Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Visa fun

Well, if ever you're traveling in a foreign country for extended periods of time, I suggest you figure out when your visa expires right when you get there. Don't wait. You may count wrong. Now, I'm not saying I know from experience, but....
Ok, so really there's a plethora of reasons why I was dealing with renewing my visa the day it expired. I counted wrong, we were busy, I didn't realize all the steps involved, I couldn't understand the application, and I procrastinate. Wonderful? I thought so.
Last week, I began filling out the application, but didn't get far without a translator. I knew my visa was up this week, but was thinking it was Wednesday or so. Well, on Sunday I sat down with Dave and he helped me figure it out. We were going to get stuff settled the next day, but he got sick. When I counted 90 days from my arrival in Chile, I realized my visa expired on Monday! Oops! Dave also told me that I needed a certificate of something, a letter from him stamped with a seal, copies from my passport, and an official photo! Yikes!
So Monday I ran around school, asking the accountant to do the certificate, as I made copies, and kept calling Duane Cross (another missionary) to take me to get my picture taken. Then I was going to meet Dave so he could stamp the letter and we'd run to the post office. As long as it was stamped for today, I'd be set. I left the school around 2:45 to meet Duane, then we headed to a store to get pictures taken. Two other people came with us for the ride. Well, by the time we get there it's 3:15, no problem except they don't do that kind of photo. We had to drive farther! So we rushed over there in the hopes of getting it done in time. At some point they were frustrated that this was happening on the last day, I almost cried, and many many jokes were made. The jokes kept me from crying, although it was still very stressful! I hate being a burden to others, and that happened to many people yesterday, unfortunately. We got to the mall at 3:40, went to the store, had my picture taken, and was back in the car by 3:50!! Amazing!! I went back to the school where I met Dave, and we walked into the post office around 4:45! Whew!
So, technically I'm still legal! It will take 30 days for me to hear about my new visa. There is one problem though. The pictures weren't entirely correct. So, if they decide they need to be redone, I'll hear in 30 days, have to retake them, and then it'll be another 30 days!! Please pray that this does not happen! The sooner I get my visa the better.
So, it was a bit stressful, but God allowed me to get everything done in time! Just in time! It was definitely an interesting experience, and I wanted to share it with you! I'm not sure if I conveyed the emotion of it fully, but I hope you enjoyed it!

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