blueberries, UFOs + visas, oh my.


Yesterday we spent lots of hours on the road for a quick day trip to the nearest city, which is three hours away. Doctor appointments, a whole lotta shopping and eating tedious amounts of snack food as we made our way from stop to stop in icy-windy gusts of snow. We bought the bed base we needed, odds, ends and some hard to find groceries, like rucula, asparagus, broccoli, cream cheese and get this: frozen blueberries! I couldn't believe my luck! I even drank blueberry juice at lunch. I asked what kind of jugos naturales there were, and he said arandanos. And I said, wait wait wait, are you serious??? I was so excited, he even gave us the phone number of his clandestine blueberry supplier. Sshhhh. But then a look in the frozen fruit section made it all the easier. So, blueberry cheesecake, get ready for me! 


Last night I was talking to my girlfriend in the backseat while I took a driving break. For some reason, there is a part of the road between Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales, where people start talking about UFOs. I've had similar conversations on this stretch of road a few times now, with different people. OVNIs (as those unidentified objects are acroynymed here) are spied frequently in this corner of Patagonia. UFO stories led to ghost stories led to talk about chakras, energy fields and intuition. 

{stars found here}

It was one of those rather fluid and beautiful conversations that every so often we're lucky enough to splash into. And it led to this word: desencajarse. Meaning something akin to: unplugging oneself. Caja = box. Let's, for a moment, think of our bodies as boxes. If we can disbox ourselves from... well, ourselves, I think we can identify this event as something akin to freedom. I found myself loving anew the flexibility of the Spanish language. You can will just about any noun into a verb. 


Which leads me to what I was trying to do today: let myself flow into the universe a little. At some point during my travels, I landed into a state of calm and clarity, which seemed to hold me like water for a good long time. But at some point, my water bubble burst. And calm--I'm sad to admit--has not been my forte lately. I wholly believe that we create the world around us not only by our thoughts, but also by the energy that the whorl of our thoughts creates. However, knowing this doesn't just automatically cleanse the thoughtstream. My stream's been muddy lately, and the mud's been suctioning my boots; I've been getting a little stuck. 

{Simple is Best by Julia Davis}

So now to get unstuck. I actively practiced unsticking myself today while trying to get the last of my Chilean residency figured out. I've been waiting on this process, in some form or another, since November of last year. Today I was just about to get my picture taken, and the drama started. Basically my expired Chilean ID uses my maiden name, my passport contains my current name and the document that legalized our marriage in Chile also used my maiden name. Which would seem obvious (since my name changed after marriage), but c'est la vie.

I was lectured about how women don't change their names here at least three times today. This has been such a struggle that before I even started this round paperwork, I asked several times if there was going to be a problem with the name discrepancy. Each time the person in the foreign office pacified me. But today I was told I would have to restart the process, which would include traveling to Santiago to re-legalize our marriage here. (This took nearly a week of running around to embassies and foreign affairs offices the first time we did it.) Then I would have to restart all the paperwork, and wait another four months or so. I wept in the lawyer's office. Not full-on bawling, but a full-on well in the eyes and a slightly pitched voice. 

{photo from maybeweforgot}

But during all this I tried to remember to breathe and not get angry. I started working on Plan B in my head while the lawyer waved my papers in my face telling me I needed to get my maiden name back. What happened next is the most remarkable part. For nearly two hours this morning, two ladies from two different departments actually called Santiago to discuss my case. This level of work and dedication is  pretty much unheard of here. And after it all, they found out that there is a way for someone like me to change her name in the Chilean system. One piece of paper, where I authorize my name change. Then we attach some document photocopies showing the validity of the change. So simple. I started tearing up again when they told me the problem would be resolved. 

{black-necked swan lovers by serkan}

So, why is this ID so important? It is my ticket to be able to file Serkan's USA immigration papers from Chile. That way we can stay together while we're waiting for the process, and instead of waiting 6-12 months (or more) submitting everything from the U.S., the wait time is supposed to be only 2-4 months. Soon, friends, soon. 

I am so thankful that everything turned out today. It could have been such a different ending if the stars weren't aligned as they are or if I truly blew my cool, even on the inside. (Tears aside, of course.)




23 comments:

Jen said...

I'm glad things smoothed themselves out at the end! What stress!

libys11 said...

such lovely pictures.. this post made me smile! :D

Animated Confessions

Café Bellini said...

I hate dealing with all that sort of paperwork... takes ages to sort anything out and nobody knows anything. And UFOs... I'd love to see some real aliens!

Fashion, Art and other fancies said...

I had blueberries yesterday - they are now in season here. Am glad things are moving along, but I do share your sentiments re. visas and paperwork. Wishing you a nice day;-)

Krystal said...

you're so good at writing and explaining yourself. i hope this gets figured out - there is nothing that has given more more of a headache than figuring out paperwork in a foreign country!
p.s. i love the spanish language also - learning german lately has reinforced that so much! :)

this free bird said...

Oh Heather I just love how expressive you are. I feel your pain and faced such difficulties immigrating from Canada so can really relate to your pain (and tears - almost got deported more than once way back when...)

