29 January 2009

Border Crossing...

It seems these days I just another illegal immigrant searching for a green card…

It was a simple mistake… my work permit says that it expires 5-01-09… but Uganda is not a month – day – year kind of country… instead of needing a new work permit in 3 months I NEEDED one 3 weeks ago…

Fortunately they have yet to hand me a one-way ticket to Iceland… I hear from other friends who have made similar mistakes that there is a grace period…

I’m counting on it…

It’s not the easiest process… I need to provide the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

Copies of our 4 passports
A copy of my expired work permit
3 copies of the passes for my dependants
2 passport photos of each family member
An application form for each family member
A copy of my criminal record from the US
My CV… or what Americans refer to as a resume
My appointment letter from ARM
A copy of the ARM NGO Certificate
A no contest letter from the Bishop of Mukono who is my boss on my original work permit
And $1000 which is a HUGE discount from the $4000 I paid originally

When I asked the clerk if they would also like samples of my blood and DNA, fingerprints and a stool sample he didn’t laugh as hard as I thought he would…

Most have been fairly easy to come up with… except for the key to the whole process… my no contest letter from my dear friend in Mukono…

I called on Monday and made an appointment for Wednesday… it takes just over an hour to get there and when I arrived the line to his office was 10 deep… after standing around in a dark hallway for 90 minutes he came out to shake my hand and asked me to come back first thing in the morning…

So Thursday I raced out to Mukono after Noah’s Special Assembly about Patches the Giraffe to find that there was no line to the Bishop’s office… and no Bishop…His secretary told me he would be back anytime... but that his phone was off… it is amazing how slowly 4 hours can pass by but at 1:30 I was first in line when he arrived in office…

We had a great chat and caught up on the last 2 years… then we negotiated the price… I bartered him down from full-scholarships for all 450 lay-readers in Mukono to GBI to 2 scholarships per year and again bartered him down from me leading and funding a week long conference for the entire diocese to “considering a 2-day conference” at one of their facilities… not bad considering the $3000 I saved on the price of the permits… anyone want to fund a conference in Mukono?

I must be completely fair and say I am impressed that he cares so much about the layreaders in his diocese and where I can help I’d like to try to help…

So tomorrow I’m off to the US Embassy… I have to admit that I am kind of excited to find out if I have a criminal record…

On the way home I got stopped at a routine police check point… the officer was nice enough to point out the my license expires in 5 months…

To be continued…

2 comments:

John said...

Does Jack Bauer ever have these issues? We never see it on screen...

Then again, Jack doesn't go to Africa does he....

What a great time to spend with the Bishop. Praise that he has a vision to see better training for the lay readers. And he knows who can provide that level of competence.

Blessings

Jon said...

Those of us oppressed by paperwork must stand together. I have recently developed an entire branch of systematic theology related to a fire-less hell and paperwork. Happy document gathering.