So I had to stay in the States for an additional 33 days. And that’s not an easy thing to do on the salary of a Georgian teacher. Thankfully I had the support of family and friends.
My original goal was to work the first part of the summer in Ozurgeti, come to the States for at most 4 weeks, then return to Georgia and work the rest of the summer until school started. I had also left Ozurgeti with plans of moving to Mtskheta, the first capital of Georgia and move in with a new host family.
Well that plan was shot to hell.
The first news was good, a host family and a school was found for me in Mtskheta! The family consisted of a mother and her grown son who also worked in the school. Great!
But then I was asked when I would return to Georgia. (I thought all that was worked out.) I was told that my new family would not be returning to Mtskheta until September, so it would be best if I stayed in the States until then. …Okay.
Closer to September I kept asking for return tickets to Georgia. At the same time, other friends in the program were asking me if I knew anything about the new Visa Laws. I didn’t hear back about either.
Then I received news that my host family would not return to Mtskheta until the 9th of September. Ugh. Okay.
When I still didn’t hear about flight information by the beginning of September, I started to get annoyed. Why are they putting so much unnecessary stress on me by waiting until the last minute? I was about to send an email saying as such, but they emailed me first. That’s when the bottom fell out.
Part of the reason was poor communication. Yeah, let’s just say that. But the second reason was due to not anticipating the changes and ramification of changes to the Visa laws by my organization here in Georgia.
Whatever the reason, I was placed in a difficult position. My options were (there were two other options, but as they don’t apply to me, I will leave them out):
- Return to Georgia on a 90-day visa. With this option, I could return to Georgia on a free visa at the border. But after 90 days, I would have to leave for another 90 days before returning again.
- Apply for a one-year visa. They said I had to do this outside of the borders of Georgia. And it would take up to 30 days to process. I didn’t want to lose the time of not returning to Georgia, but I wanted to stay for longer than 90 days.
I decided to apply for the year-long visa. And delay my return even longer.
It was such a depressing decision. We all wished we had been told sooner so we could have been more proactive. Ugh.
Then after applying and waiting, I learned that in addition to a 50 dollar (non returnable) fee, we also had to provide a slew of documents that were difficult to acquire from the States AND I had to go to Washington DC for an interview!
Too much. Simply too much.
I decided to do the 90-day visa. And plan for other contingencies accordingly.
Booked my flight out of the States for September 15th.
Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
But that’s alright because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
But that’s alright because I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie
I Love The Way You Lie, Eminem ft. Rihanna