What a long day. I am exhausted and could fall asleep at any given moment on my keyboard.
Backstory: I have been helping a doctor in the States with the process of obtaining a visa for a woman in Camp Hope. She has a heart condition requiring a surgery that is unavailable here. This process began mid-January and has involved working on the application and talking with the world’s fastest Creole speaker (the patient, Nadege.)
After much work, Nadege’s appointment with the U.S. embassy arrived this morning at 8:00am. I got up before 6, we picked her up, and were in line in front of the embassy by 7:00am. At the point of entry, I was told I could not enter with her, even when I tried to explain that she had a medical condition. I even wore nice clothes and that did nothing for me! I was told to leave, so I waited for Valentin who had to drive about 2 miles to find a place he could park. He picked me up and we drove around trying to figure out what we’d do while we waited. He thought she might be out by around 11:00. We went to check out cars at the Hyundai dealership and sat in the car for a couple hours. We went and got something to eat and were back near the embassy around 12:30, still not having heard anything from Nadege. We went and sat in an air conditioned American furniture store for about an hour and then decided we needed to figure out what was going on. We went up to the embassy gates and tried to convince the security guards to help us. When Valentin was explaining that she had a heart condition………I understood one say that there are a lot of sick people in there and they are just find, and the other say she’s not dying. Guard number two, though he did help us find her, turned out to be somewhat of a creeper. About 2:00, Valentin convinced them to let her come get food we brought her. When she came out, she told us that they had approved her visa and had asked her to wait so that she could receive it then and not have to return next week. I was very happy. She went back in for another hour, and when she came out, she told us that they had asked her to return Monday morning, anyway.
Though a long, confusing, and not very event-filled day, I can’t tell you how glad I am that she now has a visa and will be able to get the surgery she needs. It was a long and very stressful process, but seeing her smile was worth it.
I did teach Valentin the Pledge of Allegiance and I learned the first three lines of the Haitian National Anthem, so maybe more happened than I originally said.
Notes on L-O-V-E from Valentin:
I am too young to even think about love. I should wait ten years for the “L.” Another 5 for the “O.” Another 5 for the “V.” And then wait for Valentin’s final confirmation to move forward with the “E.”
(This was after I answered a question about love or job?…and I answered job.)