The Ministry is in an unattractive grey government building
where we were taken into a large auditorium, signed some papers and had a Dominican flag pinned on us. Danilo had bought me a new outfit, and instead of his normal choice of high shoes and skin tight hooker jeans, I looked like an American gospel singer. Perfect.
The ceremony was lovely, short and emotional and I was sworn in and awarded my certificate, You are not supposed to smile in official pictures as you can see.
We then met Olga, who had helped me throughout the process and off we went to the Junta Central Electoral to hand in my file to be able to obtain a Dominican birth certificate which would enable me to have a Dominican identity card, or cedula.
We went from total efficiency to total inefficiency. On arrival we were sent back outside to get a photocopy of the file - from a man in a truck. (Apologies I can't get this picture to go the right way up so you will have to tip your head to the side).
Then back inside and wait in a crowded room for your number to be called where they checked the file and sent you to another window to pay the basic fee. Then back in line to go to the first window again with your receipt to be told if you wanted the document quickly, which I did, you could pay VIP and go back to the payment window and pay more, then back in line to go back to window 1. Danilo thought it hilarious that VIPs had to wait longer.
Two hours later it was done and Olga agreed to pick up my birth certificate and put it on the bus to me the next day, so we set off for lunch at Adrian Tropical, a restaurant specialising in Domincan food.
A lovely meal was had by all, but due to the traffic we missed the last bus to Mao, so had to go to Santiago then catch a local bus home.
Next stage was to take the file when it arrived to the local JCE in Moncion, which neighbour Margarita who works there did for me, then I had my birth certificate and a day or so later went for my cedula and Ya, now I am a Dominican. It only took 3 years!!
Between being sworn in and receiving my cedula Hurricane Irma decided to visit. We knew it was coming, but hoped it wouldn't be too bad. As it was we were woken by the torrential rain at 3am which did not pause for 12 hours. The winds were strong but not hurricane force, and the worse thing was being worried the internet aerial would fall. As it was I had internet all day, which was just as well as I was doing interviews for various tv and radio stations and was feeding information all day long to the Washington Post as their normal person who did it was not in the country and recommended me.
The house flooded constantly so Danilo was mopping while I was typing with my feet underwater. We fared with no serious damage but Mao and Esperanza were both flooded.
There is now another potential hurricane on the way, so fingers crossed she comes nowhere near here!