Thursday, August 5, 2010


Some of you may remember I have had a problem in the past with the identification card we are required to have here. (Called a Censo). Well things haven't changed in 2 years cause we have just had the most frustrating day ever!
This kind of looks like me today
When we renewed our visas last year - we tried to renew the censo at the same time which they told us we couldn't do. Today they tell us that Mark (not me) has a $200 fine because it has expired, so go to the  bank and pay it. I asked for the account number but he said just go to the bank. Off we go to the bank - wait in line for 1/2 and hour then get told we need the account number!!! Grrrr! So back we go to the censo office (now don't forget these places are not close together, either a bus or taxi ride needed). We get back there and of course the place is closed for siesta and not open again till three. That's ok we'll pop down to the cafe and have a coffee while we wait. 
Whatever Trevor - no coffee available!!! 
Anyway that's a side point - finally back to the office and after another long wait we ask politely for the account number. The same guy as we had this morning says to us "we need to see your passport" (of course by this time we only have the copy of his passport with us). Without blowing my stack which I feel I have every right to do - I said "why didn't you give us the number this morning?" but he just looked at me blankly and said "we need to see your passport". In other words there is nothing you can do - I am not going to give you an account number to put money into just because I have the power to do and say whatever I like! So tomorrow morning we have to start the whole process again and it is such a waste of time! As far as I can see it is a completely pointless piece of paper too but what can you do - it is the law to have one.
So my advice to anyone thinking of needgreating in another country - you have to be prepared for days like this - nothing will ever go the way you think it should go. A brother just reminded me of this fact which is so true: "Satan cant' touch you spiritually.  The only way he can touch you is through his bureaucracy. When you are serving in a foreign land with all the benefits of bible studies coming out your ears etc - he has to use other means to cause frustration and irritation." Well let me tell you - Satan ain't gonna beat me today!
To prove my point I have just been out witnessing with the evening group  - life is all sunshine and flowers again!

We are now legal and guess what - after 4 hours in and out of the office - we ended up not paying a fine! We don't really know what happened but we had resorted to calling Becky McLesky for some translation help and his attitude changed when he talked to her (obviously she is a real sweet talker). One new problem that no one else seems to have encountered  though - we had to go away and get photos, frontal and profile, so we will have to let everyone else going for their censo that it is now a requirement. It was quite a moment when he finally started doing the paperwork and said - "give me your photos"- um sorry bud, we don't have any!
So as you can imagine it was an extremely satisfying moment to be each handed our cards - we thought we really had earned the yummy lunch at a Mexican restaurant to celebrate!
Maybe now we can concentrate on what we are here for!


Chad and Michele said... sorry you had such a tough day. Don't worry, the sun will come out tomorrow!!

Tom & Elaine Plank said...

So glad you got thru it. reminds us of trying to get your auto plates renewed, but they speak english there, sometimes.....
Keep your spirits up, we are watching the blog, and helps us to keep working to join you.

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Lynne said...

Now don't lose that darn card!