Thursday, October 20, 2011

Between Borders

This month, Professor Natán and I departed our home in México to visit the Lutheran Church in Brazil. Our flight itinerary took us from México through Peru and then Bolivia to Brazil. While changing plans in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, the airline notified us of a problem with our Brazilian visas and would not allow us to board the plan. We were stuck between borders.

As it was 3:00 am on a Saturday morning, we had to wait until Monday morning to visit the local Brazilian Consulate. We did take advantage of the wait and visited some Inca ruins outside the city.

We met with an agent at the Brazilian Consulate as planned and filled out the initial paperwork for a new Brazilian Tourist visa.  The next step was to find a local photo studio to get passport-size photos taken and go to a specific bank to pay the fee to process the visa.  We returned to the Consulate with the photos and payment receipt from the bank.  After we answered a few more questions, the agent told us to return the following day.  We spent the afternoon making new travel arrangements with our stateside travel agent through the Internet via Skype and emailed our contacts in Brazil.

The next day, we went to the Consulate, reviewed the final documentation, signed a couple of papers, and left with new visas in hand. Our new Brazilian visas have a later expiration period as well as a longer maximum stay.

Our 3-hour layover in Bolivia turned into a 4-day adventure. We are thankful to God for his protection during this unexpected delay and that there was a Brazilian Consulate in Santa Cruz that processed ours visas so quickly.

Go to here for more details on this journey.

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