Liminality

My job (that I technically have but am still not yet doing, keep reading I explain I swear) involves some of the more repulsive parts of human interaction, what with one set of humans exploiting other humans for the first group’s own personal gain. So I’m sorry that I won’t always get to write an exciting travelogue that tells you where to get the best curry around.

Luckily, this post isn’t about human nature and how much we can suck at times! This one is more annoying than depressing. I still wish I didn’t have to write it. I do though, so here goes:

My visa was denied. I will not be working in South Asia next year.

I will definitely still be working for International Justice Mission, but I’ll be in a different office, probably either in Africa or Southeast Asia. I wasn’t given a reason for the denial. I was only told that the consulate is not legally obligated to explain their decision to me. They also lost my driver’s license. I’ll admit I’m uh just a little bit bitter at that entire country right now. So I’ll be starting the entire visa application process over for a different country, once IJM figures out where they’re sending me.

Anyways, for now here I am nannying and living at home, and I’m pretty sure that makes me a real writer right? I’ll admit that this whole shift made me angry. I’m leaving everything I’m familiar with, and that is actually one of my favorite things. I am possibly a little too addicted to new things. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that there is an element of terror to the whole thing. I’d met and loved my team, knew my job, and was excited about the city. I had a certain amount of comfort. Now I’m starting over again.

There are positives! I get to spend more time with my family. I have almost exactly 0 responsibilities…

It is really disappointing that it isn’t working out like I wanted it to, but this is temporary! I just wanted to update everyone as to why the last time we said goodbye for a solid year probably wasn’t actually the last time you’ll see me.

Visas Are Hard.

Like really hard. This is the third one I’ve applied for, and nothing about this process has been charming.

It’s definitely partly my fault. It’s definitely not all my fault. But that’s ok and also not important.

From what I hear, bureaucracy drives everyone crazy, not least those who actually work in it.

So, the answer to that extremely valid “when are you leaving” question has become: tbd.

My application recently got passed on to the next level of processing, and I haven’t heard anything from them at all since that happened. IJM says not to worry if I don’t hear anything for 6 weeks from last week, as this is definitely less than unheard-of. After that they’ll start asking questions, and at 8 weeks they’ll reassign me to a different location. And this isn’t as personal a problem as it sounds. Only 2 people on my 6 person team have actually gotten a visa.

Only 1/3 of these people can legally enter the subcontinent!
Only 1/3 of these people can legally enter the subcontinent!

So until I hear from someone about something, I’m just playing a waiting game. Honestly, it is nice to have more time with my family than I’d thought (I was supposed to leave October 1 and start work on the 9th). I also imagine that I would be freaking out right now if I were really leaving tomorrow, but this delay has just increased the anticipation.

I’m about ready to stowaway on a plane sans passport, so you can be sure I’ll be gleefully publishing any news I get as soon as I get some.

 

 

Oh and  also, just a note as to why I’m saying “South Asia” instead of using the name of the *cough* subcontinent as I do in actual conversation: Basically, IJM has asked us not to. They don’t mind people knowing where we are, but do not want records of our work in this area readily available to the general public. This is to protect our team, our clients, and the entire process of systemic transformation that we’re undertaking. So feel free to ask me about the specific place/city by text (YES you can text me just like normal), snapchat, whatsapp, skype or any number of the more or less defunct communication tools that we have available today! But plz don’t post it publicly on my Facebook or anything like that. Thanks!