Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The visas have arrived!


     Several of you have asked if I (Anita) will also be blogging about the trip.  The answer is yes... Don and I will be co-blogging from this website and hopefully, our marriage will survive it.   

     We're prepping for a two month trip to the other side of the world - China, Indonesia and Australia.  Until you are in the middle of it, you don't realize how much work it takes to get there!

     I spent several mornings talking to the Indonesian consulate  and Chinese visa service and locating the documents we needed.  Because we’re going to be in Bali for six weeks, we had to apply for a social-cultural visa for Indonesia, which meant we had to send in a thick stack of paperwork - including a letter of invitation from a sponsor in Indonesia, that person’s identification papers, our travel itinerary, a copy of our bank statement, a U.S. letter of employment, and our U.S. passports.  Mailing off our two passports to the Indonesian consulate in NY just weeks prior to a trip was a little anxiety producing - and we were going to have to do it twice!  You can’t do it too far in advance because you have to use the visa within 90 days.  Thankfully, the Indonesian visas arrived back within a couple of weeks, stamped neatly inside our passports.  The next day, I  loaded a second mailing envelope with another stack of papers and, again, our passports,  bound for the Chinese consulate in Washington, DC.    And today, the wonderful FedEx delivery person showed up at the front door with our passports and Chinese visas.
       Thanks be to God that Australia has entered the digital age.  For an Australian visa, we just had to log onto the Australian government website, fill out a form with our passport information, give them our travel dates and our credit card number and Boom!  We have  electronic Australian visas.   

Visas done...  and then there were the shots!

      We spent an afternoon at the MUSC travel clinic and found out again that the medical staff there really know their stuff.  We had used the clinic before we traveled to South Africa in November and were very impressed with their knowledge and helpfulness. So, there we were again, getting immunized against everything from typhoid fever to hepatitis.   Don hates getting shots so he was relieved to find that the typhoid vaccine is an oral medication that you take over a period of days.  We also were given prescriptions for anti-diarrheal medication and assured that we would definitely need it.  The travel clinic gave us recommendations for mosquito repellent,  a list of places where the water is not safe for wimpy American stomachs (pretty much everywhere we are going!) and other travel recommendations.

Visas done.

Immunizations done.

Packing.... well, that's next.


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