Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016
Today we are picking up our visas and getting our cedulas! This process started at the beginning of September when I began getting all the required documents together. I had to get things like a copy of my diploma, marriage certificate, birth certificates for all of us, fingerprints, and state and federal criminal background checks to name a few. The Ecuadorian government wants a copy of these documents issued within 6 months of applying for a visa, so any official copies I already had were not any good.
Before we left the states in January, we had gathered all our required documents together, had them apostilled, and then sent to Ecuador to the agency helping us secure our visas.
When we arrived here, it became a matter of then submitting the completed application packet to the Ecuadorian Ministry, having it reviewed and approved by the ministry; going to the ministry office for photos and payment, and waiting. Then going back to the Ecuadorian Ministry to surrender our passports for the actual visa to be secured into them, and waiting. Then going back again to pick up our passports and visas, and our approved form to get our cedulas (like an Ecuadorian social security card), and waiting (only hours now, not weeks), actually receiving our cedulas in the same trip…then getting out of Guayaquil and getting back to Bahia.
Not so bad really, and we are now official residents of Ecuador! 😀
Our bus ride home, although long, went comparatively fast because the bus driver sped like he was in a Maserati. All I can say is that my driving looks like an old lady going to church on Sunday compared to what goes on here.
Considering the grief I get from my family about my driving, I just sit in my seat and smile.
We made it back to our place in time to catch a spectacular sunset. As we were sitting along the breakwall, three Ecuadorian 12 yo boys came up to Easton and asked if he spoke English. One of the boys, Javier, was practicing his English with Easton, and Easton was practicing his Spanish with Javier.
The other two boys didn’t seem to speak much English and when Easton asked them their names in Spanish, one boy got emabarrased and ran away…but he came back pretty quickly. When the conversation was over, Easton gave each of the boys knuckles and they left with smiles on their faces. We had smiles too.