Thursday, December 26, 2013

No Immigration Office Story

Our three month visa has expired, and yet, no story about the immigration office. No, we aren't in the country illegally. So what happened?

Well, Monday we found out if we get the extension in Honduras, we will not be allowed to leave the country via El Salvador, Nicaragua, or Guatemala. Considering those are the only ways to drive out of Honduras come March, that posed a slight problem. Combine that with the need to take care of some paperwork back in the States, and Thursday, instead of sleeping in and going to the immigration office after service, we got up at 4 am and caught a bus to the airport. So.... Hello California!

Didn't expect that, did you? Us neither.

So...the whole story. Thursday we had a taxi set up to come get us at 430, so we got up at 4. Literally 3 minutes after the alarm went off, the power went out to the city. Thank goodness it wasn't any earlier, we wouldn't have gotten up! Driving around La Ceiba at that time of the morning was really creepy. So we get to the bus station and take the three hour bus ride to San Pedro, from there we have a layover at the bus station, then take another bus to the airport. Once at the airport we have to go through the confusing process of leaving. This requires checking in for our flight, then going to the bank kiosk and paying an exit fee, realizing the yellow paper that we have to keep in our passport to leave the country has mysteriously disappeared since we checked in, walking around the airport to find it, going back to the check in desk only to find out they took it because Immigration comes by at the end of the day to collect all of them, then going through "Migration" which consisted of one desk to verify....IDK, he only looked at the passport for a minute, then another desk to verify we paid the exit fee, then Security, and finally...the Duty Free Shop! Seriously, that place is like Disneyland. Not just because of the Disney products either.

One nice long flight at the very back of the plane later, we land in Houston. In Houston, we have to go through Customs. Then we pick up our bag, walk a little ways, drop off the bag to be checked into out connecting flight, and then- although we have not walked past a single store in Houston or gone out of the airport at any time since we went through Migration in Honduras- we have to go through Security again. Seriously folks? When exactly was I going to pick up that illicit bottle of water?

Next stop, LAX! Then a car ride home, and our 19 hour trip is finished. We got home shortly before the family and they didn't know we were coming. So we hid in the bedroom and had the kids come in with their eyes closed, Surprise! Of course, they might be a little confused now, since we told them we wouldn't see them for a very long time, and it was only 3 months.

We got to make a surprise visit to Norco to see the RBC friends. That was really nice, plus we were able to see the progress on the construction. Omigoodness, it looks amazing! Pictures!

We got there just in time for lunch, which means we got to hear the afternoon worship program. The brother who was interviewed had such an amazing story. He worked on assembly halls, went to the DR, Bethel, and then ended up in Mozambique. He lives in a tent and builds Halls. Such a great example!

Anyway, time to go home. Genius us, we booked our flight back into Honduras for the 25th. We all know what day that was, right? What does that mean? Apparently, the buses don't run to Ceiba that day. Oops, how will we get home? Short answer, we won't. Yay spending the night in San Pedro Sula! The important thing is we found an amazing mall, had what was possibly the best tacos of our lives, and made it out of the city alive. I'll let you decide what was the bigger accomplishment.

As we were riding the bus home today, it was beautiful out and the sun was shining, there was no rain- just for us, I'm sure- and I was so glad we live here. That said, I think I hear my bed calling my name.

So maybe you'll get an immigration story another time.

1 comment:

  1. Worked for us. Glad to see you again even if was just a week. Well worth the happy faces the kids had when they opened their eyes and saw you. Needed that on video!