Monday, August 04, 2008
My Trip Part #3
The Embassy, Guatemala City, and Pollo Compero
As we headed out of the airport to the Embassy, I saw all the familiar sights. It brought back a flood of emotions and memories from Alex's adoption.
We went straight to the Embassy. We parked back behind the Embassy at one of the businesses that takes Visa/Passport pictures. One of the best things I did was put together a little photo album of pictures from both before and after Alex's surgery (as well as a picture of both Big and Little Alex and a picture of the four of us). I wanted Alex to have pictures to remind him and the family of his adventure, plus I was sort of worried that the officials wouldn't think that I was bringing back the same kid!!
Manuel and Gloria poured over the few pictures in the album - as did Aida. Aida then showed the album to just about anyone that would stand still long enough!!
Manuel, Gloria, Alex, Aida and I then went up to the Embassy. The guard wasn't going to let us in. I have no idea what he was saying to Aida - but she talked her way in. I think she knows just about everyone there. We went straight to one of the windows - no waiting - not sure if we were supposed to - again - Aida knows what she's doing.
It was kind of sad to not see ANY adoptive parents. Now, the embassy isn't doing any pink appointments on Thursday, so I knew I wouldn't, but it was still very sad.
The embassy staff took Alex's passport, as well as a copy that Aida had made. They took the photo album to show people in the office, stamped some stuff, filled out another form, and that was it. (I decided this was the place to hit the bathroom - so I took advantage!!)
We then left the embassy (I think we were inside for a total of 15 minutes) and headed back to where the van was. I say was because it wasn't there anymore. :) Aida called Julio, and the answer must have been sufficient, but I had no idea where they were or why we were waiting.
We ended up waiting for almost 30 minutes. It was a nice day, and we were able to go into the photo business and relax.
What I discovered later was that a mother and her four year old son who Mayan Families is helping had come to the city to go to a specialist. Her son has lost his sight in one eye and they are trying to save the other eye. Julio and the van driver had gone to pick them up from the doctor.
We then all got back in the van and started driving back through the city. We dropped Aida off to get some work done - looked like she was getting copies of someone's birth certificate. We then headed to Aida's house.
It was kind of fun to see other parts of the city. Aida lives in what looks like a middle class part of town. Aida, Manuel, Gloria, Julio and Alex went into Aida's house for about 15 minutes.
By this time it was about 3:00 in the afternoon. I thought we were going to head to Pana at this point, but Julio said that none of them had eaten lunch so they wanted to grab something to eat on their way out of town.
He asked me if Pollo Compero was ok - I was actually very excited. In both of our previous trips, we never ate there. I think Julio was surprised that I was so excited to eat at a fast food chicken place!! :) He kept asking me if I liked chicken, and if chicken was ok.
Lunch was delicious!! And you can't go wrong with wonderful fried chicken, french fries and doughnuts for dessert!!!!!
At this point, the afternoon rains had begun. Manuel and I ran out to the van at one point as Alex was getting hungry.
At this point, the only time I held him was when I finished eating, and Manuel and Gloria were trying to eat with a very squirmy 10 month old. I held him to help them out, but it was still hard to give him back to them.
At this point, I was just on the brink of major tears but I was trying to hold it together. What I really wanted to do was just get to where we were going, go into my room, and cry.
So, we were finally off on the 3 hour drive to Pana.