Sabine Bloch, Ambassador of Federal Republic of Germany in DR
About a year ago, Sabine Bloch had a challenge in her professional life as Ambassador of Federal Republic of Germany in our country. This is her first experience in the Caribbean but she has fond memories of her experience in the America continent when she lived in Argentina for three years.
After university studies, she got a Master’s degree on “International Relations” at the University “London School of Economics” and passed the public contest for diplomatic career taking the two-year advanced course at the Diplomatic Academy of Germany. Up to date it has been 26 years at diplomatic corps service, traveled half the world, Italy, Argentina, Albania, Morocco…until arriving to our land country.
How did you feel at the moment of designation as ambassador in DR? I felt joyful, curious and grateful for all the confidence the President of Federal Republic of Germany had in me. I have to confess that I didn’t know much about this country. I started to read some books -stories written by Juan Bosch and “La fiesta del chivo” and texts about history and politics- to gradually getting closer to my future Caribbean destiny. When I came here, I found a happy and friendly people making “my adaptation” easier.
What is your assessment of this first year as Ambassador in DR? It is totally positive. The former Ambassador, Minister Andrés Navarro, gave me a warm welcome, along with his team, and he was always available to satisfy any request. Besides, the diplomatic corps quickly become a group of friends. Moreover, Dominicans, with their contagious joy of living, make me feel at ease in their country.
Did you already know our country? In relation to Dominican lifestyle, what did catch your eyes? and what let you astonished? Before my arrival, I didn’t know the Dominican Republic. In the Caribbean, I just had sailed around Martinique, the French island, with some friends. Related to Dominican lifestyle I was fascinated by this natural aptitude people have for laughing and enjoying. I think that the turquoise sea helps a lot. My biggest surprise was how the popular culture follows the American model, it goes from the baseball to predilection for fast food.
How do you define Dominican nature? Well, I’m not sure if there is a national dominant characteristic and I wouldn’t dare to give an opinion after a short period of time, but undoubtedly some appealing adjectives can describe many Dominicans: sociable, communicative, happy, carefree, hospitable, keen on music, dance and fun in general… what really calls the attention from a more polemic point of view, is the accentuated materialism that can make wealthy people vain or those of more modest income scamps.
How is the relationship between Germany and DR? Fortunately, bilateral relationships are serene in all aspects. The Dominican Republic is known as a tourist destination in Germany. During the last year, 250.000 German tourists visited this country, being the third more important group after the United States and Canada. We hope this year remains the same. Furthermore, Germany continues supporting the country through regional cooperation programs as well as delegated cooperation getting funds from international organizations like European Union and United Nations. Bilateral business relationships are steady tending to be stronger. Germany is one of the most important markets for the Dominican Republic’s organic farming exports (banana, advocate, cocoa, coffee, among others) and Germany, moreover, exports industrial products (machines, cars and pharmaceutical and chemical products), thus we complement each other. At a cultural level, we organize some concerts, exhibitions and this spring we were the guest of honour country at the Dominican Global Film Festival.
What is your goal regarding to diplomatic relationships, after first-year leadership? My goal is to step forward adding more actions to the many existing ties. In this first year, for instance, I have agreed to have, together with German Service for Academic exchange (DAAD), regular meetings on competitive post grade scholarships announced by DAAD. This is one of the little steps taken and these meetings have been successful among Dominican students. It is an opportunity for a closer future scientific cooperation.
German tourists rank third in DR, what are your expectations? Looking at the figures of these first nine months, Germany will keep this international bronze metal that is like a golden medal in Europe. I must say I’m very happy with this promising perspective, because early this year we realized that potential tourists were really concerned about their safety and zika disease. In this sense, I think the expectations have pink color for DR because tourists still peacefully enjoy the spectacular beaches.
What does DR offer to German tourist? For the majority of tourists that come here under all-inclusive modality, especially during German winter months, DR mainly offers paradisiac beaches and sea. However, individual tourists can discover more in the Dominican Republic. The colonial city of Santo Domingo founded in 1492, its museums and the first cathedral in the Americas which is part of World Heritage (UNESCO. In addition, Santiago has an impressive treasure in the handsome Leon Center, in short, any trip always broaden your intellectual horizon.
A dream: As any diplomat, peace and justice for the world.
What things keep you awake? The catastrophic situation in Siria.
What has been your greatest accomplishment? All achievements made are due to team work spirit.
A trip to be made: Globally, the Great Wall of China and The Mirabal Sisters Museum in DR.
A song: Everything has its time.
A book: Lately, Donna Tartt: “The goldfinch”.
A film: “Sous le sable”.
A hobby: Reading, yoga
What do you hate most about human beings? Injustice, brutality and fanaticism.
What do you value most? Love, laugh and reason.
A place in the world: A terrace in Taormina, Sicilia.
A place in DR: Playa Bonita, Las Terrenas.
A memory: My parents blessing.
A moment: The arrival to Muxía lighthouse, at the end of Camino de Santiago (it’s about 621 miles of cultural history on foot).
A mania: I don’t have WhatsApp.
When you were a little girl, what did you want to be when you grew up? A magician
TEXTO: Almudena Haddad; IMÁGENES:Archivo
Tags: Foreigners in RD