04 September 2012

Family Doings

Wesley helping Fred check his Facebook
September finds us all shifting in high gear for the coming month, especially as we prepare to come to the States in October for a few months ($875 still to raise!).

Innocent - After a month of leave, Innocent is going back to school for his final term of kindergarten.  He's lucky (or unlucky, depending on one's perspective) to be at a private school, since Kenyan government teachers are on strike.  Since he loves school, he's glad his teachers are not on strike.  He'll also be turning seven this month!

Samuel Wesley - Our little man is coming up on six months old, and it seems like he's decided to skip crawling and try for walking.  He's not very interested in being on his stomach, but he loves to practice standing.  He only needs a little bit of help balancing, then he'll be trying to walk in no time!

Leisha - This weekend I'll be going to Dodoma for a Lahash staff retreat with the Angote family and Will C.  I'm excited to see my co-workers and to eat some pizza and Chinese food.  I also hear there's a new coffee shop in town that I haven't had a chance to check out yet.  I'll also stop in Shinyanga to visit some friends on my way back.  Then I'll be working on packing and ticking off the many items on our to-do list before leaving.

Fred - Fred continues his role of master traveler this month.  He will take Innocent back to school, then the next day take Wesley and me to Mwanza (halfway to Dodoma), and will spend all of next week in Kigali, Rwanda at a training for grief and trauma counseling.  He gets back to Shirati with 14 days to conduct a palliative care training and get all of his various programs to a good point for him to leave.

In other news: We thought we finally had all our immigration documents in proper order for all of our family members.  This wasn't an easy task: Tanzanian residence permits for all three of us, Kenyan and American passports for the baby, Kenyan residence permit for me and American visa for Fred meant dealing with three different governments, each with different rules and different levels of efficiency.  Anyway, we thought we were all legal and finally done with paying for visas and permits and passports, when the Tanzanian government decided to invalidate all residence permits for foreigners.  At first we thought we have to pay the $550 fee for my permit again (after just paying it in April), but a friend in the Tanzanian immigration department assured us that we just have to do the paperwork, as long as it is done before December 31st.  Of course this means we have had to get our resumes, letters of recommendation, passport photos and applications all together and submitted ASAP so that we get the permits before we leave for the States.

Literally days after finding out that we have to reapply for the Tanzanian permits, I was refused entry to Kenya on my spouse's permit.  Apparently the Kenyan government had passed a new immigration law which requires me to have an additional pass in addition to my spouse's permit.  It didn't cost much, but required Fred going up to Nairobi to get it for me.  It also disrupted our plans to go see Fred's grandmother and aunt, so they still haven't had a chance to meet Wesley, which was disappointing to all of us.  We're trying to arrange travel plans so that we can see them on our way to the airport in October.  Ah, Africa!  You don't make anything easy, do you?

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