Friday, March 28, 2008

Happy Reunion on Hold

I had to cancel our flights to NY, call everyone back east and tell them the bad news, and reschedule many appointments here in California. We still don't know when (or if) Andre will get the visa. It's so frustrating because he's done nothing wrong and we gave them everything they wanted.

The U.S. consul asked Andre if he ever lost a passport. He said no. The consul pointed out that the new passport says it replaces passport #RD 1576534, but his expired passport is #RD 1608238. He applied for his new passport last January in Santo Domingo. The Haitian embassy sends them to the U.S. to be made. We had hoped to visit Haiti together in March 2007, but his passport didn't arrive in time. Later, they informed him that FedEx lost 900 passports, but eventually he received his replacement and we were able to travel abroad.

Andre forgot about this incident when he said he'd never lost a passport. Now he's worried they'll think he was lying. But he isn't the one who lost his passport. I'm wondered if he's a victim of identity theft. Luckily, I made sure that every hotel receipt had both our names on them, so we can prove where we've been since his passport was lost (or stolen). Maybe someone posing as Andre Cherer got deported from the U.S. We don't know.

Yesterday, Andre went to the Haitian embassy and asked for an explanation. That's when he was reminded of the FedEx fiasco. He requested a letter to the U.S. Consulate explaining that it wasn't his fault. The letter they gave him is kind of vague and definitely doesn't take responsibility for anything, but maybe it'll help our case. He dropped it off this morning at the U.S. Consulate and gave them his case number. He was hoping the consul would call him today, but he didn't. Now we have to wait until Monday to hear anything.

Both Andre and I are bummed about this delay, but at least it hasn't cost me too much. I paid $40 to cancel my round-trip flight to NY, but his ticket has no penalty for changes. I picked April 11-21 in NY for him, but I won't book a flight for myself until I know he has the visa. I have several things planned for late April here in Santa Cruz which I'd prefer not to miss, like hosting my writers' group and also a sing-along/potluck at my house. My tenants will be moving out in a week or so. I'm anxious to be home again and start fixing it up for Andre's arrival.

Wednesday, April 2, is my 51st birthday, which I won't be celebrating with Andre in New York City at the Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Building) as I had hoped. I'm not sure what I'll be doing. I have an invite to stay with my friend Linda in Berkeley. We just celebrated her 70th birthday here in Santa Cruz, so maybe that would be appropriate. I met Linda when she sublet our house while Maya and I were in Asia in 2005. Linda and I were planning a Passover seder at my house on April 20, but now I'm not sure what's happening.

Poor Andre sounded pretty depressed when I spoke to him tonight. I can't say I'm feeling much better, but at least I'm not in the Third World, in the dark, with nothing to do. I also think he's tired from having to get up so early to go to the consulates. I admire him for being so diligent with all this. I'm going to see if there's anything I can do from here.

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