Got up early today. I was supposed to meet the agent at the American Embassy to get my passport today. Woo Hoo! After being in Africa as an undocumented alien for the last week, I was ready to have some documents.
The pastor asked me several times if I was ok to go by myself. Sure, I said. Who needs to be be able to speak the language of the people you are working with, right? His driver and I left for the Embassy at 7 a.m. I can't really tell you how we got there. Traffic was horrible, but I get the feeling it always is that time of day. So, we drove through parking lots and little back streets, whatever he could do to avoid traffic. I think that is considered wise here rather than illegal. Well, it may be that too.
We arrived at the Embassy at 7:40. Seemed good to me since the agent had told me to meet him between 7:30 and 8:00. However, the security guard was having no part in that. He told the driver and me to sit down outside. And we sat there until 8 a.m. The driver tried to chat him up and get him to let us in early, but to no avail. 8 a.m. Not 7:58. At 8, they let me go in, but sent the driver back to the car.
The agent met me at the window. "I think we've got it all worked out, but I'm just going to check one more thing." Ha. This time I thought to bring a book.
He called me over and gave me my passport. Felt like he handed me a gold bar. Where have you been my beautiful friend?
"Ok, we've got you cleared in the State Department system. Hopefully, that will get you into the next country." I'm teaching in one other African country before I head home. "However, if they don't have the updated information," he explained, "they may still stop you. Just explain what happened. Tell them a number was changed from 6 to 8 and the real lost passport belongs to a lady who lost it in Peru."
Yes, and they will simply take my word for it in whatever corner of the planet I happen to land, I'm sure. I suppose I could start to make a game of seeing how many U.S. Embassies I can see this summer.
I was only 10 minutes late for the 9 a.m. beginning of class. When I told the students I got my passport and am no longer an undocumented alien, they laughed and applauded. I asked them to pray for God to smooth my path to the next stop.
Class was fun today. I tried to play catch up with them, to get everything we've skipped past in the last few days. Hilarious. My experience is that things don't move fast in Africa. But I think that is ok. I told them we will not have time for the last quiz, so I am giving them all 100 on it. They told me I was a good teacher. HA! I reminded them that a good teacher is not the same as a nice teacher. They assured me I have been both. I will miss them when I leave.
One more day of class on Monday, then Graduation on Tuesday.