May 4, 2009

Visas? Who Needs Visas!

Phwew! We're worn out. We went into Asuncion early today to try and renew our Visas (the offices were closed Friday in honor of "The Day of the Workers," so we couldn't do it then...) I asked if they'd wave our fine since I didn't realize all the city would literally shut down on Friday, and was told that May 1 is the WORLDWIDE holiday for workers, which started in Illinois and is observed by every country in the world. When I, very nicely, tried to explain that we celebrate a similar holiday (Labor Day) in September, I was told that I was wrong and that the US observes May 1 as a day when no one has to work their normal 8-hours per day. He then told me that I'd been living here for 6 months, so there was no excuse for not knowing when the holidays fell.

I took that all in stride (Paraguayans in offices DO know everything!), and we ran all over downtown Asuncion to fulfill the little list they gave me of things I needed, but then we were told our Visa was past the date and we'd have to START OVER! So needless to say, we're exhausted. A day of running here and there (and driving here and there in insane conditions), coupled with the two-hour trip there and two-hours back, was enough to make us too tired for dinner. (But not too tired to blog, of course.)

We'll have to do more things tomorrow, such as take two Paraguayan citizens to our local police station to vouch for us and have a records check done. Then we're back to the capital Wednesday to try again. I think we're officially illegal aliens at present. That's a bit scary... (Whatever happened to just paying a fine and going your merry way?)

One good part of the day was finding the Paraguayan Bible Society, which is very close to all the government buildings. They had a children's Bible we really liked. It's hardback with lots of pictures, and it's completely in Guarani! I think it may be perfect for the kids out here, who would take them home and share what they've learned with their parents, most of whom ONLY speak Guarani. And--get this--the Bibles are only $5. That's right--FIVE U.S. DOLLARS!!!! Tomorrow, we'll show them to our evangelist-friend and ask if he thinks they'll work (right after we ask him to vouch for us). If he likes them, WE'VE FOUND BIBLES!

After the fun we have planned at the police station, we intend to deliver the first batch of blankets. Please pray with us that these blankets will not only do the job of warming the poor children of this neighborhood, but that they will also be a reminder that God loves them, and that reminder will draw them toward a relationship with their Father.


  1. Sounds oh so familiar! One gov. guy told Jeff (a history buff) how dumb he was because he didn;t know who General McGreggor know the American famous five star general. when Jeff tried to correct him with MacArther he say NO, MCGREGGOR! Plus, he said in all seriousness that our children would be so confused growing up because some of their documents say Mc Kissick and some have McKissick. Jeff tried to explain that it is different on passports and birth certificate because in the US it doesn;t matter, but of course HE was right and it is IMPOSSIBLE to have a space in a last name!!!! CRAZY, frustrating, tiring, confusing, PARAGUAY!!!

  2. Just keep at it, you have to be persistent to get that immigrations work done, and when you think you are almost finished, there are 10 more steps. But you can do it!

    About the Bibles, September is "mes de la Biblia" and the Bible Society has several Bibles on sale. We used to buy a box or two.

  3. Awe, so sorry you have to go through all of that crazy bureaucratic stuff! It can be very very frustrating!

    If you´re looking for a good hotel, we always stay at the Portal del Sol. $35 a night and they have the best breakfast! It´s also close to Shopping del Sol.

  4. Oh man, that stinks. I have learned the hard way to bite my tongue and not fight with Paraguayan officials.

    Crying does work though!! That's how I finally got my cedula. I'm sure hormones played a huge role there since I was about to give birth and I still didn't have my residency after 3 years, I was completely distraught! I got my cedula the next day.


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