Former Craig nurse takes break from service in Belize for U.S. trip

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To the Editor:

Hi everyone!

Right now I'm in Arizona with my mom. As you know, the last year has been a difficult one for my family, my friends and me.

After being arrested and jailed in Belize in November, many things have changed for me. I was arrested for speaking out for the safety and well-being of some little girls. The police said I was trying to get them to lie in a child pornography case. That is certainly not true.

I have also been helping a 14-year-old alleged prostitute go to high school (Filipa is doing great, for those of you who have sponsored her education). For a while, I worried about my safety in Punta Gorda, now I don't. There was such a huge outcry when I was jailed ... I was amazed at how many friends I have there! Since then, the police officer who I feared the most has been quietly transferred to Belize City.

I am currently out on bail (all of this is so surreal!) and my court date is March 2. The organization I have been volunteering for is replacing me with a full-time nurse. Until they find someone, I will continue my work in the clinic. Then I don't know ... I have invested a lot of money in property in Belize, so I have that to think about. My family and friends in the states want me to move back to the U.S. My friends in Belize want me to stay there.

My heart remains in Belize ...

I am going to Colorado next week to visit Anna and Nick and all my dear friends. The community of Craig has been so generous and wonderful to me since I started the clinic in Punta Gorda. I feel like I have failed them by getting into all this trouble (by the way, my legal charge is "mischievous act." Mom says I've always been mischievous). Anyway, I hope all the kind people who have supported me and my work will understand.

Love,

Donna Reishus

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