Signs of progress: trash improvement in Ozama
As always, when I come here, I look for signs of progress, of change, and rarely find anything significant. It’s discouraging because in many ways I want this country to be better, I want to be proud of it, to be able to brag about it. I know this is how Dominicans feel too. Yet, more often than not, it is one step forward and two back. Every once in a while, however, I am greeted by the unexpected.
In my previous two visits to this house, the trash was always carried to the base of a tree in front of the house. It was a system common to all neighborhoods and fraught with problems. Between the time the trash was placed outside and when it was picked up, the street dogs had ripped it open, the rats had feasted on it, and the trash was spread out over the street.
But this time was different. On the way out I carried a bag of trash and went to put by the tree and my ex said, “no, there is a new way”. He then led me around the corner to where I saw a dumpster. I realized as I walked there that the street was actually clean, something you rarely see here.
I learned that all over this neighborhood, called Ensanche Ozama, they have these dumpsters. What an improvement! It is is nice to see that there is some progress in this country.
Of course, in other neighborhoods, the trash is the same so it’s just a baby step…