Sunday, June 8, 2014

Jerusalem Friends are Forever

I got a call a few weeks ago from one of my dear friends from BYU Jerusalem Study Abroad (spring '98), Debra Vranes, mentioning that her cute family would be coming to visit Santiago and Easter Island soon and she had a few questions.  Yay!!!!!!!  I was so excited to have another friend come visit!

 When she told me the dates, I looked at Joe and he said, "That's when I'm supposed to be in Cuba."  Yes, Cuba.  We've known about the Cuba trip for a while.  It was a training/meeting that he was supposed to not only attend, but present for 3 hours...he was one of 2 Americans in the group.
So, 4 months ago, he applied for the visa from the United States to allow him entrance into the country.  Every week he checked...every week he they told him he would have to wait and see.  

We decided to schedule dinner with the Carlson's a couple of days BEFORE Joe was supposed to leave, just in case he did indeed get the OK.  
They were on a tight schedule because Easter Island would take up most of the time, so we met for dinner the very night they arrived in Santiago.  The kids were AMAZING after all of their traveling.  We had a wonderful time seeing each other and Joe and Blaire even knew each other from the accounting program at BYU.  It continues to be a small world :)  
Just loved our time together and look what they brought in their carry-on??  
Our kids scored :)  Love visitors.  Thanks so much for spending some time with us, you guys!  

Oh, and by the way?  Sadly and happily, Joe never got the visa.  The USofA did a nice job of ignoring his request for 4 months.  Probably one of his only invites to Cuba...but you never know... 

Doing the 3 hour presentation over a sketchy phone connection was horrendous...His manager mentioned that maybe he should have just done things the "Latin Way" and joined them all anyway.  I found that hysterical.  Guess what Joe's presentation was all about?  Compliance.  

He was thrilled to have that week over with.

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