If You Like Details... this post is for you

This post is really for me to document this day... not sure that anyone else would care about the last seven and a half HOURS of our life in this great detail.

For purposes of context, we started our residency process 8 months ago.  Well, truly, we started it a year ago because the papers needed we had to obtain and have apostilled while still in the US.   An expensive and paper-filled process!    8 months ago we hired our Honduran lawyer. in Tegus ..   month after month we've had to send our passports and LOTS of money to her for her to extend our temporary VISAs.  It has been a process.

Last week, we received word that our paperwork had been approved and 'all we had to do' was go to the 'Departamento de Migracion y Extranjeros' (We are extranjeros -  does that mean alien?)   and get our names registered officially.    In our minds, this would take maybe an hour, so we only planned to come to San Pedro Sula 2 days before our departure.   The  Honduran teacher strikes made us reschedule our trip which added a few more days on... thank God for these extra hours.

9:00 a.m. - at the hotel, we pray for God's favor over our day and ask for His patience to be shown through all of us.  We grab a taxi and head into the city center.

9:20 a.m. - arrive at the appropriate office and are ushered into the 'Extranjeros' section.   My Spanish is surprisingly understandable... the jefe tells me that we are missing things.  My pulse quickens and I feel myself losing my Spanish.    I make a list of everything we need and wonder how in the world we are going to accomplish this in a city we don't know in 2 days.    We decide to just start walking.  Oh, and I didn't mention, we have to pay another almost $200 cash.... we did not know about this either. 

9:45 a.m. - right before we are about to walk into an area that we later find out is very dangerous, we spot a copy shop.  We decide to begin with the needed copies of the things we already have.   While waiting, we ask where the nearest public fax is located.   After a brief conversation with our lawyer in Tegus, we realize that there is very little she can do to help us since she doesn't know much about San Pedro Sula.  She will, however, go to the office in Tegus to fax copies of things we might need.

10:00 am. - Alex heads out and starts walking toward the dangerous area trying to find the public fax.  The owner of the copy store freaks out and says I should call Alex immediately and tell him to take a taxi.  A young man in the copy shop overhears everything and offers to take Alex and Aaron to the place where the fax machine is located.   The young man proceeds to feed them oranges, find the right place and will not allow Alex to pay him a cent or even to help with gas.

10:45 a.m. - All of us are back at the copy shop ready to take on the next task - passport-sized photos.  Mind you, we've already sent all of these things in with our original application which is in Tegus.  We already sent extra pictures in for this, but somehow they never made it this far.

11:00 a.m. - We have more pictures taken, wait another 45 minutes and walk out with 24 new passport pictures.

12:00 p.m. - Arrive at the bank to pay the $200 we didn't know we needed to pay.  (Thankful for the $250 in Honduran lempiras that a pastor friend gave us to buy him a computer in the US.   Otherwise, we wouldn't have had this money!  Again, my Spanish seems to come out of nowhere.

12:30 p.m. - We grab a big loaf of Super Garlic bread, a small pizza, a cheese and ham sandwich and one thing of water to share - $2.50 - BARGAIN of the day!   I talk to our lawyer and she says she will fax the documents within an hour at the designated number.

1:45 p.m - We receive the documents via old-fashioned rolled-up fax paper.    We take these things to a copy place and the attendant works her magic to darken the images.

2:00 p.m. - We head back toward the office, still not sure that we have the right paperwork from the lawyer, but ready to give it a try!  Aaron finally just gave out after having been very, very patient and sweet all day.

3:00 p.m. - We have temporary paper residency cards.

3:45 p.m. - All of us are finger-printed and ready to leave to grab some dinner.

4:30 p.m. - We arrive back at our hotel with all fingers, toes, etc.  Thank God for success!

Only one more step in this process.  Sometime in the next 90 days, they will have our actual cards ready.    We will check back in when we come back through in May.  If they don't have them, one of us will have to make a trip to San Pedro Sula to pick them up.   

Our kids were AMAZING... they rose to the occasion and we are grateful!


We Are Family said…
Always a process when dealing with governments foreign or otherwise ;)
Holly (me.) said…
Oh, my word. I cannot even imagine trying to navigate so many unknowns.
I saw your Mom and Dad today... and I am thrilled that you will see them today, too. Welcome back to Texas!!!
Cynda said…
I'm glad things went so well! I can imagine the panic that must have set in at the moment you were making your list. God gave you such peace! What a testimony!

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