Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Waiting for a visa

On 21 July 2009 I accepted a position as a Classroom Teacher at NurOrda International School in Astana, Kazakhstan. My contract said I was to start work on 20 August 2009. I have spent most of my time since then waiting for my invitation letter, at which point I can apply for a visa, at which point I can finally go to Kazakhstan.

I have watched the neighborhood children return to school. I have moved out of my apartment and back in with my parents. I have homeschooled my daughter while the NurOrda children returned to school. I have driven my brother to the airport so he could fly to Europe--he had originally considered visiting me in Astana from Europe. Aren't we glad he didn't buy a ticket?

And so I am waiting. As I wait, I keep thinking of all sorts of things I might need or questions I might have. The stuff I want to take to Astana grows. The money I have left in my bank account shrinks.

And maybe I will have to get myself (and my daughter, who I did not put in school and am greatly regretting that decision!) to Washington, DC, to "pick up" the visa or simply to drop off the visa application. Who knows? The funny thing is, I live 500 miles away from DC and yet driving seems to be just as fast as flying or taking the train. Considering the embassy is only open in the mornings, so once I get the reference number for the invitation letter, it will be at least one full business day before I get to DC, whichever transport I take. The school said just be as quick as I can, they will reimburse all costs. But should I really fly and stay in a hotel when that might save me 0 days, however they will add headache?

I am excited about the school. I am excited about teaching. I am excited about hearing the Russian language spoken aloud on a daily basis. I am excited about the experiences my daughter will have. I am apprehensive about the snow, the dark winters, and my daughter's finding friends.

We shall see...

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