Here are the thoughts of Joanna nee Lake as she spends time in Ecuador, and beyond... Disciple, Fairtrade Freak, Psychologist in the making. Now part of the Blundell Jones clan.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Fantabulous Sheffield + Visa Fiasco

Well I have 3 full days left in dear old blighty!! Finished college on the 23rd and headed up to Sheffield to say my goodbyes! I had a fantastic weekend. My party on Friday went well, various people popped in and out, it was a chilled affair which was perfect for me! Saturday night Tim (old cell leader) had a party at his, so another late night but great to spend time with old chums, I’m really gonna miss people!!! Sunday went to Crookes in the morning, then to Teaching Service and my cluster in the evening…which was finished off by a quick bit of Salsa at Sheffield union with my old housemate! Sunday night was the first time in a while that I actually felt dead excited about going – it feels such a privilege and an honour! Overall the weekend was such a blessing, really encouraging and made me feel even more strongly that I want to go back to Shef!

Monday was a bit of a trial… slightly comedy when you look back on it… up at 6am rather bleary eyed, Emmie let me out of the house (very stiff lock!!) and I went off into the dark and wet morning! Got to the Ecuadorian Embassy about 10.30, waited a bit then realised I needed to announce my presence and not just wait in a queue!! Doh! (I must say in my defence that there were no signs to explain the process). At this point Roz, one of my bestedest chums from Shef turned up (she’s in London doing an internship with SPEAK) and we nattered the time away till the lady called me… Then a ‘bombshell fell’… she couldn’t give me my visa – I was incredulous and started praying!

Basically there’s a new Consul who is rather more particular than the old one and he wanted evidence from the Ecuadorian Foreign Office that Latin Link and their legal rep were bonafide! I was very shocked at the refusal and ended up having an emotional outburst just outside to a rather bemused Roz! (due more to over-tiredness than anything else I reckon!) The guard tried to be sympathetic but succeeded in offending me (cross-cultural miscommunication maybe?) so I left! Got a grip and rung Sarah in the Latin Link office. She was fab and got on the case right away… so now I shall be heading to London (tomorrow) to pick up my visa – God is in control, He wants me there, He’s gonna get me there! Just a wee hiccup, I’m sure more of those are to be expected!

Otherwise this week is going well….packing is slowly getting done…might need an elephant to sit on my case though!?! …saying goodbyes to people and generally chilling out! ¿Qué sucederá en Ecuador en tiempo de cuatro días? – that’s the game I’m playing, what will I be doing this time next week ?


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