An American Abroad

The Ruins of the Monasterio de San Francisco

There are so many ancient churches, convents, and monasteries in Santo Domingo that it seems like the authorities have forgotten about half of them. One such unrestored site is the Monasterio de San Francisco and was located just a few blocks from the hostel. The 16th century ruins were gated and shuttered, but I was able to find my way in.

And then, while I was traipsing around the ruins while wearing nothing on my feet but Teva sandals, I glanced down . . . and every old-brain fight-or-flight neuron blazed on and time slowed to a turtle speed and my vision became sharper and narrower and every muscle in my body tensed and my heart slammed into overdrive. Only then did I realize it was an old shoe, not a snake.

Which raises interesting questions: what is a single woman’s shoe doing there?

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