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From the Outside, Looking In

Memoirs of an Observer

As long as can remember, I have been an observer. There are two kinds of kids, the ones doing and the ones watching. I was the watcher: extremely shy, awkward and skinny, too afraid to talk. I could watch for hours and never utter a word recording everything around me, taking it all in – every detail –  watching lizards, spiders, birds, and exploring the rich paradise that was Santo Domingo. And reveled in the stories around me carried forward by the women in my life: my mother, aunts, maids, etc.

I have started this site in order to share stories of my family and my life. I have led the most exciting, complex, chaotic life full of ups and downs, adventures, lots of fun, lots of pain, but at the end, full of peace and happiness. I wish I could go back and tell that scared little girl that it is going to be alright. To relax and enjoy the ride.

I would like to dedicate these stories to my daughter, Avaryl, and my nieces and nephews — a generation free of political repression, anxieties, and fear, full of hope and open to every possibility.  I am aware that your generation has no reference to relate to the world I grew up in. Even I, at this age, and in this reality, feel like this was just a movie I saw a long time ago, but, sadly, I know it was all very real.

I am adding entries in the Blog when I can. Short stories of memories, events, or just observations throughout my life. Browse through and comment if you like. I welcome any information you might be able to add to the stories. 

coat-of-arms arvelo-dalmau

Family Crest designed by my father in the late 1940s.

 

Rafael Alberto Arvelo González.
Born: Santo Domingo, dominican Republic, August 22, 1916.
Address: Camino Transversal No. 85, Arroyo Hondo
Telephone: 5-1723

1934
Graduated High School in Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Santo Domingo, DR

Graduó Estudios Superiores con

1936-39
Civil Engineering College, Santo Domingo, DR

1937
Graduated from Advanced English at New York Universal Institute, NY, NY

1937-39
Vice Chief Lighthouse and Buoy Service, Santo Domingo, DR

1940
Joined the Dominican Navy as Lieutenant J.G., Santo Domingo, DR

1941-43
Commanding Officer of Escort Vessels in the Caribbean, Santo Domingo, DR

1943
Graduated in Anti-Submarine Warfare in the Sub Chases Training Center in Miami, Florida. Trained in Naval Communications.

1943-47
Commanding Officer Several Dominican Naval vessels, Santo Domingo, DR

1947-50
Dominican Naval Attaché to the Embassy in London, England

1950-53
Director General, Flota Mercante del Estado Dominicano, Santo Domingo, DR

1953
Rear Admiral, Dominican Navy. Chief Naval Mission to the Coronation of Her Majesty Elizabeth II, Santo Domingo, DR

1955-60
Technician Office of Port Constructions, Santo Domingo, DR

1960-62
Sales Manager Continental Lambic Corporation, Puerto Rico

1962-63
Director Dominican Weather Bureau, Santo Domingo, DR

1963-1965
Dominican consul General, Miami, FL

1968-1969
Sales Department, DALSAN C. por A., Santo Domingo, DR