If you want to see pictures, this won't be your favorite update… I don't have any new ones! Cochabamba friends, if you're at the baby home, take some pictures and send them to me, please :)
If you want to read Visa Update #1, click here.
My fingerprint cards arrived in Baton Rouge on the 10th, and I (wrongly) assumed they'd be processed and the background checks would be sent back to me by the end of the week. I mean really, how long should a background check take?! I don't have a criminal history, and I'm not that old so it doesn't have to check very far back! When it didn't arrive, I called and was told it could take anywhere from 15-28 DAYS. I was shocked it could take almost a month and not very happy either. As of today, I'm still waiting… The worst part is, they said they can't check the status because all are processed in the order they're received. I don't really have any way of knowing when it might possibly be returned.
The other big update is that I mailed off all of the documents for the actual visa that'll go in my passport. There are two processes to the Objeto Determinado Visa, and the above process (with fingerprints and background checks) is part of the paperwork that I need to have with me when I arrive in Bolivia and work with the lawyer for the year-long residency. The "actual visa" as I referred to it refers to the sticker/stamp that will be placed in my passport. It will allow me to enter Bolivia, and it gives me 30 days to begin the process to establish the year-long residency (the process for which I'll need all of the other paperwork). It's confusing, I know.
There are 4 Bolivian consulates in the USA (Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Miami, and New York City), and you can use any of the four to process the paperwork. I decided to use the Washington, D.C. office. The website has a lot of helpful information, and it says exactly what you need to mail for the visa. For this particular visa, it's the completed application form, one passport-sized photo, your passport, a copy of your airline tickets or itinerary (itinerary is what I sent), a letter of introduction from the organization, and an $85 money order. The consulate website says it could take 2-3 weeks to be processed, and although I'm wanting to get it sent back quickly, it's not as much of a rush as the other paperwork (because the other paperwork all requires several steps). So for now, I wait.
Hopefully I'll be able to update in the next few days about the status of my background check. I think I may have a few more pictures to post too, so check back for a post with those! I tried again to post videos, and they wouldn't play, so you might not get to see those after all.