Thursday, 7 February 2008

Will We Make It???

We were due to leave for France in ten days.
We had bought warm clothes and started to pack our cases.
We had our airline tickets and our passports.

We don't have our visas.

...thank you for your email, your visas have not been issued and there is no guarantee that you will have a reply for the 17/02.
So read the email from "Courrier Consulat" - The visa section of the Consulat général de France à Sydney.

Sending the applications away on the 16th of November I was happy that I had got all the paper work done in plenty of time - three months before our departure date. And there was a LOT of paper work. Passports, birth certificates, bank statements, airline tickets, travel insurance, immunisation certificates, police clearances, copies of our hosts' passports, copies of our drivers' licences, a letter explaining our exchange agreement, a letter from our bank manager, school enrolments for the children. All in triplicate. All placed in the correct order.

Now I am told "...your completed application did not allow for the minimum time of visa processing (2 months from a complete application). These type of visas are delivered from France and at this stage we still don't know if they will be issued.

I feel like dieing. Or at least running away. What will I tell the children? We don't have visas, we can't go to France, Mummy didn't do it right?

AND our going away party is TOMORROW!!
We have killed a cow and a few sheep for a barbecue and invited most of the district as well as friends and family from further afield to come and say "Bon Voyage" at a party at our place. Some people are going to camp the night, and we'll have entertainment for the children. Yesterday I did a big shop in Bunbury for fresh fruit and vegetables, and I have ordered 8 litres of icecream for the kids.


The Golf Club at Johnson Ranch said...

Hi there Telfers: I'm Dave, husband of Stasha, who writes the blog "La Vie Echangee". Regarding your visas, my advice to you is not to worry, just keep making your plans to come to France and your visas will come before you leave. You still have a week. They'll most likely come. And if they don't, who cares? You're allowed to be in France for three months without a visa, and no one will give you a hard time when you arrive if you don't have them. You're not breaking any laws by being here, and they won't check to see if you have a return flight. The "Doanes" only look at your passports. You have nothing to worry about, so I hope you won't concern yourself with it. You did everything you could do and now they need to do their job.

Are you flying into Nice airport, or Geneva? If you're flying into Nice, let me know if there's anything I can do to help you. We live 25 mins from the airport and right now it's "vacance" in France, so we're not busy.

The Golf Club at Johnson Ranch said...

I should add one more piece of advice: Getting ready to leave is incredibly, unbelievably stressful. The day before we left for France I literally felt sick the whole day: Why am I doing this to my family? I don't even speak French. I'm not ready to go, my bags aren't packed. How am I going to do without this thing/that thing that I have to leave in Phoenix? I'd really rather just not leave everyone and my beautiful house. What if something goes wrong and we can't get to where we need to go? It's a long way from home. That very last day in the US, if I'd had the choice to just stay I probably would have canceled everything.

You're probably going to feel all of those things, and might even convince yourself that they're legitimate concerns. But they're not. You made the right decision to go to France and I'm incredibly excited for you and your upcoming experience.

So when you go through things before you leave, remember that you made the right decision and it's time to do it. Just go with it. We're rooting for you!