Jun 07

30 days in the Dominican Republic

By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.– Christopher Columbus

Can you imagine perfect weather, clear blue waters, and merengue till the sun comes up in the morning in a country that never sleeps?


Boathouse in Boca Chica Beach

Yes! The Dominican Republic !!!!!


Boca Chica Beach

In March of 2016, I made a  decision to pack up all my bags and leave the country. I was so angry and frustrated with life. I could barely feel myself breathing and I just wanted to risk it all. There was no light at the end of the tunnel. And this FAITH I been hearing about. I grew to resent it.

Berline in Santo Domingo, DR

Colonial Zone in Santo Domingo, DR

How many of you ever had so much faith and belief only to find the rug pulled up under you?

Leaving you in anger, despair, and disappointment. Even embarrassed and ashamed only to be left with guilt for trusting.

How do you bounce back from a tragic loss?

Well, to tell you the truth I don’t know. I am still on the journey of finding out.

What I do know is that instead of facing my issues. I chose to run >1000 miles into an island full of its own struggles on the Atlantic ocean.

 And honestly! Although me and Gods relationship was a little rocky. He was my only rock in those moments. Thank God! God doesn’t treat people like people would.

If you know what I mean.

Despite the troubles, the people may have faced they still seemed to smile. How could this be?

Berline in Santo Domingo, DR

Berline at the Colonial Zone in Santo Domingo, DR

The people were kind, full of life, adventure, passion, and it didn’t take much to see a smile.

So I started to live without thinking, go without limits. No longer would I stick to this box of fear that had covered me. This shadow of darkness that choked me.

It was time!

I had just entered the door to a divergent life and I wasn’t looking back.

Places You must Visit + Travel Hacks  


1. Bavaro Beach  

Bavaro beach was just what the doctor ordered. Fresh clear blue waters, surfer waves, and wonderful people.  It was truly an unexpected experience. I was living in Santo Domingo which is a couple hour’s from Bavaro Beach. So we found a bus that takes you there and back for 10 dollars both ways.



Driving the speed boat at Bavaro beach

2. Speed Boats/ Snorkeling/ Natural Pool 

When we got to the beach there was so much to do. So many vendors selling souvenirs, and packaged excursions. If you are ever in Bavaro beach in Punta Cana visit Paco. He gave us 50% off and we were able to participate in the excursion. We took a speed boat to go snorkeling than we went to the natural pool. You can also swim with the sharks but we skipped that park. My cousin was scared.





Sandy Bavaro Beach

3. Boca Chica 

Boca Chica is a beach located in the capital of Dominican Republic. This beach is always full of fun, music, banana boat rides, and this excellent Italian restaurant I would recommend to anyone.  They serve every meal with the best tasting rice I have ever had and bread.



Me and my cousin at the cabana at Boca Chica Beach

4.Playa de Guibia

 If you like to dance, exercise, eat ice cream all at the park go to Playa de Guibia . We went to Zumba where there was free equipment outside. A great hang out and lounge area by the beach.  It definitely gets lively at night. It’s also a great place for romance with a movie theater right across the street.

5. Colonial Zone

    And last but not least you have to go the Colonial Zone and visit the Chocomuseo which is free to tour. Lots of restaurants, stores, vendors, and live entertainment.




Berline Sitting at the Boathouse at Boca Chica Beach

I found myself missing the Island. I had such a good time and great experience. I could only give you just a glimpse of what I did. I lived there for a month and I wish it was for years. The Island has plenty to do and it’s definitely affordable.


Berline at Boca Chica.

Remember if there is something you want to do. Just do it. The more thinking you do, the more second guessing you do and end up doing nothing. We were not created to waste time. So in the meanwhile travel so you can really find truth. It’s never too late to treat yourself to a vacation. You’ll never regret it, and it’s a great coping skill.


Leave your comments below and tell me the last time you went on vacation and where. I want to know.


P.S. God has the answers. Live because there’s a reason your not dead yet.


Berlines Edition








Jun 01

Egberto Portrait Sketches In 10 Minutes



May 23

Central Florida Employment Council Host its Annual Mayors Job Fair

On May 18, 2016, the Orlando Mayors Job fair was at the same venue for yet another year. This event is put together by the Central Florida Employment Council with the assistance of Christian help every year.


