Thursday, July 8, 2010

Adventures at the Embassy

While the title of my post may seem like my visit to the Embassy was a fun experience, but I did run into a couple problems. I'll start at the beginning...

I knew that the first thing that I had to do when I got to New Jersey was take a trip to New York City to visit the Tanzanian Embassy to get my visa. I can't get into Tanzania without it. So, my mom, dad (he was on his way to work) and my sister Kate hopped the train into downtown. We got there just as the office was opening, and everything seemed to go just fine. I had all my documents and the lady said that she would send my passport and visa out on Tuesday (this was Friday). Perfect, now I could relax.

Not really...In the meantime, my family had a 4th of July party, I went to Philly to see my sister's house, and took a trip to the Jersey Shore to see my grandparents. It was great to see everyone, but I was anxiously awaiting my passport to come in the mail and it was already Wednesday afternoon. There was no envelope to be found, so I went to the UPS website to track it thinking that it was in transit and it would be here shortly. NOPE! It hadn't even left the Embassy!

This was a huge problem. It was Wednesday night and I was leaving early Friday morning. The only thing I could do was hope that all my paperwork was completed but still at the embassy for me to pick up in person on Thursday.

I got up really early today after having nightmares about not getting my passport in time or finding it at the last minute after chasing down the UPS man. I called the embassy to find out that they were actually closed on Wednesday (I had a moment of panic though when I thought that Thursday was actually Wednesday and that I was out of time, but I got my days straight again).

I called and called until someone picked up the phone. After being put on hold for quite a while so they could "find" out the status, I was told that it was ready. I was a bit relieved that it was still there, but that started a new adventure. Cars, a bus, ferries, a taxi, and an embassy visit later, I had my passport, visa, and immunization card in my hands along with the very expensive envelope that I bought that never got used. Oh well, the important thing had been accomplished.

I spent the rest of today getting everything packed and doing some last minute shopping. Tomorrow morning at 6am starts the uncharted territory that is my summer this year. Wish me luck, and I'll post soon.