Thursday, June 9, 2011

Permis de Sejour- Permanent Haitian Residence

Permis De Sejour Part 1

Last Friday Rony came up to our apartment asking for money for various things, as he always does.  He began talking about our Permis de Sejour.  I only half listened because I was tired and didn't feel like trying to translate, and plus I figured he was just going to tell me how Ivange went to pick it up, and surprisingly it wasn't done.  But when he finished talking he gave me a weird look that said "why aren't you happier about this."  He then turned to walk away and I had to ask myself, "did he just say that our card was finished and he was on his way to pick it up?"  But of course, he was on his way down the stairs, and I didn't want to admit that I wasn't paying attention, so I let it go.

Later that day I asked Nick if Rony told him that it was finished and he said it was.  I was absolutely blown away.  They told us it would be done in 3 days, and it was actually done when they said it would be.  I don't think that has ever happened to us before in Haiti and I just couldn't wrap my head around the fact that something was actually finished in the time period they said it would be.

So after 7 months of trying, Nick and I are now officially Permanent Haitian Residents!

But the story gets even better! Kind of!

So Rony picked up our Cards from the airport Friday evening on his way home from work and was supposed to bring them to us when he came to work on Monday.  No big deal right, we aren't going to need them.  Well turns out I needed mine because I ended up booking flights Sunday to come back to the States on Monday.  We called Rony and asked him to met us at the airport in the morning with my Permis De Sejour so that I could take it with me.

As Nick and I are standing in line to go through security, Nick remembers that we haven't paid for my ticket to go from Cap to Port and back and needed to bring money to do so.  Whoops!  I forget that things aren't paid for with visa's here and the thought never crossed my mind.  We frantically began calling everyone we know to see if they can ask one of the yard guys to come on a moto with some cash for us to pay for it.  After several failed calls, we had someone on the way to bring us the money, but the problem was they wouldn't make it before my flight left and I had to get on it to make my connecting flights.

We tried to explain to the two ladies at the counter, in Creole of course, that we forgot money, but it was on the way and that Nick wouldn't leave until our friend got there with it, but that I really needed to get on the flight so that I could get back.  Each time we explained it they would say ok and they seemed to be alright with the situation, but they wouldn't give me the ticket.  It wasn't bad Creole, they understood us, but just probably didn't know what to do since they had never been in this situation before.   I'm sure they were thinking, "Dumb Foreigners, who forgets cash?"

Finally about two minutes before the plane was supposed to leave (thats all in perspective since the pilots hadn't shown up yet either) Rony finally showed up with my Permis de Sejour card.  Had we had the money and the plane actually left on time, we would have missed him and I wouldn't have gotten the card.  Anyways he ended up having some money on him and I spared a little bit of the cash I had taken with me, and they finally accepted that and wrote my tickets as long as Nick stayed until the rest came.

So I fly to Port au Prince, and as I'm going through customs, the lady asked me if I had my green card.  With a giant smile on my face I said...

"No, but I have my Permis de Sejour!!"

I couldn't believe it, a few minutes after I received it, I was already using it!  How cool.

The lady was less than amused, simply stamped my passport and handed both back to me.  I definitely thought it was great, but as my grandma would say, "maybe I'm just simple!"

My Mom about cried when I showed her my card.  Nick and I are both very excited to finally be Permanent Haitian Residents and to have this ordeal behind us, for a few months until we go to renew it that is!  TIH

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