Although unemployment has decreased from a 5.1% to a 4.1% there is still over fifty-three thousand citizens without jobs in central Florida. CFEC host about five to six job fairs each year and this one, in particular, is sponsored by the mayor of Orlando each year. This job fair is different, though. In order to keep decreasing those numbers in unemployment in Central, Florida CFEC keeps these job fairs going. The job fair not only provides various employers but it also educates the job seekers in order to be the best candidate for the job. This empowers the potential job seekers for any future interviews. They provide workshops on how to interview, resume critique centers, and even laptops to look up companies and apply for them on the site.


Danny Kiernan is the VP of Operations is hands on every year as he has been volunteering with the job fair for the last 15 years. He says that job seekers come from all over the world looking for jobs.

May 17

Winter Park Historical Museum Features The War Years: 1941-1945 as its newest exhibit

“I felt like I stepped right into the war years,” says one of the guest who attended the Grand Opening .

2016 was out the window as soon as the guest around town stepped into the Winter Park Historical Museum . The exhibit displayed many things from World War II. The walls of the museum were covered with Articles explaining the history of Tuskegee Airmen, the women working during World War II, and much more. The ceilings were full of jets, and planes that were flown by the Tuskegee Airmen. The museum was full of tour guides and they did not hesitate to explain the decoure and items in the room.  The tour guides explained that the room was parly a re-invention of the living room, children’s room, and kitchen during 1941-1945.

The night was a success. The Museum was full of people from all different ages enjoying the History. The best part of the night was the entertainment from the Orlando Concert Band. The live music from the band brought out swing dancers from all over. Some of the guests were dressed in 1940s Costumes. The night was definitely an honor to those who had fought the war and were affected by it.

The Grand Opening of the War Years: 1941-1945 honored the service men and woman from winter park, Fla. The night was powerful and full of history for the folks of Winter park. This addition to the town was not for a day but can be viewed throughout the week.

Live Music from the Orlando Concert Band keeps the guest on their feet swing dancing throughout the evening. This night transformed into something back in the war years.


May 09

Church Turns Motel into An Art Show and Exhibition

Motels can be utilized for various reasons and Park Lake Presbyterian Church proves that by hosting an Art Show and Exhibition every First Friday of every month. They call it FAVO, Faith Arts Village Orlando. The event is located in downtown Orlando, Fla. Hosting various vendors, Artist, people from all over. It is free to the public. The church has turned over twenty-three rooms into Art Studios.

Rev. Helen DeBevoise has definitely made her vision come to life. She has brought together artists, photographers, and musicians together where they can create and perform. May 6, 2016, from 5-9 p.m. the place was filled with live musicians throughout the night, different food trucks and vendors who were ready to fill the bellies of all the guest, and artist who were anxious to show off their work.

Local Artist says “ I like the fact that I don’t have to be a Christian to be able to have a studio and be a part of this wonderful event.” Church is more than just a building but a place that creates opportunities to reach the public by creating a place of fellowship. Who knew that faith could be found in the Arts. Rev. DeBevoise knew. For more information visit http://faithartsvillage.com.

Apr 20

A Turn of Events in Santo Domingo Horse Race 2016

On Saturday- April 16,2016 Hipodromo V Centenario horse track was hosting yet another horse race. This Saturday afternoon the fans were full of drink in their systems and money to spend. Most of the fans seem to be betting for horse # 3 Hipodromo. The people of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic came in all shapes and sizes.

A man in the stands says “This is going to be an exciting race, I just put 3200 pesos on horse # 3. “


This Saturday, the horses ran over 4 races and it seemed that it was between horse #3, 4, and 1. Before each race, the horses had to go through a lot of exercises and warm ups. The horses also seemed to hesitate some of the time so the trainers would force them to race, or to be put into the barrels. Horse # 4, Estipendo ended up being the horse that led the way last Saturday. The crowds seem to be shocked by what was going on.


At the end of the race, only a few earned a winning and the rest went home just enjoying their time on the tracks with their families. The people came from miles away to the city just to go to the race. The fans on that Saturday did not fill the stands.

Apr 16

Deputy Aquilino Serrata goes through the streets of Santo Domingo.

