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MY DOMINICAN EXPERIENCE

Just back to Alberta from an interesting and absolutely great 21 days to Dominican Republic. I read with great interest all the topics posted on/in this forum. Unfortunately I had only my new tablet with me and could not log in to make comments or chat with various people such as Planner. I arrived at Puerto Plata and was picked up by my lady and driven to Moca. During the time there we got to a resort in Puerto Plata one weekend and I borrowed my finances  daughters car and we went to Santo Domingo where we stayed at the Weston Suites. It turned out to a perfect location for everything but going out to the US Embassy. I met my lady through her sister who works and has lived in Red Deer for over 8 years. Having lived for 6-8 months in pretty austere conditions several times during my 35 year military career, staying with my future in-laws was not hard at all. They live in a poorer area of one of Mocas Barrios near the downtown, They are honest down to earth folks and it seems two out of 10 people around there are blood relatives. I was forever being told/reminded not to pay too much for the motorcycle taxi down to the bank etc. When shopping with the ladies, they always searched for the best deals and accept with grace items I purchased for them or the familia. While there are dangerous characters around, it seems most are known and generally disliked by most folks I met. Love the highlands, found some absolutely great restaurants, was generally accepted by all the folks that I was introduced to, and look forward to getting all my paperwork prepared, sell my Arizona property, my jeep Wrangler and likely my Can-Am Spyder then get back by March or April. We plan on renting until I get Residency then look for some land to buy. I hope to be in with Planner regarding my biz plans as well as many others. SO far I have only good things about most everything, including being now considered familia as we will be married (formally) on 25 August 2018. This is rather long but I will add more in another post. I have thought to change my Forum Id as 2VPsoldier to MOCAMAN - has kind of ring to that!! Cheers (Brian W is my name) Also looking to hear from all Veterans - to see how many of us there are) Cheers!

Thanks for the update. Sounds like you had a great trip and now you have a plan!!

Look forward to reading more.

Moca is a nice size city about and hour and a half inland from Puerto Plata and has its good and bad points, like everywhere. The driving was a great combo of several places I have been over the years but not driving a UN or military vehicle sure put a twist on things. Two way traffic doesn't necessarily mean on the correct sides of the road, nor does it limit it to cars. Solid lines mean nothing either. Once you get used to that, driving is fun. Oh yes, motorcycles squeeze through everywhere and make their own right of way. Plenty of horn beeping..... When we drove to Santo Domingo, I learned that while looking on google things appear straight forward, arriving mid morning during the week is not good. Missed the turn off to Winston Churchill Ave and don't even recall seeing IKEA as we drove farther south about two miles. Turned around while looking unsuccessfully for a bano for Josefina (which we found) finally seeing a Canadian/American school, I pulled in and went up 3 floors where I met the principle who did speak English and got an idea where to go. Still seemed to go in circles but ended up on 27th and found the Weston. Found the capital to have some English language channels with Spanish inserted. Didn't really get a good idea of the area until after we walked all around. We left on Saturday and the roads were basically clear and it was easy to get away. Also found the Canadian Visa Center on Abraham Lincoln and learned there is an American Visa office a bit south west of where we stayed. Interesting. Also learned there is apparently an IKEA in Santiago - more relatives apparently work there......will verify that when I return in March/April.....

Thanks for sharing mocaman, it is good to hear some positive stories for a change. Take things slowly, learn Spanish, and always trust your gut, if something does not feel right, don't ignore it. Have a great time and keep exploring. Planner is great! Her and Bob are the Vets on here. Two good folks to learn from as well as a few others......By the way. Where is Red Deer???  :D

Sounds like a great trip and lots learned.
I look forward to hearing your continuing story.  Sounds like you have  a plan.

Bob K

Another informative post!  Good advice with regards to your gut - trust it.

Red deer - alberta, canada, bloody cold much of the time.  In my humble opinion great place to leave to move to paradise from.

Greetings Bob - yes, I really like the country. I guess it also adds to it when you are accepted completely into a family and circle of friends. We have a plan the keeps on changing. I will touch on this. Looking forward to meeting you and others that are on here once settled.

Yes , Red Deer Alberta, mid-way between Calgary and Edmonton, can be cold in the winter. Cold is a subjective term. From the DR perspective it is damn cold. But when you've spent time in the high Arctic, doing sovereignty patrols, it can seem quite warm. However, once told my marriage was done, I quickly started staying in Arizona for the winters. Selling that property will help get me established in the DR now.
One thing I noted as I read many threads here were the warnings about marrying women from the DR, along with all sorts of great advice on where to shop, how to buy and much more. Unlike many of you who have and are living here, I have been in Germany, Cyprus, Bosnia and very short term locations in Africa, the far east and such. I elected to come here because I can live live well on my pensions, but more importantly, because I have found someone special. Yes, as Massagewiz stated, I am learning Spanish - I can read better than I speak at this point - and I will be much much better by March/April when I return.  I have to become very proficient because my wife to be currently has only about 45% hearing in each ear due to an accident when she was 3 years old. Due to this, and not having a school where she could learn with this disability, she could hear to learn fully. Although very intelligent, her speech is chopped and her reading and comprehension of words is greatly hindered. But when explained by those who know and love her, she does grasp the meaning quickly. That said, despite her handicap and my lack of spanish, we communicated via our own signing. I have to say, it has been years since I have laughed and enjoyed being with someone so much. But  learning the language is essential. As mentioned above, going with your gut instinct is also good - providing one has the experience to do this. I believe I have. As (military) HR Specialist  with 29 years experience, plus overseas deployments and postings across Canada over 35 years, I have dealt with virtually every type of situation and type of person/people. My thoughts and comments on other thread topics later. Have a great day everyone. Cheers!
(The Vets I was referring to are Military Veterans. I currently belong to the Canadian Legion, am a Life Member of Post 3715 Veterans of Foreign Wars in Phoenix, also the Scottish American Military Society (which I will be sorry to leave but will cause a stir every now and then in the DR when I wear my kilt) and three Veteran Motorcycle groups plus have a US wide incorporated Non-Profit (501(c)3 business that is also a registered non-profit in Alberta)

