segunda-feira, abril 12, 2004

Today was a the day of endless phone calls to no avail. I am aware, I think, of what documents I need to get married in Brasil. I am trying to do my best to secure them before I leave (this is kind of a necessity), however from what I was told by others, they would be easy to get. I think the judgment of easy is purely dependent on having done it. I spent at least 2 hours on the phone today, trying to call the RIGHT numbers to find the documents that I needed. One of them, at this point, I am not even sure actually exists.

I did manage to secure reservations for the two animal spaces in cargo on my Varig flight, which was a relief. They only charge you for the extra weight, not even for the extra space taken up by the cages, so I am a little less poor than I thought I would be. It seems rather silly that I can reserve these spaces now with a non-American company that isn't even based in this country, but I can't do jack for the Continental flight until 10 days before when I get the second health certificate.

For the cats to get there little furry butts down there on the same flight as me, I must take them to the vet, get their health checked out, get an official health certificate from the vet($30), take that to the USDA APHIS Vet people here, have them look at it and approve it($40), then take that, some paperwork I don't' know exists yet, and $40 and mail it to the Brasilian Consulate in Chicago to get it all approved. This must be done 30 days or less previous to my flight. This then gets mailed back to me and I have 30 days from the issuing of the consulate to get them out of the country and through customs in Brasil. Then, again, 10 days or less before my flight, I have to take the cats to the vet AGAIN and have them issue ANOTHER health certificate just to get them on the plane with Continental. Geez, what a freakin' hassle. Worth it however, to have my fuzzies by my side in Brasil.

Getting my police record, or rather statement that I don't have one, has proven to be a process of trial and error. I called one police department, who told me to call another one, who told me they did not issue it and I had to come be finger printed at 3pm on a Tuesday or a Thursday and then take a bunch of paperwork (and probably some $$$ too) and mail that to the INS. Some 3 weeks later (if I'm lucky) they might return a statement saying I don't have a police record. I will most likely be in Brasil by the time this happens, so hopefully they have international mailing...

I was also previously informed that I need a statement saying I am NOT married. This is a type of certificate that no one I know has heard of before and does not know how to go about getting. So I called the city clerks office, who directed me to call the county clerks office, who informed me that they can issue a statement and notarize it saying that I never applied for a marriage license in this county. But that only applies to this county. So if I am to have a statement showing I am not married in the continental US, it seems I need to apply for one in each county of each state, which is ridiculous. There must be either some other document, or the person who thinks I need it is on crack.

At least I know once I am in the country, I will be able to move about freely. But actually getting there is in no way set in stone...

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