An hour before we were to leave for Illinois, I decided to checked to make sure we had all the paperwork needed. Some how I had overlooked that we would need airfare before we got the visas. The Ecuadorian government wants to be sure that we don't over stay our welcome. It was Saturday and I knew there was no way that we would be able to get good airfare and a travel agency would be closed.
I had spoken with someone from a mission travel agency several months ago but felt that I would be able to get airfare at a lower price on my own so I didn't get back to them. I called them, they were open until 12:00 it was 11:00 and they were able to get us airfare at a lower price and within a half hour.
On our way to get our visas in Chicago, we stopped and visited with our former church in Galesburg and spent some time with our son and his family. All went smoothly at the Ecuadorian Consulate. We had been told it could take several hours to several days to get them. After handing the paperwork to the office person, he said to come back in an hour. We were surprised to find that the fee was lower than we were told and upon looking at the visa it said two years. We thought we were only able to get a one year visa. They didn't even ask if we had return airfare back home. It was like a blue light special at the consulate. I think the people watching were wondering why the gringa had tears in her eyes.
Sitting in the waiting area were several families all speaking Spanish and looking at the gringos. I felt so out of place. I thought to myself, next year I will be able to understand a little of what they are saying. The experience gave me more compassion for people I encounter who don't speak English.
Praise God Heidi has a home. We have been able to purchase our medical insurance and the airfare. We will be getting the last of our shots next week. Pray that the house rents soon and that we are able to get last minute things done