Offer Accepted!

Yesterday morning I returned back to Cabarete. The purpose was to meet with my lawyer and start the negotiation process with the rental agency.  They did not accept our first two offers. We offered a third. This morning I received a call that the lawyers for the rental agency agreed on $5,500. So it looks like Monday or Tuesday this will take place. This is a limit to the amount of cash I can take out daily per banking regulations. So the faster I show them cash, the faster I receive their document dropping both criminal and civil charges against me. As I stated before, there is a process before I can leave the country. According the my lawyer the process is as follows:
1) receive signed document of dropped charges;
2) take the same document to local police station where charges where initially filed and receive their stamp;
3) take same document to the Judicial Palace for their stamp;
4) take same document to Department of Immigrations to have my name take off the “no-fly” list.
Unfortunately, their institutions are not as well connected which is why the process could take up to a week. However, I will try my best to have it done as fast as possible. In the mean time, I want you all to know that I’m safe and feeling content. However, I would be remiss not to mention that I feel awkward for having to pay for a situation of which I am the victim. I’ve lost more than just money while being in the Dominican Republic. I lost more than my burnt clothes and other personal items, including a poster my students signed for me on my last day of teaching…I lost my desire to stay in a beautiful place where I feel I could have contributed and invested a lot more than the things stolen from me. Maybe one day I will come back…I met many great Dominicans along the way. But for now, I’m ready for move forward.
I thank you all for your continued support, thoughts and contributions. So many of you helped in very unique ways. I will let you know as the updates come.
This ordeal is one step closer to coming to an end.

Update Friday, the 3rd of January

Good afternoon, everyone!

I would like everyone to know that currently I have left the northern area of Cabarete where I lived and am staying with a friend’s family in Santo Domingo. I feel a lot more safe here and I’m surrounded by caring individuals. To date I’ve raised approximately $3,700 which I plan to help use for negotiations by next week. I appreciate each and everyone who continues to share my story and who have contributed financially. I do have a planned flight for the 14th , and if all goes well with the negotiations, I look forward to returning back to US soil. Due to many of your phone calls to different resources, I finally got a call back from the US Embassy yesterday. It was a representative of the American Citizens Services here in Santo Domingo. I gave her an update and permission to contact the Dominical legal authorities to get an update of the investigation. Aside from that, I have been contacted by several media outlets in both the US and here. I hope by continuing to share my story will not only free me of any criminal and civil charges but also help other travelers to be alert and prepared when traveling abroad.