Well, we received notice on Monday, February 4th that Mex’s (what I’ll call my husband in blog world) first interview as part of the Permanent Resident process at the US Consulate in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, will be on Tuesday, March 4th at 7:45 am. We had planned on leaving about eight days in advance to take a leisurely drive south, visit friends near Omaha, see a few things in New Mexico and get to El Paso two days before crossing the border to get our bearings before crossing. However, we discovered he must have a medical exam in Mexico two days before his interview. Since they don’t do exams on the weekend, we actually have to cross into Mexico on Thursday the 28th of February so he can go stand in line at the doctor’s office starting at 5:30am. They do NOT take appointments so he basically has to go and hope he gets in sometime from 6am to 11am. Unfortunately, due to the short notice we really can’t leave any sooner than the 24th or 25th so we will be busting our butts to drive the 1500 miles from Minneapolis to El Paso in about two days, leaving us far from refreshed when we arrive.
The good thing is, I think my parents are going to drive with us down to El Paso and then hop over to Phoenix for the weekend to visit some of my mom’s aunts and uncles. They may stay in the area until Mex’s interview on March 4th when he will find out the date of his 2nd interview (the one where they give a final decision to grant his “permanent” spouse green card or not and forgive his current status). The form is an I-601 Waiver of Ground of Inadmissibility. I am very excited because I found out that if they do grant it, he will qualify for US citizenship within only three years. If they don’t grant it he will have to stay with his family in Mexico while we try again (which could take anywhere from six to 18 months.) Only positive thoughts for our journey though.
Between his first and second interviews we hope to take a train ride through Copper Canyon. I had never heard of this gem before we started planning our trip. Spanning northern Mexico’s Chihuahua and Sonora states, it is three times the size of the much more famous US Grand Canyon. It sounds very beautiful and is one of the “1000 Places to See Before You Die.” check! I love lists and checking things off of them, so this book by Patricia Schultz has become my fun (if somewhat obsessive) list of travel spots to hit over the next 60 years. It also has made for a little bit of competition between friends.
After his second interview we will drive 1400 miles down to his town of Tetelilla, Morelos, Mexico. It is a trip we could normally make in two days but all the travel guides warn against driving at night because there are still bandits and animals wandering the highways in some areas and cars don’t always drive with headlights on. Why? I have no idea but I’m not interested in finding out! We have a few places we want to stop on the way down like Zacatecas check! and San Miguel de Allende check! and see the sights of the country. Then we will spend about two weeks with his family before driving back.
In total, we plan on being gone for about six to eight weeks depending on the length of time between his first and second interviews. It should be an exciting adventure but it is very stressful to pack and prepare for that long of a trip, especially with such short notice. We did buy some clothes this weekend and hope to still go shopping today and buy all the toiletries we need and some gifts for his family. However, yesterday I came down with some sickness and have a fever and terrible pain all over my body and can’t breath deeply. Well-timed “death sickness,” a nickname given by college friends to my annual mega cold. Oh well. Maybe a cold will help me sleep better over the next two weeks.
Well, that’s about it for today. I just wanted to post an update about what is happening since when I send out the link to this blog many people will have no idea what’s going on because I had no time to notify them. I will be posting regularly to this blog and including photos during our trip so please check back if you are interested. I will also be available to check my email almost daily so that will be a great way to communicate with me. Well, adiós for now!