The people of 27 de Febrero in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic got a special visit from the political candidate Aquilino Serrata. The candidate is currently the deputy of the city. He greeted the people of Santo Domingo with a huge smile while hugging and shaking hands with everyone. The citizens of Santo Domingo welcomed the candidate with open arms.

A woman shouts from her rooftop “Deputy Serrata were happy to see you.”

The streets were full of noise, music, and people. Deputy Serrata did not come alone but with an entourage of folks carrying banners, signs, and wearing shirts promoting his campaign. The candidate also had security, cameras and a load of cars with his face, name, and campaign on it. The streets were busy.


The Candidate was not afraid to walk the streets with the people and get his hands dirty. Everyone did not seem to mind the disruption in the middle of the day. The campaign was happening right in the middle of the time school let out. There were children all over the streets in their uniforms.


Polls are already suggesting that the candidate will win the race with over 60% of the votes. The candidate is also doing a lot with his campaign for instance already giving out over http://elnuevodiario.com.do/app/article.aspx?id=473706 http://elnuevodiario.com.do/app/article.aspx?id=473706http://elnuevodiario.com.do/app/article.aspx?id=473706.

Mar 28

What is it like to be a business owner in Gonaives, Haiti?


Madame Rose and her husband own a small boutique in Gonaives, Haiti. A boutique in Haiti is equivalent to a corner store in the United States. The couple has owned the business since 2007. Madame Rose is really the brain behind the business; her husband is just there to assist. He is a full-time Professor.

In the city, she sells merchandise that consists of sodas, creams, snacks, and more. The boutique also provides services to their customers by putting minutes on their cell phones. This is essential in Haiti because cell phones are a form of communication since they do not really utilize home phones, a way to go on the Internet, and call outside of the country. Madame Rose is the main store when the people can’t or don’t want to go in the city.

Rose says that she encounters many issues as a business owner. One of the main problems is with security and there is no stability. In the small city, people have to worry about robbers and business is not alway up. A lot of times as a business owner she cannot trust the clients and that is why they always use cash and not credit.

Rose mentioned, “I wish there was better cooperation between the business and the clients.”

As a  business owner, she employs just a few people in her city to help with the business. The boutique has huge storage space. The companies merchandise is shipped from the capital Port-Au-Prince. Port-Au-Prince is about three hours away from Gonaives.

It is an exciting time in Gonaives because the city is trying to rebuild itself from a tragic flooding a couple years back. The poverty in the city doesn’t allow for many upgrades in their business. The inside of the store is filled with dust and bottles. Haiti still uses glass bottles in order to recycle and economically it’s cheaper. This small business owner does not have a cash register and uses cash for every transaction. Madame Rose is fortunate to know the whole town so the customers feel like family and she has the same customers frequently.

God is essential in her life and helps her to run a successful business in one of the poorest countries in the world. He is not taken lightly. She started off with just a dream, selling merchandise on the street for just a dollar. Now, she has a fully operating business.

Mar 14

What happens in Orlando during Daytona Bike Week?

Orlando Harley-Davidson is excited about Daytona’s Bike Week 2016. It is their 75th year Anniversary.


Photograph by: Berlines Edition Cheryl Zelenak Marketing Director

Cheryl Zelenak Marketing Director for Orlando Harley-Davidson sits in front of one of their custom made motorcycles. She displays the different features while explaining Harley-Davidson version of their Bike Week. (Photo by: Berline Jean-Baptiste/ Berlines Edition)

Cheryl Zelenak the Marketing Director for Harley-Davidson since 2001 gives a quick break down of her experiences along with the vision and expectations of the company. The company noticed that a lot of people were coming in from all over the world and country to visit Daytona Bike week.” The different bikers and families would also extend their vacation to visit the parks. Motor Harley-Davidson Cycles looks forward to Daytona Bike Week every year.

Photograph by: Berline Jean-Baptiste Hundreds of Bikes

2016 Daytona Bike Week Orlando Harley-Davidson features their different Harley as a display for their Customers. (Photo by: Berline Jean-Baptiste/ Berlines Edition)

The traffic that this event brings also overflows into Orlando. Orlando is the number one destination to fly into.“The company saw this as a huge opportunity to create their own Bike Week event.” Every year the company comes up with an event and this year the company decided on a Pirate Event. Harley- Davidson uses  many vendors  to make this event a success. This year for the pirate theme they had face painters,Pirates Dinner Adventure, stunt shows on bikes, and rum sampling.

