished there was more discussion of evapotranspiration and aquaduct efficiency. When I was reading the signs I thought, "Hey! Brian speaks Spanish. I bet that was useful." A little too useful I guess. Sorry about the headaches. The question burning in my mind is why it was a bad idea to walk home from church. Inquiring minds want to know. Sounds like a good time was had by all. The Dominican Republic is beautiful.

    1. Patti, it was a bad idea because it was 95 degrees with 100% humidity. I got home a sweaty mess.

    2. Sorry about the double post! I didn't see the "will be displayed after owner approval" come up when I clicked publish on the first one. I concur. Walking anywhere when it is 95 degrees with 100% humidity is almost always a bad idea.

  4. Patti, it was a bad idea because it was 95 degrees with 100% humidity. I got home a sweaty mess.