Tuesday, February 22, 2011

SURPRISE! plus visa

Well, it's 10:20 on Tuesday night. Yeah, that's right, the day before I leave. There's only a few hours left, but sleeping doesn't seem to be on the agenda. Not because I need to pack or anything, just because... I don't feel like it, I guess.

The last few days have been wild. I'll address my "surprise party" and my visa getting in this post, before I go upstairs, tidy my room, shower, put some things in my suitcase, and go to sleep.

Well, I had known about my surprise party for awhile. My wonderful friends had been busy leaking me details for almost two weeks beforehand--I mean, I was a major guest-inviter. However, I had no idea how crazy Saturday night was actually going to be.

At about seven thirty, two close friends ran into my house, blindfolded me, and took me to a car and drove off. Driving around the West side of Madison, we finally arrived somewhere. I knew that the party was going to be at my friend Samantha's house, so I naturally assumed we were there. Then my friends walked me up a bunch of steps. "This can't be Samantha's house," I said to myself. "Samantha's house doesn't have steps!" They open the door, and surprise! My OTHER friend's parents and sister were standing there. What a fake out.

So back to the car in the blindfold. This time we were actually going to Samantha's, I could tell.

Wait: background! As most of you should know, there have been numerous protests against Governor Walker's new budget repair bill. We were off school for four days, and I went downtown to protest too. Here's a picture:

But basically, it was a big deal. I have a nice friend named Jacob who is very involved politically. On the way to Samantha's, my dear friends convinced me that Jacob had created an alternate facebook event to persuade people to go to the protest that night instead of my party. Naturally, I was a little hurt and insulted, but I assumed it was a joke. After time, they started convincing me, and I lost some of my excited energy. Why would a friend do something like that?

When we arrived at Samantha's, I walk inside and only my seven or so Senior friends jump out at me. I'm like, where is everyone else? Where are all my other friends!?!??" I was CONVINCED that Jacob had stolen them away! Samantha tells me to go downstairs (to "look at her great poster" she said) and I realized that was were everyone actually was. They all jumped out. I cried. For some reason, I'm still a little angry at Jacob inside. Blame Samantha.

My lovely poster

But there really was a great poster and it was great company. It was nice to hang out with everyone one last time. And, much to my surprise, it was a real surprise party. I feel ridiculous that I actually believed them, though! No friend would steal people away from a surprise party :) 

Next on my list: Picking up my VISA! The Chicago consulate requires an in-person visit before issuing a visit. I sent it all the required paperwork a few weeks ago, very nervous about the time crunch. They emailed me back a few days after mailing all the money, sheets of paper, and photos down, and scheduled me for an appointment: February 23rd at 11:00 AM. For those of you with a calendar, you probably could figure out that I would have been flying to Miami at that time. I emailed back asking for an earlier time and much to my luck they scheduled me for the 22nd at 9:30AM.

Me with my Parental Authorization
form and VISA in front of
the Consulate
The weather was iffy for the last few days, so I went down on the Van Galder bus Monday afternoon. We stayed the night at my grandparents' house and decided to leave the house the following morning at 8:15. Google maps said the trip would only take 50 minutes in traffic, but we wanted to budget ourselves extra time.

We got on the freeway, and all we could see was other cars. Crazy, crazy traffic. I sat in the back of the car trying not to spaz out, and an hour and a half later we drove down this random back road to this random building, and my mother dropped me off.  I saw the sign: "Consulate General of Chile". I was in the right place. Rushing upstairs, I turned out to only be ten minutes late. They took my right thumb fingerprint three times and made me sign a sheet of paper. Then I was done! I had a VISA!

The ridiculous thing is that the whole appointment only took about five minutes. I'm glad I lived close enough to drive, because it would have been ridiculous to have to fly to Chicago for a five minute in-person appointment.

Well, it's 10:44. Starting to get sleepy. But things to do! I'll blog again the next time I have a chance.

Here I go! It's finally here.

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