Friends, it's been a crazy past couple of weeks. Here's the lowdown on what's been going on in our corner of the world lately:
- Endless paperwork and bureaucracy has been the definite theme. Rico is applying for his US residency visa, and we are trying to purchase a house in California prior to our move. I believe Rico and I now have notarized, sworn translations of every official document issued to us from birth, as well as a full picture of our financial standing thanks having to cough up tax returns, account statements and employment contracts seemingly from the beginning of time.
- A word to the wise: You know that old song "If you wanna be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woman your wife"? Well, here's my 2009 version. If you wanna have a straightforward, paperwork-free, easy life, never make non-resident alien your wife. Or in my case, husband. Seriously, I don't know how people who aren't compulsively organized and perfectly bilingual make it through this process. Totally worth it though. Obviously.
- Rico went for his compulsory health exam last week in Johannesburg as part of the visa application process. I am happy to report that, as evidenced by a chest X-ray, my husband doesn't suffer from TB.
- My mother-in-law is here for a visit, her first time in Africa. We picked her up at the airport in Joburg, then promptly proceeded to get lost downtown while trying to find the medical clinic. We had a GPS, and it was useless thanks to the Wiki-style maps we have for South Africa that didn't recognize our intended destination. We circled nervously and aimlessly for about an hour, with my MIL in the back seat. Apparently she later confessed to Rico that she thinks we are a great couple with a promising future because we didn't kill each other in the car.
- We went to Kruger park with my MIL, and it was fabulous. We saw a pride of 8 lions, and every other animal imaginable except for the reclusive leopard.
- Rico and I put an offer on a beautiful house yesterday, along with my mom who has helped us beyond measure in the prequalification process. Now we wait. By the end of the week, we will know if the house is to be ours. This is a very tidy way to sum up what has been weeks of high stress, all leading to the biggest decision in my and Rico's life since marriage. We are all praying this house works out, because it is an incredible opportunity and we are totally in love with it already.
- We are starting to sell our furniture and other posessions here in Maputo. It's a strange process, and a daunting one for sure, but I find it quite appealing. Although I cling to certain objects, I find it cleansing to have a big purge of posessions every few years. We will leave Moz with 2 suitcases each, 3 cats and 1 cargo box containing an antique chandelier and an old wooden trunk. That's it. Chega.
- The prospect of starting fresh in a new house is thrilling. I loved putting together this apartment, making it our home. We started with next to nothing, and used wicker furniture and slept on a mattress on the floor for nearly 2 years. Now our flat is comfortable and beautifully decorated. I know we will be starting close to zero again with the new house in California, but I am not at all regretful because the process is so satisfying, and starting humble really makes you appreciate every little improvement, every new piece of furniture or painted wall.
- Rico and I have the big visa interview on Monday. Please keep us in your thoughts.
So that's it in a nutshell. I am also currently working 3 jobs, but I won't even go into the details because more than anything, I need to get off the blog and get them done.