Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Phase One Complete

Tuesday, I went to pick up Aysha's elusive birth certificate. The parking lot was busier than I had ever seen it before (I have made several trips to the Ministry of Health) It was fast and easy. In less than five minutes I had the paper and was gone. Things were looking up.

I scooted over to the school business office. Mohammed, the guy at school who helps overseas teachers with their paperwork, took my new passport and Aysha's birth certificate. I needed to have my residence visa transferred from my old passport. He promised that Aysha's birth certificate would be taken to the translator that day and then to the embassy the next day. That afternoon, at the end of the school day my passport had already returned with a new visa. Maybe the ministry can produce residency visas (what Aysha needs before she can leave) quickly. Things were looking good.

The next day, I called Mohammed again. He confirmed the translation had been done and would be picked up and delivered to the embassy shortly. I called Conchita (the consul, not the banana) and left a message for her to the effect that the birth certificate would arrive that day. At the end of the school day, I called the embassy. It turned out Conchita had gone home early that day and so no one could tell me if they had even received the birth certificate. Next, I called Mohammed. He said the embassy had the translation and that the original was in my mailbox at school. Disaster. This is where I had a little melt down. The embassy needs the original. Giving me the original meant that Aysha's passport would be a day behind.

I ran down to the mailroom. Locked. Katherine, our deputy principal (and very understanding friend), let me in. No birth certificate, but there was a note. The secretary had kept it locked in her desk, like she does most important documents. Only she'd gone home for the weekend. I talked to Mohammed again who has spoken to the man who had actually been to the embassy. That man said that the Canadian Embassy had seen the original birth certificate and had returned it to him. So maybe there's hope. We'll have to wait until Saturday to find out.

Karla is booked on a flight to Calgary. She leaves Tuesday night and will arrive in Calgary late Wednesday afternoon. She is booked to come back about two weeks later. On Saturday, if the passport is ready, her plans will become more concrete. The travel agent also said that if the paperwork goes more quickly than expected, it will be possible for her to get on an earlier flight.

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