I'm so happy that things turned around and you got the proper assistance. Funny you brought up the creating your environment/sense of calm.

I currently have a lot of stress and have been flipping out frequently. It's a habit I thought I had overcome and am so disappointed to see it back. Today I was thinking of some sage advice I once received: dealing with life's anxieties requires us to lean into the stress in faith that all will turn out as it should, rather than fighting against it - much like in sailing. once you lean in and accept the pain/stress/situation and don't let it overcome you - you actually overcome it and things begin to smooth out. Hope this makes sense.

Anyway, I am very inspired by your post and feel a tie to you with this immigration stuff. Hang in there. It will all work out.

ps-I have a UFO story for you some day.

xoxo,
carrie

Hollie said...

the more I read your blog, the more I truly enjoy it. I may be a bit envious of your adventures.. but I suppose if I can't pack up and travel the world, at least I can read along & feel slightly better. :]

Abby said...

That sounds so frustrating! But I'm so glad that the problem can be resolved.

eliana said...

i love bluebers..

Faiza said...

there is a quote on my fridge that seems to calm me in stressful moments such as what you went through

"the universe is conspiring in your favour."

i find it so hard not to have faith when i think of that.

Diana Mieczan said...

I love blueberries I am so glad that its the season for them:) I hope everything will work itself out,sweetie:)
I am so in love with your writing...Its amazing how you are with words:)
Love this post:)
Hugs and kisses:)

Indie.Tea said...

What a lovely post, about such lovely things (blueberries, good conversation). I really enjoyed it...both in written and visual content.

shari @ little blue deer said...

I will keep my fingers crossed that things go smoothly for you! I don't have a hard time imagining UFOs in Patagonia, actually, from the way I imagine it, it's the kind of place where the strange could definitely happen! XO!

THE ALTERNATIVE WIFE said...

The blueberries look lovely! And so sorry you've had such a hard time dealing with that. Hopefully it all works out :)

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

Wow my dear, hope the paperwork works out! The name change thing is definitely painful. i'm going to have to chance my passport name soon. Oh all the paperwork!

I love arancandos! Hope the blueberry cheesecake turns out well!

Heather {A Measure Of...} said...

@Krystal, Thank you for your kind words. How is your German coming along?

@Fashion, I love blueberries so much, whenever they're in town, I buy them up, and sprinkle them on my cereal in the mornings. Yum!

@Carrie, Thank you! Flipping out can be a kind of habit... Ugh, I thought I kicked that one too, but it seems to be rearing it's ugly head again. I like the idea of leaning into stress. It's especially helpful in the acceptance process. Accepting the stress is definitely the way to go. So true!!! And, you've piqued my interest... would love to hear your UFO story! xoxo

@Hollie, We all have our adventures, don't we? Every day's filled with a bit of journey. I love reading about it in everybody's blogs! And thank you!

@Faiza, I love that quote, and that it's on your fridge. I used to be a little more surrounded with positive pieces of text like this. You have motivated me to cover our new place in little pieces of light + inspiration like this.

@Diana, Thank you so much, your comment pretty much made my evening! xoxox

@Shari, Patagonia is a pretty crazy place. Never really thought of it being spaceship crazy, but I'm not surprised either!

@Indie, Thank you so much! Can't wait to get cooking with the blueberries!

@Chic, Will definitely do a post on the cheesecake when I get around to making it. I've been a little obsessed lately! Happy name change for you! Hopefully you don't run into any roadblocks!

Jumbleberry Orchard said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by my blog! I love the photos of blueberries - yummmmy :-)

I've had a browse through your blog - we both share a love for breakfast and, as you put it, an obsession 'for the idea of home and what it means'; I loved this.

Have a great day :-)

shopgirl said...

This is such a well written post. You spoke eloquently about your experience and I was touched and moved. I can empathize with your experience as Italy runs pretty much the same in the "slow" lane. In Italy, women keep their maiden name when they get married, so I haven't changed my name at all. I would like to, but I don't think I could deal with the messy bureaucratic process like you did.

p.s. I love the part about stepping outside yourself and really experiencing the moment. I'm glad things turned out well in the end. Good luck to you both!

xo

Jesa said...

Your an amazing writer-loved this!

Really lovely blog :)

cheers, Jesa

Škorčica said...

Thank you, Heather, for visiting my blog! :)

Wow, you really live in a beautiful place - Patagonia! - I wish I could visit it one day...

Lep pozdrav and have a great weekend!

OneCraftyFox said...

Well, I can see why calm has not been in your vocabulary lately, sorry to hear about the ID issues.

And if I had to worry about UFO's, I'd be feeling anything but calm too, lol!!

Hope you have a fantastic weekend :)

danielle and dinosaur toes said...

mmmmm, blueberries! seriously one of my absolute favorite foods, and also one that i could get sick on if given the opportunity because i just can't make myself stop eating them!

Coffee and a Book Chick said...

What a lot of stuff to deal with!! Glad it is sorting itself out. By the way, I adore conversations on UFOs....!

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