Friday, July 16, 2010

Dear Bureaucracy, I Hate You

Well, it's a beautiful Friday in Ecuador. The weather has been lovely today, and the sun setting behind the mountains out my window is mixing with the clouds to create a gentle striping of pink and lavender.

Really, there's only one thing that can ruin an evening like this.


More specifically, the bureaucracy that is holding up my visa extension getting approved. I was supposed to get my completed paperwork and visa back on Wednesday. No word from the lawyer all day. I send an email on Thursday checking in politely - I mean, I don't want to be a nasty nag, right? I just want my ever-loving visa and my passport back in my hot little hands.

Instead, she doesn't call me. She calls my friend who went with me to her office to tell him that I need to provide her with bank statements showing a different amount in my account. Well, that's all well and good, except it's after the close of business in the US by the time I get wind of all of this and what am I supposed to do about it now?

I would probably be less incensed about this (Asi es Ecuador, as they say) had I not already spent a fair portion of my week dealing with the malfunctioning of my portable Internet connection. Apparently the internal workings of the poor thing have up and died, but finding that out definitively involved a trip to the main Porta customer service office on Gran Columbia which is dreadful. Not only did they give me wrong and incomplete information, but the process for repairs was going to day several days for me to get the thing back.

Instead, I ended up going to the sweet little shop where Porta outsources all their repairs rather than having any in-house technicians (because why would a large cell phone service provider want techs? I mean really!). They had a next day answer for me on the confirmed death of the modem. Tears for my Internet, people. Not looking forward to having to replace that!

So all unsettled and fussy, which is not ideal. However, I am blessed in a number of ways, so heading into the weekend I am trying to focus on:
  • My wonderful Ecuadorian friends who are hooking me up with Internet as well as a place to stay (because really, until I have that visa approved and know I can stay, I don't want to lease a place)
  • The sweethearts who have been suggesting places for me to teach so I can have a more permanent visa and skip all this bureaucracy crap for the next year
  • My father, who is awesome and handles it really well when I call all upset from foreign countries with ever-changing visa rules
  • The chicken lime soup from California Kitchen waiting for me
  • Watching Slokum do the rugby thing tomorrow
  • The just-for-fun web projects planned for Sunday
  • The reality that all of this will be solved one way or another!
I know I've got to get some new pictures up from things happening here and do updates on everything that's changed in Cuenca . . . but until then, I think this week is about over for me!

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