Monday, December 9, 2013

Made it home and visa update #1!

After more than 48 hours of travel, 7 airports, 4 flight changes, and a couple cancelled flights, I finally made it home around 1am on Sunday (I left Cochabamba Thursday at 7pm)… with no luggage! The airline tells me they'll deliver it to my house tonight, so we'll see. It's been fun to catch-up with family and friends, but I'm missing Bolivia so much! I found out that right after I left, the baby home received 4 (yes, FOUR!) new kids! You can read about then on Jennifer's blog, here. I can't even imagine the trauma the two youngest have been through. They're at by far the best baby home in the city though, so I know they're getting lots of love and help from the tías. I can't wait to meet them when I get back!

As many of you know, I came home to work on visa paperwork. I thought I'd update my blog as that progresses along for those of you who might be going through this process in the future.

I'm going back on an Objeto Determinado (Specific Purpose) Visa. It's a year-long visa that leads to residency. I have to enter the country with the visa already in my passport, but I have 30 days once I've arrived to actually start the process for the year-long residency. *In case you don't realize… You can't enter Bolivia on a tourist (90 day) visa and switch it to an Objeto Determinado Visa. Whatever visa you enter with is the visa you have… no switching while in the country.

The first step to everything is getting fingerprints. I had to go to my local police station to get that done. I don't know what the average cost for that is, but I had to pay $20 for one original fingerprint card. I then had to mail that to my state police department in Baton Rouge. They'll send the background check back to me, hopefully by the end of the week, although that may be a bit too quick. For now, I'm waiting to receive the state background check.

Most of the things I need must be completed in a specific order, but there are a few things I can do while I wait. For example, I need to receive a "Letter of Introduction" from Casa de Amor, and I need to complete the application form for the Objeto Determinado Visa. I did both of these things this afternoon, so they'll be ready as soon as I need them. 

That's all to report for now. I have some pictures of the kids that never got posted while I was in Bolivia, so I'll make a post with those later on this week. Maybe now that I have fast internet, I'll be able to post some videos, too!

Jennifer sent me the picture below to show me the horrible outfit my baby was wearing the other day! HA! We always laugh at how the kids are dressed (all patterns/color combos are just fine by Bolivian standards), and Jennifer knew I'd be horrified by this combination. I didn't leave any of C.'s cute clothes with the tías (most will still fit by the time I get back and if they were sent upstairs with her, they'd be shared with the bigger babies and stretched out), so I had to expect some interesting clothes on her. My response was that at least they put her skirt on her (she wore it to the airport which is why it was upstairs), and I'll tell myself they chose that onesie because she's missing me (of course the tías don't understand what the onesie actually says though… and it's definitely lost in translation)! No matter what she's wearing, she's still just as cute as ever! Can't wait to see her sweet face again!

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