Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Monday, December 15th, 2014

8 days remaining on my visa.

I got up once during the night, finally waking/getting up at 8:45, having slept very well.

As if we didn’t already have enough problems we woke to another – no electricity.

After breakfast, Teresa called Immigration in Belen and talked to a man (Mario) about how to renew my Pensionado Visa.  Then she gave me the phone so he could explain everything to me in English.

I also talked to Bob and Jhon and Teresa and I have formulated the following plan.

Tomorrow, we will go to Belen and pay a fee (don’t know how much) to delay/renew my visa for another 30 days.  We will also have copies made of the front page and the Colombia entry point stamp in my passport and I will also have my photos taken.  (I also need another 30 days supply of my prostate medicine.)

Next Sunday night about 9pm we will take a bus from the North Terminal of Medellin to Bogota.  It is a 9-10 hour trip (for about $25 each) so we should arrive early the next morning on the north side of Bogota.  We will take a taxi 3-4 blocks to the US Embassy where they should be able to print out a certified version of my Benefits Statement.  Then we will take a taxi 30 minutes west to the Colombian Foreign Ministry where I will pay $60 to submit my request for a visa and another $205 if it is approved - all to be paid in cash.  Then we can explore Bogota a little until we catch another night bus back to Medellin.

The one thing that might screw things up is that the Colombian Foreign Ministry is only open from 7:30am to noon (Monday thru Friday) so if we don’t get that completed in time we will have to stay overnight.

It’s 2:13 in the afternoon and still no electricity.  My iPad is down to 5% battery level but I still have 2-2 ½ hours on my laptop (without Wi-Fi).

The Bears game starts in 6 hours but Teresa knew I was kidding when I told her we will have to go to Parque Lleras to watch the game.

We took a nap from 2:30 to 4pm.

I thought of an important question to ask Teresa.  Does the bus have a restroom?  She replied, “yes, of course”.

At 4:22 the electricity came back on.

I received an email from the US Embassy and they are only open Monday thru Thursday - before 11:30am and after 2pm.

Laura came back at 4:40 all excited because she just met 2 twenty-something gringos down by the highway.

A storm came through about 5pm and the electricity went off again at 5:22, exactly one hour after it had come back on.

The storm had passed 15 minutes later but still no electricity.

At 5:35 Laura answered my phone and then reported that the electricity would come back on soon and at 5:50 it did.

Teresa showed me a bill from Direct TV for 202mil but I told her we probably already paid some of that last week.  She called Elizabeth and I understand one is going to call the other again tomorrow.

We made popcorn and watched the Bears game until it ended at 11:30.  The Bears lost to the New Orleans Saints 31-15.

T-shirt of the day: London’s most favorite rock star.

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