21 August 2010
FM3 Renewal and a Trip
Tuesday we went to the Mexico Immigration Office here in
Guadalajara. You may recall last year that while we were
trying to get our FM3 visas, we sometimes would arrive
when they told us to and then discover that our papers
were not ready. This year, we can check the status of
our FM3 visas online, so that we don't go there until
they are actually ready for us. The status online,
however, only told us to present ourselves at the
Office, and this after they had our applications for
only three days.
We were both nervous that something else might be
required before we can receive our FM3s, another paper,
more proof of something, or some such item. You may
recall that last year, it took us no less than twelve
visits over nearly two months' time to get everything
submitted and to receive our visas. We read online
Monday that they wanted us both to appear after they'd
had our paperwork for only three days. We wondered what
new hoop we'd have to maneuver this time.
We were pleasantly surprised to discover they had our
new FM3 visas ready! However, that wasn't the end of it.
*sigh* Andrew received his FM3 with no problems. Sign
here, here and here. Fingerprint here, here, here, and
here. Then when the lady went to put my FM3 together,
their computer system exploded. Literally. There was a
loud explosion noise, and the computer system died.
Rats. If we'd been just one minute earlier, I'd have
received my FM3.
We did a couple of other things around town and returned
to the Immigration Office after each one. Finally, just
before closing time, the computer system was working.
So, we are both now proud "owners" of FM3 visas. It took
only three days for them to complete everything for us.
What a HUGE change from last year.
When I first looked at the expiration date on my new
FM3, I thought it expired in April. Since my passport
expires in March, I thought maybe they wanted me to
prove to them in April that I had renewed it. But I
forgot that many countries, including Mexico, writes
their dates as day first, month second, and then year,
rather than month first like in the USA. So the
expiration date of 04/09/2011 wasn't April 9th, but
rather September 4th. So we have another full year
before we have to renew again. And the new renewal
process is so much easier than previously that we don't
even mind, other than $2102 fee. (about $168 USD)
Walking Mela one evening in the park, I was surprised to
see flitting flashes of light. Fireflies! I'd never seen
one. They are fun to watch. When I pointed it out to
Andrew, he said, "Oh, yeah, they're everywhere." But I'd
never seen one until now.
For the past three days, men have been working on
removing branches from the huge tree under which our van
is parked. I was not looking forward to moving the van,
but Andrew and I, with Larry's advice, decided it was
not necessary to move the van. I was nervous, as there
are some very large limbs up there. But they dropped
them all piece by piece with no damage to the van,
swinging the branches out of the way using as many as
three ropes on a single branch. However, late the night
after their second day, a different branch fell on the
van roof and shattered a vent cover. The next day the
tree cutter said he'd seen that one but thought it was
safe. I wonder how many others he saw and thought were
Anyway, the big limbs that were worrying us so many
months are now gone, and the only damage to our place is
two fairly small semi circles of splintered concrete on
the sides of our sidewalk where they dropped a fairly
large piece before they took precautions by placing
other limbs on the sidewalk as protection. The sidewalk
should be simple to repair.
We had to move the shed to keep it safe, as the biggest
limb was immediately above it. There was no way they
could have avoided the shed. So, my tub is on top of the
van, and I've been unable to soak for more than a week.
Yes, though it took them only a few hours' work spread
out over three afternoons, we had originally been told
they'd be here on Thursday of last week, then Friday,
then Saturday afternoon. Then we didn't hear anything at
all until they simply showed up on Wednesday. But all is
well now, and I can move my tub back into the shed
Andrew has acquired more private clients. Now he has
full evenings with private clients, almost three hours
each night, from Monday through Thursday. He told Mundo
Bilingue yesterday that he'd no longer be able to work
afternoons and evenings for them, and they were fine
with him teaching morning classes henceforth.
Monday I finally get to see the specialist for my
shoulder. Our pastor has volunteered to translate for
us, just to be sure that everyone understands
everything. Andrew speaks very good Spanish now, and he
improves all the time, but we're sure the doctor will
have some technical questions and comments. Please pray
the doctor finds a solution to the pain and muscle
We are heading north Wednesday for a couple weeks in the
USA. It will be my first trip north since arriving in
Mexico last year in April, and Andrew's first trip back
to California. Andrew will get to meet my brother Rich.
I guess he'll never get to meet my mom until Heaven. My
sister Deb will be up at her new place in Washington, so
we'll miss her this trip. Then we'll get to see friends
up in the Fresno and Coarsegold area. It will be nice to
catch up with them.
On our return route, we'll visit Las Vegas for a day and
then get to see some of Arizona. We'd planned to tour a
bit of Arizona during our trip south last year, but with
the van brakes as bad as they were, we decided to not
risk it. For this trip, we'll have only the car. We'll
visit Sedona and the Red Rock area and also make a drive
east of Flagstaff to see the meteor crater. Of course,
since we are heading that far east, we'll also get to
see a bit of the Painted Desert.
All in all, it should be a nice trip. We'll see some
family (just Rich) and many friends, and we'll also get
to see some new area. And I'll get to show Andrew some
of the fun things in Vegas, though neither of us gamble.
5 August 2010
Read next log 7 October 2010
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