Happy August 27th, everyone!
I know you have all been holding your breath waiting to know what will happen next in our terribly exciting soap opera, “As the World Turns Upside-Down”. And don’t you worry, we shall not disappoint. In our last episode, we had no health insurance, no visas, no passports, no marriage license and were getting on a plane heading in the opposite direction of all of these vitally important papers with no inclination that we would see them before we had to leave for our year of endless summer.
Early Tuesday morning, Will and I were taken to the airport by the lovely and inestimable Elizabeth Emery (my wonderful sister) where we found out that our two checked bags together weigh 99.7lbs. We probably could not have packed any better if we would have tried. Go us. Because it was too early in the morning in Central time to call the South African Consulate, we were going to have to call them as soon as we got off the plane in Seattle to see if we could figure out what in the world was going on with our…everything. Will, gratefully, did this because I probably would have screamed or said something vastly inappropriate which would probably not have helped our case at all.
During the conversation, we came to two conclusions: 1)the consulates and the embassy must not be on speaking terms and 2) the website doesn’t mean what we think it means. We had thought that when the website said that we could not have our paperwork overnighted to us unless we were mailing everything to New York what it meant was that we couldn’t have our paperwork overnighted to us unless we were mailing it to New York. Instead what the website means is that you should include a pre-paid envelope with all of your other paperwork when you submit it, no matter which Consulate you send it to, and they will overnight it to you.
After learning these very important lessons, we made our way from the airport to a post office to buy an overnight envelope to put inside another overnight envelope to be overnighted to the consulate in Chicago which they would get today before 10:30am and could then put our paperwork in said overnighted overnight envelope to be returned to us by 12pm tomorrow, right before we leave for the airport at 1:30pm tomorrow to leave the country. We were even given the tracking number for the envelope that is being returned to us so that we could follow it. Unfortunately, we’re pretty sure that, though our overnighted overnight envelope made it to Chicago this morning before 10:30am, it may not have been mailed back to us as we cannot track it. But, who knows?, the tracking number may just not be activated yet. This is all very exciting, no?
On a side note that is completely related, I must give a huge shout out to Rep. Dave Reichert in Washington, Will’s congressman, and all his staff. We called him a couple days ago and his staff has been calling and getting and giving updates to us, giving us their cell phone numbers and emails so that we could give them updates on how things are going. This is why we have representatives and I am super proud to see our democratic process and elected officials actually serving the people they represent. Well done, Representative Reichert. You and your staff are gentlemen/women and scholars and we appreciate you caring, even if you can’t make our paperwork get to us any faster.
So, in conclusion, in 18 hours, we are prepared to leave the country for a year. However, we are still very much in a similar situation as we were 48 hours ago when I last updated this blog.
Let the drama continue (or perhaps end…ending would be okay too…at least for a while)
As always, stay tuned, it’s bound to be exciting no matter what happens next.
Prayers, Blessings, and Popsicles are greatly appreciated at this moment.