the final countdown

February 12, 2004 — Leave a comment

i`m sitting in grantley adams international airport, one of the last three airports i`ll be travelling alone from.

i`m less of the emotional wreck that i was yesterday,  i`m still eternally grateful for all the prayers and good wishes and support, moral and physical through the last two years.

by the time this is posted, i will be back in jamaica and have a clearer idea of when i`ll get to leave. i would have tendered my resignation.

there are so many things i need to do in the next day and a half, including ship my books off, thoroughly clean my apartment, disconnect my phone and internet accounts as the lease on my apartment is up on saturday.

i need to do laundry, probably my last on my own. it`s such a relief to know soon, now has a date.

i`m on the plane now and coherent enough to recount my trip to the consular offices, including a number of interesting discoveries. after my visa had been approved and while i was waiting for them to print it and put it in my passport and provide me with the packet i have to present to immigration officials when i arrive in the us, i had a real conversation with the officer.

apparently the overseas offices have always been short staffed and events since september 2001, haven`t made it any better. for the three days i was back and forth at their offices there were three officers on duty, two issuing non-immigrant visas and one  dealing with immigrant visas.

the problem specifically in barbados is, they are the consular authority for seven other countries. all applicants from grenada, st. vincent and the grenadines, st. lucia, st. martin and a few other places that i`m not entirely sure of, fall under the aegis of the the bajan embassy and consular services. and this not just about visas, they also deal with american citizen services like passports, births and deaths abroad, that kind of thing.

it`s was interesting to be able to talk to this woman, like a real human being and though i`ve been frustrated and disappointed by them on previous occasions i could empathise. when i got my passport back, it was a little before 2pm, she had been interviewing since 8am, missed lunch dealing with my case and she still had to deal with the family of someone who had drowned in st. martin. i listened to her explain the same thing to a woman at her window at least five times, using the same language and tone of voice. i couldn`t do that job with snapping, it requires a lot of patience and shutting yourself off emotionally.

i guess in my own way, it`s my way of saying thank you to her as well.

i feel very blessed and grateful.  there are people that have to be publicly acknowledged, i have to say again huge thank yous to guttaperk and the divagirl for all their help; the shuttling about, the food, the accommodation, the general good time. a very special thank you to sam, without whom this trip would not have happened at all. my mother for supporting me however she could. and my best friend in the world, pig, thank you.

and vic. my love, my love, thank you for sticking with me through all of this. i love you. soon.

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