Monday, December 31, 2007

Helpless in Hanoi

We had a lovely dinner last night with our traveling companions. Stacey, our resident expert because she researched everything before her trip, recommended we try a local culinary school. It did not disappoint! Chris (Stacey’s husband) called ahead to make reservations for our group of nine. The place is hidden away, but only a few blocks from the Somerset Grand. The school is a charitable foundation which provides an opportunity for “disadvantaged youth” to learn a trade. The atmosphere was great and the food was incredible! It was a little expensive by standards here, drinks, dinner and dessert for our group totaled $76 USD, but it was well worth it!

Since it was late and cold, we decided to ride rather than walk so we split into two taxis. My family was in one and everyone else was in the other. (You can see it coming, can’t you?) No automotive excursion is simple for the Booth family! We leave the restaurant well ahead of our friends. I am curious to see streets that I don’t recognize and then I notice our hotel out the back window. “Where are we going?” The explanation was believable, there is more than one Somerset here and we were headed to one of the others. He quickly turns around, we laugh at our luck, and we are soon safely home.

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We woke early this morning (6:00 am) to prepare for our trip to the Embassy and VISA interview. We were to be ready to leave the hotel at 8:30. JB and I got quite a kick out of ourselves, it is as though we’ve never been parents before because we had 2 ½ hours to get out the door and STILL we were late! What’s more, JB packed the diaper bag without a spare outfit and ONE wipe…apparently he was a little distracted by the interview too. Fortunately, our girl kept herself contained for the two hours we were out.

We made it to the building and waited about 20 minutes to be called to the window. JB did a couple of “raise your right hand” thingies, we paid, and we were told the VISA would be ready (maybe) on WEDNESDAY!!! Apparently, all the people authorized to use the VISA stamp are out of the country, so they are trying to find someone by Wednesday. (Quite a different response from the two-hour turnaround we’d been told to expect!) This really screws up our early return. Our last hope was to fly back to HCMC early Wednesday morning to catch a plane back to the states since everything out of Hanoi is booked with post holiday return travelers. Todd, is still working, but thinks that may have been our only shot to get out before the 8th. Things are suddenly just NOT going our way!!!

Our last chance it to call the Embassy back in 20 minutes to see if they’ve found a solution. Cross your fingers!!!!!!

2 comments:

Cindy said...

Leigh,
I am saying some extra prayers for you today! Hope things work out! I know I am ready to go home even though you made the trek to Ha Long Bay very tempting! So, glad we brought our laptop so I could follow your journey!

anne said...

Oh seestor... I SO hope you are able to get that stamp and hit the skies. We are ready for you to come home! Your latest adventure sounds wonderful (actually both do, the meal and the excursion). I can't wait to see all the pictures and hear even more. We'll see you soon... I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it'll be this weekend.

Adoption Timeline

  • 01/01/08 - Home at Last
  • 12/24/07 - G & R
  • 12/18/07 - Travel
  • 12/7/07 - Travel Packet/VISA Authorization
  • 12/06/07 - I-600 Approval
  • 11/16/07 - I-600 Received for Review
  • 09/26/07 - Referral
  • 03/23/07 - Log in Date
  • 02/23/07 - Dossier to Vietnam
  • 02/08/07 - Dossier to Agency
  • 08/08/06 - Switched to Vietnam Program from China Program