I already knew our friend's cedula process was denied because her name was different on her marriage certificate due to a previous divorce. I had asked our translator about this (I already had my divorce papers apostilled and translated with me), and she suggested I wait and see if this became an issue - at which time I could show what I had. Good counsel!! (I never give any information unless asked! I keep QUIET and WAIT! Then, I just answer the question specifically or with a simple yes or no!!) Well, after some time of Mr. Cedula Man's silence, he finally began to clip together and add his little piece of special paper to each pile - suggesting to me that our documents had been accepted and we would go on to the next process. YES! He then looked up and smiled at me and commented in Spanish, "Your parents are Puerto Rican!" I smiled back and replied, "Yes, all of my family." Whether this gave me favor or not, I'll never know. All I know is our documents were accepted in spite of the fact my last name on our marriage certificate was different (like my friend's who was denied), and he was okay with this!!! Go figure.....
I was instructed to go to a window nearby and pay $10 ($5 each), receive our "call" numbers, and then go sit in another area and WAIT for our numbers to be called. I did this, and when we sat down in the next area of "waiting," they were on number C62. Our numbers were C88 and C89. So we waited. An Ex-pat couple living in Vilcabamba approached us to ask some questions. Come to find out, they had been waiting 1-1/2 years to get to this place. I couldn't believe anyone would have that long a wait to get their visas and Cedulas processed - but this was fact! It made us feel like our process of the last 4 months was a BREEZE!!!!
Finally, they called our numbers. Bo was taken to one booth and I to another. My first concern was, "Bo can't speak Spanish. How will he do this???" Well, I had to let go. Bo was on his own! Mr. Cedula Man went through his document routine with me, including asking me if I wanted to be an organ donor? "No. I do not!!" He smiled. I immediately wondered, "Is Bo even understanding this rant?" Probably not! (Bo is now an organ donor!!!) Mr. Cedula Man finally finishes up with me and then proceeds to tell me to remove my ear bling, my eye glasses, and to put my hair away from my face and forehead and tuck it behind my ears (really???). When he takes the photo and I see it, I cringe. It's the picture of an FBI most-wanted woman criminal. I gasp. I tell him, "Muy feo!!!" He laughs. Not funny! Why in the world would they want to make me look like such a ghastly horrible sight???
He proceeds to tell me to return in two days to pick up my Cedula. At this time, Bo is also finished. He tells me that he's to come back in three days. I question him. He also tells me that they have put my name down in his Cedula info as my previous married name. No!!! I quickly return to Mr. Cedula Man who processed Bo's papers, boldly interrupt the person he is now helping and say, "Excuse me, but when does my husband pick up his Cedula?" He replies, "Two days!" I then add, "My name is Longood, not _________?" He assures me that they always use the name that the spouse entered into the marriage with which is on the marriage certificate. I don't buy this at all, but I decide not to question it any further. Why bother, I tell myself? They will do what they want anyway. We both walk away!
On Thursday, we will return and pick up our final Cedula ID cards. It's over! We did it! No more paperwork! When we left the Cedula office, we headed for the Whitehorse Cafe for a celebratory breakfast and then to Cafe De Nucallacta for more delicious ice-cold frappuccinos and toasting! It is such a relief - a huge weight off our shoulders knowing that this is the final and last step that we have been waiting for. There are so many ex-pats who are just beginning their visa process - many who will have unhappy or difficult stories, and some who will breeze right through it. Eventually, most will have their story of victory and will finally walk away with their Cedulas. Today, after many challenges in our 5 months here, we finally have our long-waited-for victory. It Is Finally Finished!!!!
CELEBRATING OUR CEDULA VICTORY AT CAFE DE NUCALLACTA!!
One thing that make me happy about living in Ecuador - Seeing beautiful children playing!
|Three beautiful children play along the San Francisco Markets' streets, while their parents sell their wares. Ecuadorian children are so beautiful - and they find simple ways to entertain themselves while their vendor parents work!|