On Friday, we traveled to Machala, Ecuador to go to the Ecuadorian Ministry there. It is a three hour trip down, you are there approximately 2 hours, and it is three hours back.
Our van picked us up at the apartment where we are staying at 4:10 a.m. and we were the last to be picked up. The road, for the most part was easy travel until we started up into the Cajas. Then it got to be a tad scary as portions of the road were washed out from all the rains of the past few weeks. What was interesting is that the road damage was to the “new” portions of the road that had been completed. Because the other side had not been completed, it allowed the rains to lift the new road and wash it away. Made for some interesting travel.
My husband was in the seat in front of me and watching him rock back and forth as we traveled reminded me of the little bobble head and hula dolls that were big in the 50’s and 60’s to put on one’s dashboard.
We passed miles of banana plantations, cocoa fields, sugar cane and pineapple. As you descended out of the mountains, you could feel the change in the temperature outside the van and the terrain became dryer looking as the temperatures warmed up. Machala is a port town that does a lot of exporting of bananas and pineapple. After we arrived we had a nice breakfast of fresh pineapple juice and toasted bread. I discovered after ordering toast, that they serve toasted bread which is a ham and cheese sandwich. It was quite the surprise and quite delicious.
After breakfast, we arrived at the Ministry and waited to be called. My husband and I were the second and third appointments of the morning. When we were called, we took our seats and the gentleman looked at our files and them promptly closed them and told us that we were missing a letter stating that we were switching from Visa-via-Cable to In-person application. My heart sank into the floor beneath my feet and it was all I could do to keep from crying.
After about a half hour of sitting as other’s in our groups received their pictures and/or Visas, we were called again to the desk. Miracle of miracles, he produced a letter stating our intent to get our Visas in person, took our pictures and told us our Visa’s would be ready in approximately three weeks time.
I felt as if a giant band across my chest had been removed and that I could breathe again. We were beside ourselves with joy and the legal assistant who had traveled with us said she told the gentleman that he was breaking my heart and couldn’t he do the letter and have us sign it. I remember him looking at me and I had been trying to keep my lip from trembling so that I wouldn’t start to cry. So we now have the letter and all is right with the world.
Ray, my husband, said that it was just another little test to see how determined we were to live in this wonderful country and that things always seemed to have a way of working out. We are so thankful that they are.
When our Visas are ready, we will deliver our passports to our attorney who will then travel to Machala to get the necessary stamps. When she returns, we will pay her the remainder of her fees and we will have our Visas. At some point, we will be given an Ecuadorian ID, but they are still working on those as the change in law is so new on the books.
Until later my friends enjoy photo’s from the trip and
remember to live for today and don’t put off fulfilling your dreams. Tomorrow is not guaranteed to arrive.
Terri at the Drake’s Nest