Photograph by:Berline Jean-Baptiste Orlando Pirates Dinner Show

Photograph by:Berline Jean-Baptiste
Orlando Pirates Dinner Show was one of the vendors at Orlando Harley-Davidson event for 2016 Daytona Bike-Week. (Photo by: Berline Jean-Baptiste/ Berlines Edition)

“People stay and listen to live bands all day long. Bikers are the modern day pirates.1000 of people are coming on a daily basis. They love it.” – Cheryl Zelenak


2016 Daytona Bike Week. A display of a Pirate in front Orlando Harley-Davidson during their Bike Week Event. (Photo by: Berline Jean-Baptiste/ Berlines Edition)

Harley Davidson is a full service dealership. During Bike week people can rent bikes to go to Daytona, get service for their bikes, or they can even buy a bike.

Photograph by :Berline Jean-Baptiste More vendors

2016 Daytona Bike Week. Orlando Harley-Davidson Displays their different Clothes, and products for sale during their Bike Week event. (Photograph by :Berline Jean-Baptiste/ Berlines Edition)

During this major event veterans get free bike lessons. This event is not all about making revenue but also giving back and making sure the vistors enjoy their time.

Photograph by:Berline Jean-Baptiste Riding Lessons

2016 Daytona Bike Week. Veteran During Orlando Harley-Davidson Bike Week about to ride one of the models. (Photograph by:Berline Jean-Baptiste/ Berlines Edition)
Riding Lessons

 The event is absolutely free. This is a Family-friendly event where the Bikers can enjoy  their love ones. There is nothing bigger than Daytona’s Bike Week! So make sure you visit Orlando Harley-Davidson during Daytona Bike Week next year.

This event is just good clean fun to get into. -Dont Put God in a box

Mar 07

Young stars in the making : Featuring Rayshard Hickman

Who’s the next generation of athletes? Rayshard Hickman a young lad was spotted playing on the weekend of March 6th amongst a group of athletes on some outdoor basketball courts. This young man dreams of one day becoming a professional football player. ESPN mentions that playground basketball is dying, unfortunately, the hoops of Central Florida are still being played by Rayshard Hickman and the rest of the neighborhood.

basketball 1

Rayshard Hickman making a shot on the outside basketball courts at Church at the cross in Orlando Florida. (Photo By Berline Jean-Baptiste/ Berlines Edition)

Rayshard Hickman makes a shot effortlessly in the community of Central Florida on the church grounds of Church at the Cross.  Despite his talent in Basketball, Rayshard says’s ” I’m an 8th grader at Robinswood Middle and I want to go to the NFL.” 

basketball 6

Rayshard Hickman in the middle of playing offense trying to get open on the outside basketball courts at Church at the Cross in Orlando Florida.  (Photo by Berline Jean-Baptiste/Berlines Edition)

Rayshard one of the youngest of all the guys holds his own in the courts. When Rayshard is asked why play basketball if the NFL is your ultimate goal? He answers “It helps me great! Because you can’t just play one sport, you have to be fit to play any sport. You cant just play one,  you have to play football, basketball, track, and anything to stay in shape”

basketball 18

Rayshard Hickman taking a breather while waiting to get in the next game on the outside basketball courts in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Berline Jean-Baptiste/Berlines Edition)

Rayshard takes a breather after a few rounds of playing basketball.

The young athlete has a strong support system. On the courts he had to uncles raving about him and cheering him on. During the interview, he talks about ” My dad is my biggest motivation, when I was younger I remember him putting a football in my hands” 


Rayshard Hickman playing defense on the outside basketball courts at Church at the Cross in Orlando, Florida (Photo by Berline Jean-Baptiste/ Berlines Edition )

basketball 15

A shot made by Rayshard Hickman in the air at Church at the Cross in Orlando, Florida. Photo by:Berline Jean-Baptiste/Berlines Edition

At the end of the day, a hoop and a basketball can help to build the next generation of athlete. Rayshard also brings awareness to how much basketball helps with stress and anger. It is definitely a great coping skill for our young generation of men. Rayshard says “I put my anger into it so I can keep going harder.”  

God is everywhere you go even on the basketball courts. -Berlines Edition


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