Killing time so will add some more. As I have said, we will be married 25 Aug 2018. I think the wedding will take place in Moca but through all the contacts we are checking costs of resorts around Cabarete where fly in guests will stay. Looking for one week deals but may find a place there and then bus over to Moca for the wedding with one night in Moca, then transport back to resort where my bride and I will also go for several days. My soon to be sister in law here in Red Deer has many contacts and friends and one works at a local travel agency in Moca and is checking on places. Despite all the negatives and warnings, this family is wonderful. They are cost conscious and actually very frugal. We looked at IKEA for home decor items and then we went to several stores in Moca. Prices are much lower and it seems there are friends and family that have contacts for everything from household goods to buy vehicles to buying property. Also, Rosa (here in Red Deer - married a Canadian) has told me once married she has a trusted contact for applying for residency - I will meet and determine for myself the trustworthiness of this person) One must always watch for things but, so far any questions or doubts have evaporated. This goes for day to day living, meeting and interacting with folks. I am very lucky. Josefina has many friends, mainly female, and family that while poverty poor, are definitely well off either. Honest folks that raised five daughters - 3 married and relocated to Canada, New York USA, and Munich Germany. The oldest is Josefina and the youngest still live with the parents. Folks along the short Barrio street all smiles and greet me and appreciate my beginning Spanish. Perhaps along the coast in the tourist areas things are quite different, but in Moca, with the local hoods known, the threats are mitigated and the people friendly. As in any country, reaching out and being friendly and approachable, and able to laugh at things is always important. Assisting with what we might consider a small thing like a propane BBQ lighter so that they don't burn their their fingers lighting the gas stove with matches shows thoughtfulness that is really appreciated.

Love the story. Keep it coming. You seem to be on correct learning curve

Bob K

Hey MocaMan!
Don't worry about your residencia just yet.
After you get married, you automatically become
a Dominican. The paperwork & ALL the bullshit is a lot less.
Tom.

He has to do the residencia process honey regardless.... after that it gets easier!

Yes I know that. I have a contact ready to process me after I'm married, thanks to  the lady who introduced me to her older sister. Just going to roll along, adapt and have fun. I will have all the paperwork etc completed and with me when I get there.  Just waiting to find out the some more info.

Sounds like you are prepared!!!

Damn I wish half the people who are moving here were as well planned as you are.  You are to be commended

Bob K

Thanks Bob. I guess past experience preparing troops for deployments overseas has some benefits. However, as organized as it may seem, it never feels that way! Much of the prep is thanks to the many pieces of info found within threads here in this forum. The key is to always expect the unexpected - and have your options known, as much as possible. I know I'll be searching and asking more questions as time goes by.  Once there and once I have my own transportation, I plan to get around - while I still think driving distances aren't that far (as compared to driving in North America) and hope to get around to met various folks. One thing I hope to find are golfers and try to get together on a fairly regular basis for a round of golf....Cheers

Driving distances are not that big a deal, its the state of the roads and the other drivers that  is the issue!

Hi Planner!
Sorry, When you marry a Dominican, the imported spouse automatically
becomes a Dominican. Then you directly go to citizenship. I am doing that shortly.
I believe I posted that Gov't. constitutional law some time ago.
Tom.

A lot of lawyers don't tell you that because they
make more pesos going the way longer procedures.
Tom.

I have mentioned this law to a couple of lawyers.
Who will remain nameless.
They just don't answer me after I bring this up.
Tom.

I understand the law  but the process my friend is almost the same, it is just smoother. YOU STILL MUST do all the  same paperwork etc honey!   YES the rights are there,  so it happens, but the process must be followed!

Hey again MocaMan!
Most of the golf courses are very expensive here.
Except for a beautiful little par 35 9, if I remember,
up near Constanza somewhere. You would think you
were back in the foothills!
It's very reasonable & fun!
My wife, Catalina & I were there about 6 years ago!
Tom.

Well, it may be a once a month treat then. But I will be getting some golf in.

That is for sure.  Some really great drives up over the highlands. Between local traffic and rough spots, it is quite the adventure! These are definitely the worst road conditions I've outside of some areas in Africa and in the mountains of Bosnia. However, once you know what to expect, you just take your time and extend your former expected drive time.

If yiu join the golf federation there is a pretty significant discount. At least there was!

It's not worth it, really!
I looked into it years ago.
Tom.

Years ago it was a good deal.  Not so much these days.

Bob K

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