However, I have been in the Dominican Republic now for less than two hours and part of me is ready to leave. Pastor spent two days at the Haitian embassy preparing and obtaining documents for a family road trip to the DR. Everything was stamped, signed and sealed, and organized together. After traveling six hours with nine people in an eight passenger car, we reach the border and the National Police of Haiti won’t allow us to leave the country with the car that we have paperwork for. Wow! We spent 30 minutes negotiating (and when I say we, I mean Pastor. I don’t even speak Creole) and finally get the okay to leave. Every ten feet, we had to stop the car, roll down the window and get all nine of our passports checked, but that was it. No big deal. We were on our way.
However, we crossed the border into the Dominican and I felt life change. As soon as we passed through the gate, people were harassing us, pulling us this way and that way, asking for money for every passport and more money to expedite the process. I was grabbed and pulled to the front of a line to get my fingerprints done. I think my prints were taken under the wrong name honestly. People were yelling and rushing. It was hot and uncomfortable, and thank God, Pastor is fluent in Spanish. I know enough to have a basic conversation, but not to get me through the mess that was ENTRY!
After a while, it became a disgusting routine. I guess it was good that men were exchanging wads of money at the border. They knew what was up. The Dominican Republic is a scam. This practice continues throughout the day, for the entire four more hours we drove to Santo Domingo. Although I was annoyed, what could you do? Was it worth risking whatever consequence came for a fake traffic stop for not obliging the police officers’ madness? What would happen? You couldn’t tell the cops. They were all in this together, scamming foreigners and locals alike.
We drove through what seemed like the desert. We drove past the ocean. Everything was so beautiful, but it was hard to focus on the beauty when you were being exploited at every opportunity.