We got an email Monday (Jan 16) saying to please be in our office on Friday (Jan20) at 10:30 AM for your appointment to get our cedulas. Tuesday as I am coming back from the store there was a very weird noise coming from underneath the car. Once I got home I looked and the rear u-joint was almost completely gone. We are leaving Thursday? Wednesday I got a ride to Limon to the parts place from our neighbor. Luckily they had the right u-joint (for only $82, in the states it’s $24). So I get back home around 11Am and start tearing the driveshaft off the rear-end. I was able to replace it by 12:30PM, took it for a test drive to make sure it worked, greased everything up and was ready for our trip. We avoided the bus once again.
We left Puerto on Thursday morning heading to San Jose for our appointment with Immigration Friday morning. The sun was shinning and a very pleasant day. Once we got to Guapalis it started to rain. It rained on us the whole way up and over the pass into San Jose. Once we got to San Jose it was cold and windy! Cold by our standards anyway.
Typical traffic on any given day of the week traveling to San Jose.
Coming down the hill, the trucks go about 10 miles an hour, there are no runaway ramps on this road so when the can’t stop you can only imagine what happens.
The is the gate that greets all the foreigners coming to seek asylum. Yes it does look a bit foreboding but once inside it’s just like any other governmental maze of windows, lines and people waiting, waiting and waiting.
Our helper in this process was Raul. Raul seemed to know everyone at the office and spared nothing to greet each and everyone as they passed by. He explained that once we get in line we will go in and sit until they call our names followed by a number. The number corresponds to a computer station were you sit, answer questions, finger prints and picture taken. Then they either give you a slip of paper with your information on it (which means you will have to either get your cedula in the mail or come back to this office and pick it up). If you are lucky enough they will they you to go back out into the room and wait (which means they will be giving you the cedula today, no waiting).
The line going into this section of the office.
Here we can see who got lucky and who did not!!! I will be picking mine up at the post office sometime this week I hope! So it was one year to the day from when our paper work was submitted to immigration until we picked up our residency cards. EDIT UPDATE: The next Wednesday morning around 10AM I get a call from Immigration saying that my cedula was no good and that I needed to come back in to have my picture taken over. I asked him when I should come in and he said anytime before 1PM. So I called the lawyer office to see if Raul would be around the next day. They said yes and gave me his cell phone to call. I got up at 5AM and was back on the road to San Jose around 530AM. I got to immigration around 930AM and called Raul and we were able to get into the door (#2) and Raul explained that I was here waiting for my picture again. He said to wait until they called me, which was around 10AM and was told to wait again back in the room. So about 1030 or so they called me again and I was able to pick up my cedula, walk out the gate and drive back home getting back home around 330 PM. Long day but well worth it!
Was it all worth it???? Yes, this starts the clock ticking so within 3 years we can apply for permanent residency.
Coming back from San Jose on Saturday the traffic wasn’t too bad.
Turrialba Volcano is starting to make noise again. Normally you can never see it since it is shrouded in clouds 99 percent of the time. This clear dry weather has been abnormal to say the least! You can see just a little smoke coming from the crater.
The black water rivers along the coast are really amazing.
The prison in Limon is probably someplace to stay away from!!
A Sunday afternoon in January, go figure! It has gotten all the way down to 68 degrees here so it does get cold! Pura Vida.