Monday, September 26, 2011

Whirlwind of Events

I apologize for not posting in a long time but I’ve been super busy with all sorts of things. I had my close of service as a Peace Corps Volunteer August 12, 2011. I really really enjoyed my time as a volunteer and will truly miss all of the people in San Salvador and the wonderful volunteers and staff of Peace Corps Paraguay. Thanks again everyone for making my service unforgettable!

On August 22, 2011 David was scheduled to have his K1 FiancĂ© Visa interview at the US Embassy in Asuncion. I was asked to go along as proof that we are actually a couple. I was so nervous, I don’t know why but I felt sick once we walked into the Embassy and were waiting to be called. The only thoughts going through my mind were.. “This is it; this is the last stop before going home so if anything bad happens now we may not be able to go.” We got up to the window and the visa officer asked how we knew each other, for how long and why we wanted to wait to get married in the USA. He asked about what David thought he’d like to do in the states and how we were going to financially survive. After waiting 40 minutes, paying about $300 and going through a 10 minute interview David’s K1 fiance visa was APPROVED!!!! That was a Monday. We had to wait till Wednesday to pick up the actual visa which was put into his passport. So Monday I called my mom and said “Buy the tickets we’re coming home” and so the tickets were bought for Thursday the 25th at 5am.

We rushed home, called his family and advised them they all better come by Wednesday to say goodbye! His dad came on Tuesday evening and his mom and little sister came on Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday night with his brother, dad, mom and sister we shared our last asado, bbq, before going to the USA. It was a very emotional night. There was a lot of crying, hugging and more crying. The taxi picked us up at 3:00am on Thursday the 25th.

We checked 3 very large bags and each had a good size carryon. We flew from Asuncion to Sao Paulo, Brazil where we had a 5 hour layover. We were exhausted at this point and still had a long ways to go. We boarded our Korean Air flight to Los Angeles and flew for 12 hours and finally arrived in LA at 9:00pm. Our next flight wasn’t until 6:00am so we decided to check our bags though to Portland and get a hotel to try and sleep a little so we wouldn’t be so exhausted by the time we got to Portland. We stayed at the Best Western and went back to the airport at 4:30am. That little bit of sleep was much needed and really helped.

We arrived in Portland at 8am on Friday the 26th where we met my parents!!! It was such a good feeling seeing them waiting for us. The first thing we did was visit Mandy, she was about to have a baby, and meet her son who was born right before I left whom I’ve never got to meet. So that was nice to see them. Then we went to a Mexican lunch and drove over the pass to Redmond. While driving over the pass it we got to see all of the Hood to Coast runners and a group of fires that were just starting on the Warm Springs reservation.

Friday, the day we arrived, Patrick sent me a job announcement for a Credit Union in Seattle; it looked like a perfect fit for me. Over the weekend while adjusting to being home I worked on my resume and cover letter. Monday I applied for the job, Tuesday they got back to me, Wednesday I flew up to Seattle, Thursday I had my interview and Friday while driving home to Redmond with Patrick they called to offer me a job. They not only offered me a job I applied for but offered me a job that fit my skill level a little better. They gave me the weekend plus Labor Day to think about it and told me to call back on Tuesday. Tuesday I accepted the job and would be starting the following Tuesday.

I couldn’t start any sooner because I didn’t have my driver’s license and had to wait till Friday September 9th to take my driver’s test in Eugene. So that gave me a week to plan our wedding. My parents and Felecia and I were busy bees. We were busy making and sending invitations, planning the menu, getting a cake and flowers, buying Felecia’s dress, buying David’s suite, meeting with the seamstress to fix my dress and renting linens. Done…in a week. Who needs a year to plan a wedding?

Sunday September 11th I drove up to Seattle and went to Patrick’s house, where I’d be staying until I found my own place. I came up alone because it’s easy to crash in someone’s basement when you’re one person but two people would have been a bit difficult. Plus my dad had tons of work planned for David. We thought we’d be staying at my parent’s house for at least a few months. Everyone had told me it would take a long time to get a job therefore my dad had planned a lot for us to do. So David stayed with them to paint the house and do other various jobs while I moved up to Seattle. I felt terrible, I remember when I first got to Paraguay and it was hard to adjust but I had the Peace Corps support system to make it easier. He’s all by himself and now I had to leave. The good thing about it was he’d be forced to learn English quicker because he wouldn’t have me to translate and speak Spanish with.

So two weeks later here I am working and having fun with my brother and his friends. My brother has said I’ve domesticated him; we eat dinner every night together we go suite shopping, bed shopping, shopping for fabric for my wedding dress and go out to the bars. We’ve really enjoyed our time together. But I finally found a house so next weekend, October 1st, I’m going back down to Redmond to pick up David and when we get back we’ll move into our new home. I can’t wait to settle, and make ourselves a home.

I think Seattle will be a good place for both of us. There is a lot larger support network for immigrants and I’ve found free English classes at a Latino Center and they also offer help finding employment. Plus there is always something going on here, it will be fun. Oh and plus there are 3 other returned peace corps Paraguay volunteers that live here in Seattle. We’ve already gotten together for a dinner that consisted of typical Paraguayan food!

We’ve only been back about 3 weeks and we are well on our way to starting our new lives here in the USA. We still have a LONG road ahead of us with all of the paperwork and the process of getting a green card then citizenship but we can do it. We are so blessed with all of the goodness that has happened to us in the last few months I feel like now it’s my turn to give back. Oh wait I just did that for two years. We deserve all this goodness that is happening to us!