Thursday, February 20, 2014

Victory! -- by Josh

On Monday morning, we got up at 4:30 in the morning to catch a ride with some dear friends down south to the Capital. They dropped us off at the Metro station and we weaved our way through the rush hour crowds and secured a seat for Rebecca and the kids. One of the great things in this country is that, although most drivers would never, ever consider stopping for you (or a little old lady) to cross the street, on the subway kids and elderly folks will always be given a seat, and there are even special parking spots at grocery stores for pregnant ladies.
Anyhow, then...

This is actually from a different trip, but it gives you an idea of the work they've done to beautify the Metro stations.  Best of all, every major station has a small library and technology center, generally with A/C!

We arrived at the immigration office and, after a short wait, I was handed an envelope with two very official letters. Our pictures were stapled to them and apparently the letters assured the Central Electoral Council office that we were indeed worthy of cedulas (national identification cards, generally used for voting, but not in our case).  

We then hopped into a taxi and headed to the other office. We walked in and were told that we needed to go to the foreigners office.  It's just down the street, they assured us.  We walked and walked, until we finally found this very official looking, misspelled sign telling us that we were on the right track.  It was more like 300 meters.

Once in the office, we jumped in line, then got to enter a bit earlier since the lawyer in front of us was "still waiting for (my) foreigner".  The lovely woman in the office was efficient and friendly, but I did have one question: "There aren't any more charges, right?"
"Just $75 from each of you," she answered.
I groaned, then asked where the nearest ATM was.  "It's okay, we take credit cards."
I was overjoyed, and had to laugh when we got into the room to take pictures. They used a finger-print scanner and used computers to enter and access all of my information.
"You know," I commented, "the suckers over at the immigration office use ink for fingerprints, write everything in children's notebooks, and only take cash."  The last part is extra nice since they require hundreds of dollars from you at a time, and everyone knows it.
So, we took the pictures and 20 minutes later we had cedulas and a few new Colombian friends we made in the waiting room.  It cracked us up to talk with people there, who had all been going through the process at least as long as we had (13 months on our part). One started in 2012!
Okay, now we're hungry, but we've gotta take care of business. Back in a taxi to get our residency cards from the immigration office.

Sugar always makes waiting easier.
After another couple hours of waiting, we were on our way, official residents of the Dominican Republic!

1 comment:

  1. Woohoohoohoohooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!! 8-D Congratulatioooooooooooooooonssss!!!!!!!