Friday, July 29, 2011


Well. The waiting is over.

Yesterday I came back from work to the Sloan Family's house where I have been dog sitting while they were in France for two weeks. They have since returned but had to go pick up there kids at Leslie's parents house. So I am still here and will be until I leave Asheville in a few very short weeks. That being said, the cable guy was at there house replacing a cut wire in the yard from some yard work they had done. I sat inside for about an hour before he came to the door to ask me if I could test the cable out for him. And that is when I saw it. The most beautiful piece of paper taped to a glass door you can ever imagine. A slip from the Post Office with MY name on it saying they had an Express Mail envelope for me. The very envelope I left with my passport and paper work at the Spanish Consulate's office in Washington DC about a month ago.

My heart immediately jumped into my throat and I very rudely told the cable dude to come in and try anything he liked because I had to get to the Post Office before it closed at 5. It was 4:30.

Of course on the way to the Post Office I was behind a slow car AND the stoplight took a solid 3 and a half minutes to change. Those might just have been some of the longest 3 minutes I have very experienced. I finally pulled into the Post Office parking lot and it was all i could do to keep from busting open the doors, running in and telling everyone about what a great day it was.

Of course inside was one postal worker assisting an elderly lady mail her 6 packages to her grandchildren. But I told myself not to get frustrated because I waited 4 long weeks for my visa and I could wait a few more minutes...maybe.

Finally some girl came out from the back and happened to see me and so she helped me. This girl obviously did not share my same enthusiasm about getting the package. She slapped it down on the counter, had me sign a paper and then told me half heartedly to have a nice evening. I told her I definitely would.

Before I even left the double doors I was ripping into the package like it was Christmas Day in the 90's. And then the moment I have literally dreamed about for weeks happened. My old slightly beat up passport with a horrid picture of my 16yr old self slipped out of the package and into my shaking hands. I was literally squealing with joy. All I could do was fist pump and say lots of "Wahoo!"s. I thumbed through the pages past my Ugandan Visa from 07 and found what I was looking for. On page 15 (of course they made me look through the whole passport) it was. The most beautiful visa you have ever seen in your entire life. I pretty much kissed it, ran out the door and fist pumped all the way to the car. Several people in the parking lot gave me some hilarious looks. But there was no way I was caring about that. I probably looked a little something like this..

The whole drive back all I could do was laugh, cry, yell, laugh some more. Unfortunately there wasn't anyone around to share my joyous news with, except that lovely cable guy still working away when I returned. I thought about telling him but I don't think he would have appreciated it. I think he probably thought I was flirting with him because I was so overly nice and bubbly to the guy. oops.

So that's that! I spent the evening celebrating and relaxing and breathing one of the biggest sighs of reliefs I think I ever have. Still lots to be done before departure but that all seems doable now...I think..

Today, I am hoping to move EVERYTHING that still remains in my apartment, out. And then I shall be cleaning and painting, and making sure everything is just right for my land lord.

This. Is. Happening.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Waiting Game

Just thought I'd put up a little update on a few things on the other side of this screen. As most of you know I am trying to go to Granada, Spain for a year to study abroad. The phrasing "trying to" has a purpose as I will explain.

If you have never applied for a visa to go to another country for a long time here are a few hints: start the process waaaaaay earlier than you think you should AND take care of business as soon as possible.
For some reason I decided it would be a good idea to attempt this process all by myself and it ended up causing much stress, sleepless nights, and worried days. And then I actually got everything lined up perfectly and NOTHING went right. Sent documents to Raleigh for Authentication and one of them was denied which meant I had to drive to Raleigh before heading to Washington DC to apply IN PERSON. Yep, I had to go to the Spanish Embassy and hand them my paperwork and leave them my passport.

Let me back up and share with you a few of the requirements with you:

-you must show up and turn in application in person
-have letters from the university in spain you will be studying with
-Applications for this type of visa will neither be accepted more than three months in advance nor less than one month before the departure date. (straight from website, can't make this up)
-once you turn in your application you cannot call to check the status of your visa. you just simply wait for it to come
-and lots and lots of other crazy important things

It was nuts. Thankfully Leslie Sloan went with me to Raleigh/DC and kept me somewhat sane during the whole process. Not sure what I would have done without her there.

When I finally got to DC I had no idea what to expect and when I handed in the application I apparently didn't have the right payment form and had to go get cash from an ATM.
Walked out of the Embassy feeling a lot lighter and then we drove back to Asheville. All seemed to be going well until the next day when the Consulate called to tell me I was missing a letter from a school IN Spain and I had a week to get it. Two weeks later I overnighted that letter to the Consulate.
I have no idea if all of it was received or where m paperwork is in the process. I am not allowed to call and check on the status of all of my documentation.

So now it has become a waiting game. I honestly have no idea when I will get my visa back. All I have been able to do is carry on with things as normal. I am moving out of my apartment and am already half moved out. I am not enrolled in classes at UNCA. So all I can do is wait, pray, wait, trust, and wait some more.

Right now I am working on really trying to rest and trust that things will work out in the end. I have to be honest, this is very very challenging. My plan is to leave Asheville August 15 head to Memphis to visit my aunt, uncle and cousins for 4 days before heading to Texas to see my family for 1 week before flying to Atlanta where I will fly to Madrid on August 27/28th. I won't return to the USA until sometime in July of 2012. Yeah, that's a long time.

The date is fast approaching and I am very excited and nervous and curious as to what the next year of my life will look like. I feel harshly unprepared but I think that once I have that passport with my Visa stamped inside I might just  pass out from sheer joy and relief and not even care that I am unprepared. Seriously, you might hear me shouting with joy around the world on that day.

So far this summer has been great. I have a part time job hostessing about 25 hours a week, I have done a fair amount of babysitting and have also gotten to do some fun things with friends. There has also been lots of alone time and I am trying to use that to my advantage but even that has been a challenge. I have also dogsat a lot for people. About 1 month total out of the summer.

So there you go. Another scatter brained update on my life right now..