It has been quite sometime and you may have thought you would never hear from me again, but here I am! I thought I would start over again and continue using this to share my new adventures of starting my life here in the US with Frederic. He has never been here before and the time is coming soon for him to arrive! I thought it might be a good idea and eye opening for some to hear about his transition and fun new things that he/we will do together! :)
So, for the last year or so we have been working to get Frederic his visa to come. Before I left Peace Corps and Burkina Faso we were in the midst of getting Frederic a passport and filling out the required documents for the petition. Getting a passport in and of itself was quite the experience. I should have known, after being in Burkina for almost 2 years at this point, that nothing ever goes smoothly or as planned! Low and behold, this process had a lot of obstacles. We got his passport after several trips across the capital to an office that makes passports. (It’s not one place like it is here in the US – which seems a bit on the sketchy side that you can go to different people to get this done.) Anyways, during this time we were also on the hunt for all of the required documents Frederic would need for the application and we learned just as we thought we were done that all of the documents needed to be OFFICIALLY translated into English! We then had to find a place that would do that and that took even more time to complete. We could then finally send in the documents to the US for the petition, in other words it was an application for an application and another way for them to make money! I sent all of the papers to my mom and she mailed them into the correct mailing facility for our application. It was all received the beginning of November, but we started preparing for this the beginning of July… 4 months of prep work!
Then began the REAL waiting game. We had no idea what to expect other than processing times were about 7 months for our particular visa. So, we waited and waited and waited some more. Finally, on June 20th we received notice that our petition had been APPROVED and the process would then move to the US Embassy in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (the capital) for Frederic to complete. He was notified by the Embassy a couple of weeks later to come in and get a checklist of things to complete. I had prepared a lot before I left and all that was left for Frederic to do was to complete the medical exams. He must have done it in record time because the Embassy was surprised to see him back so soon. That was yesterday, Tuesday, and they told him to come back for his interview Thursday morning!
It sounds like soon he will get his visa and we can buy a plane ticket for him to come! He will definitely take some time to say good bye to family and friends but not too long because he is anxious to come!
I did leave Burkina Faso in December and have been living in my mom’s basement ever since (Thanks Mom!) Transitioning back has been hard and I do get some serious bouts of homesickness for Burkina and its lifestyle. I miss it like crazy and often times think about quitting my job and picking up to move back there. The idea of moving back was also an appealing one during my job hunt that seemed to yield no results until May. Maybe one day I guess I will go back and possibly live, but not any time soon. Since my return, I have found a job and am currently working at the Battle Creek Community Foundation as a College Access Network Associate. I help out the scholarship team and also work in the schools to promote college K-12 grades. I started here in May and have loved it ever since.
My plan is to keep you posted on the arrival of Frederic and all of our new experiences once he arrives! I hope you look forward to hearing about them because I am anxious to get him here and let the adventures begin!