Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Update

Generally speaking, China is one day ahead of us. It's actually 16 hours (maybe it's 15, daylight savings time really throws me), but basically it's a day. If that's confusing, take a look at the clock on my sidebar. So, I generally use US time when I tell you what Peter's up to. So, if you're a stickler for reality, add a day...for example, his interview on Monday morning, November 10th takes place on the afternoon of Sunday the 9th, US time. People are always complaining how we are behind China, in school performance, economic growth (don't get me started on what the actual truth of that is) but they're even ahead of us in TIME.

So, on Sunday Peter packed up about ten pounds of photos, forms, and paperwork, and got on a bus to take a train that would get on a boat to go to Guangzhou. He left around 4pm, got a sleeper on the train, and woke up in Guangzhou. Sleeper berths in China are not too expensive, and are pretty comfortable. He used to buy seats, but I, the princess, made him take a sleeper last year and he hasn't gone back since. I converted him, and I'm proud of it. A friend of a friend there is loaning him an apartment for the 7-10 days he'll be there. That has been such a blessing because we're saving about 800 RMB on a hotel room, and he doesn't have to sleep on someone's couch.

He got settled in Monday, and on Tuesday afternoon he'll be going to the hospital for his required medical check. I don't know exactly what they'll be checking, but as long as he doesn't have any major diseases he should pass. It takes three days for those results to come back, and then he'll be all set for his interview on Sunday at the US consulate. If (please!) they say yes, he has to wait in Guangzhou for three days for the to issue his visa. Even if they say yes in his interview, they could change their minds during the three day waiting period. That's pretty unlikely, it usually only happens if there's a problem with his information. But we won't really relax until he gets that thing in his hand!

Once he's got the visa, he's free to come to the US whenever he likes. He got out of going back to work for a last week (PTL) but he'll have to return to Haikou, pack up his stuff, say goodbyes, and then he'll travel home to Xi'an. He'll spend about a week there with his family, and then if all goes well he should arrive in the US sometime Thanksgiving week.

So that's the thing. Please keep his interview in your prayers. Our current economic downturn, which has affected so many things, has made getting a visa harder. Hopefully our finances are enough. The other possibilty is that at his interview they will tell him they need more time to review his case. Then he'll have to return to Haikou and wait for them to send him a notice of their decision, which could take up to two months. That's what we really don't want. We've already waited so long. I want him here for the holidays. I just want him here! So please lift us up.

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