Dominican Republic #2, 2018
Here is the testimonial from the team leader:
As far as a testimonial...You and Sam was so helpful through the whole process, from the initial securing of equipment for the week we needed, to the training, helping us get extra kids sized glasses since we were mainly planning to test kids, and multiple questions along the way. I am also so thankful for your support while we were in the DR. You were so eager to jump into action, contacting other teams that frequent the DR and connecting us with some of them. Also Skype conversation with our team to get our inventory and willingness to set up a computer at the school to dispense glasses was so sweet. We are ultimately disappointed in the outcome, as we were never able to get the equipment out of customs while we were in the DR. We are
certainly thankful for your ministry and hopeful for our next trip. Unfortunately, since we were actually able to run the clinic, I don't have any pics to share.
As you can see customs kept both the kit and the glasses while this team was in the DR. They only got the kit back when they returned to the US but as of this moment customs still has the glasses.
Below is some helpful information from another team who as successful going into and out of the DR.
For the future, I think my general advice for groups traveling to the DR would be:
1. Avoid travel through Punta Cana airport. We have had much better success using Santo Domingo or Santiago.
2. Have the person carrying the optical equipment pass through customs separately from the person carrying the glasses. This way they are less likely to retain the equipment.
3. Do not wear clothing that would make you look like part of a mission group. This almost guarantees you will get stopped for inspection.
4. Once you get your glasses in to DR, find a place to store them so you do not need to bring the whole lot each year.