Well as expected, I didn't get the work permit Friday either. We went to the bank with James' signature on the paperwork to try to get the certified check and the woman said "This signature looks forged, we won't accept it" I was about ready to get up and go and she said "Since I know this is your money, I will make an exception." So she also said she'd rush it for us and we had 15 minutes, so we went outside to a man on the side of the road who was taking passport photos and I had them done also. So far, so good. We got to immigration with everything we were told to have and they said I also needed proof of education, my resume and a police clearance. (SIGH)
So we left there and went to the US Embassy. I walked up outside (you can't drive in) and there's like a drive in window- but no french fries inside. Outside is a bench of people who want something but can't get in...none of themwhite. I tell the man behind the counter that I'm American and he asks for proof and asked what do I want. I was super nervous (there's guards with guns watching you reach in your bag for your passport) and I said "Uh... er... well I need police clearance and I need the paperwork...." He asked me do I intend to live here, and I said, "Yes". He then looked at me and said (all of this without a smile or acknowlegement that I was more than some creep on the street) "Well what language do you intend to learn? I said, "Well... ummm... probably Bemba, but maybe a little Nyanja- I know some Tonga from visiting in Choma before..." And he started laughing and laughing. He said "Goodness, why are you scared? I am just joking around with you! I could see you were nervous so I am playing a joke- you're American- you can come inside."
Yea... So a guard opens the door for me and I had to give him my phone, then another guard looked through my purse and took my chapstick, visene and tootsie roll. In case I planned to chapstick someone to death I suppose. So then I went through a metal detector, was given a visitors badge and told to walk out the back door and to the building next door BUT I must only walk on the sidewalk, no stepping on the grass or road, no shortcuts, and stay in the view of the guards at all times. So I get to the next building and theres a waiting room of 15-16 people just sitting there. I wasn't sure if I should sit or just go to the window so I just walked up and said "Hello, I need..." The woman said, "Police clearance. Here's all your paperwork, this is how you fill it out, this is where you go and here's where to bring it when you're done." So she had it all organized and ready for me and put in a manila folder.... Organization- how I've missed you.
So next week I have to go get fingerprints taken and fill out paperwork and get ANOTHER certified check (for an amount less than I'll have to actually pay for the check) and then that process will be about a month.... THEN I'll have to go back to immigration and start over.
So after all that Maureen and I went to Kabanana. Most of the kids were in school (we got a late start because of the busy morning and Maureen was out all morning) so we got to see mostly the mothers, which was nice to get their side of things how the kids were doing. Francis happened to be home from school and we were there for about an hour talking with him and his mother. He was telling us about how he believed kid's didnt want to go to youth group because they werent baptised, and you have to be baptised to be saved. Well he then had a firing squad of Fanny, Maureen, me and his mother quoting scripture and explaining Gospel truths to him for a long time. It was good-- he was asking questions and we used scripture to back up what we were saying... Maureen prayed heartily for him (in Bemba, but I somehow understood it all) and then we decided to get home before it got dark (we had a 1 and a 1/2 hour bus ride ahead of us). Francis asked us if he could walk us to the bus, and I walked with him while Maureen and Fanny stayed behind. I got a great chance to talk to him about his faith, school, his plans and everything. It was a great talk on our 20 minute walk and he said "Thank you so much, Katryn, thank you for visiting today." (He's the only person here who calls me Katryn.)
He is a great kid. Pray for him as he deals with plans to be a pastor and peer pressure from kids at school. He has a HUGE heart- a very kind and sensitive soul. He could be such a great man, and I sense God has a hand of protection over him. I was sorry to not see most of the other kids, but glad we had this chance to have 1-1 time with Francis.
Needless to say that was an exhausting day. I came home and Megan invited me to dinner which was wonderful because I was STARVED (all that bussing... which I disslike greatly... and walking made me so hungry and thirsty) but really too tired to cook.
Friday was fun, we had a full day of school and in the afternoon for "home ec"/math we made chocolate chip cookies. We counted chocolate chips (they dont actually sell those here, so i had to buy a candy bar which was expensive and then cut it up into small chunks to spread the chocolate love) and separated them into groups and did multiplication and division and then studied measurements for the flour and sugar... and then ate :) . I was very much beat after yesterday and Friday and decided to just watch a movie and go to sleep. I borrowed Hotel Rwanda from the Williamsons and watched that... wrong choice. Watching that movie when you are IN Africa... it's just a heartbreaking film all around.
A girl from the church, Janet, stopped by and we chatted for a while. She invited me to sleep over next week some time and then I'll go with her to YP group at church on Saturday nights (Young People's... which is the newly marrieds, singles and college age). They are having rehearsals for the Christmas concert after YP and she asked if I'd like to join and I said of course! It will be good to be singing again. It was nice to have someone come visit for a while- and will be good to have people my age to befriend.
Today I spent most of the day with a woman my age from church named Patience. She's great, and we had a good time... we talked and watched movies... it was nice to just have a lazy Saturday but outside the house with a friend. It was very different culturally than spending time with a freind from home- but I am learning to adjust and not worry so much about it.
When I got home I walked to the market and got a few groceries (things go bad quickly here so you have to shop for less stuff but more frequently). It is HOT these days... today seemed especially hot- Patience said it had a lot to do with the kind of metal roofing she has on her house- which is the same as on mine. You just feel like your baking in an oven. I try to open the windows and pray for a breeze, but you are also inviting in all sorts of critters and bugs so you have to chose your battles. I think this week I'll get a fan- it has stopped being a wish list item and become a necessity of late.
I am looking forward to church tomorrow, and a day of rest and relaxation before the busy week ahead.