My trip to Santo Domingo, I lost my wallet

Last week I was in Santo Domingo for the first Haitian Compas Festival. I had a wonderful time at the festival; everything was perfect. Well, everything except one.

Kreyol La had a superb performance. It was so nice that my wallet was snatched from me and I didn’t even notice.

It was really amazing.

After the performance I was thirsty and I decided to buy a cervesa (a beer). That’s when I realized that my wallet was missing.

I immediately reached in my pocket to see if I still had my passport and my green card.

Yes! I had them!

So I immediately ran back in the crowd to see if I could find my wallet. Within minutes of searching for my wallet I realized that both my passport and my green card were not in my pocket.

I ran over to Raynald Delerme who was with me at the festival to ask him â€"Did I give you my passport and green card to hold?”

â€"Pa betize ak bagay serye non Woody!” Raynald Delerme said.

I was right next to him when I realized that my wallet was missing.

Suddenly I find myself in the the Dominican Republic with no green card, no passport, no credit card, no drivers license, no money, nothing to identify myself to the Dominican government as a foreign visitor.

I was officially a â€"Haitiano illegal”.

Si-w pa jwen paspo-a,” Raynald Delerme said, â€"Ou pa-p ka tounnen ayiti non!

I knew I was in trouble. How I lost the passport and Green Card is beyond me.

Now I had a new mission…

Find that passport and the green card.

I combed through the park trying to find that passport. Imagine everyone jumping up and down and me crawling under them trying to find a blue passport in the dark.

15 minutes later… no passport.

I ran back to Raynald Delerme, â€"I can’t find it, I said.” Suddenly it started to rain and the crowd begins to leave the stage area.

â€"Now is a good time to look,” Raynald Said, â€"You better find that passport or you are stuck here. You understand me? Stuck in the Dominican Republic!

As I run back toward the crowd I hear â€"Senior! Senior!”

Then I see two Dominicans running towards me. One said â€"I see you looking on the floor everywhere, did you loose something? â€"

â€"Yes,” I said, â€"My passport.”

â€"I saw you looking and worried,” he said, â€"so I looked around me and found this” he hands me my passport.

I hugged this guy so tight you would think he was my long lost brother.

As I say thank you over and over again, I looked inside the passport and… No Green Card!

I run back to Raynald Delerme and handed him the passport.

As I run back into the crowd I start thinking â€"How in God’s name am I going to find a tiny little green card in a huge park with thousands of people in the dark?

Half an hour later, I ran to Mia Lopez, begging her to make an announcement on the loud speaker that I lost my green card and my wallet and if anyone found it to bring it to the podium.

I ran back to the floor lifting every piece of card size paper I could find hoping that one of them is my green card.

About an hour later, I abandon my search to run to the bathroom.

I stop by Raynald Delerme's location to let him know that I still have no luck.

As I walk to the bathroom about 50 feet away from the crowd here is my green card laying flat on the floor all covered in mud in plain sight.

I picked it up, cleaned it up, and brought it back to Raynald.

Once I found the green card I stop looking for the wallet. With $200 US in that wallet in a country where the US dollar is worth so many Dominican Pesos I just didn’t think that I would be so lucky.

Why did I loose my wallet? The answer is simple:

I lost my wallet because of a lack of customer service at the hotel Barcelo Lina in Santo Domingo.

Being a tourist in a foreing country I have to drive around with my passport but I had absolutely no need for my wallet.

I thought about that and I waited for almost 45 minutes for a hotel employee to come open the safe for me at in the hotel room.

We made three phone calls to the front desk.., I even went down to the front desk to ask them to open the safe so we could put my wallet, my iPod and my PDA in the safe before going to the festival.

Every time we called they told me â€"2 Minutes Sir!”

While I am upset, I am glad I was able to leave Santo Domingo to return to Haiti.

I didn’t let this tragedy ruin my vacation in Santo Domingo though.

The day after the festival, I decided not to go the carnival in downtown Santo Domingo although Haitian racine group AZOR was a guest at the carnival. Instead I decided to spend the entire day with my sister Nirva, my two nieces and my nephew,

Over my entire trip to Santo Domingo was great. I had a wonderful time before, during, and after the festival.

Take look at all the pictures I took at Santo Domingo Konpa Festival.

I will be sure to let you know once they are online.

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All Comments (7)

Karine says...

Wooding you will not be the first or last person to make this mistake, that is traveling with all your valuables, ie. passport, green card etc..

what you could have done was to buy a money belt or a legging harnest that attatches to your legs as you travel.

from your discriptions re: not being able to lock your things in hotels in the DR or Haiti..

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Angie says...

I'am sorry to hear all that happen to you in santo domingo but at mean time i'am so happy for you you find your green card that was a bless remember anything happen and life the is reason for that ok just remember that if is possible i would like you to send me your picture because i want to see the person who writting me all the time i will appreciated.

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Andromaque says...


THat would have been a lot of drama if u didn't find

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Franck says...

Well Woodrick I am very happy you find your passport and green card. I know someone that lost his green card once. Homeland Security ask for $160.00 for a duplicate and take almost 1 year to get it. Then it cost him $700.00 for his driving license because when he went to Florida Motor Vehicle the computer find that his license was revoked in 1976 in New York City therefore he cannot have his Florida license until New York City Motor Vehicle clear his name.
You are doing a good job online for the Haitian Diaspora.

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Islande says...

I'm so happy that you found your papers it was so inportant to you it is so good when god sending you a angel or favor from some he always come on time when you need them i'm so happy for you keep in

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Franty Cleophat says...

Dude you are sooooo lucky to find your green card or else those dominican would change the name to Woodyo(lol).

Bon si ou pat jouen-n dokiman sa yo kisa nou tap fe san fouye.

I guess the name goes everywhere because if you did not FOUYE for your documents you would not be back and happy to share your experience there.

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Tj says...

It's amazing it wasn't stolen, that you found everything except the wallet.Too bad the service at the hotel was that poor. I always have a make up bag or some sort of a small bag with a lock, sometimes even a double lock.The only thing is to hold on to that key preciously.

Sometimes it even helps to have copies of those important documents, just in case..

(so I was told)

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