Monday, August 26, 2013

"I Thought You Left Already?"


          If I had a dime for every time I have heard that lately, I could have entirely funded another year of YASC. I'm also sure people are wondering if the money I raised wasn't actually to "Send Charlotte to Japan", but rather to "Pay off Charlotte's student loans". I assure you all that the latter is false, while I'd love for it to happen too. 

          So what is the low down? Did somebody find out about my past racketeering and grand theft auto charges? Why didn't I leave on my July 28th intended departure date? Well for once it is something that is out of my control. Currently I am waiting on the Japanese Immigration to approve my application for a Certificate of Eligibility, which is a document that states what I will be doing in Japan is valid and real. Once that is approved, it gets mailed to me because I need the physical original to take to the Japanese consulate in Chicago to apply for my visa, which they say can take up to three days. To give you a time frame of how long this takes in case you are thinking of working with Japanese immigration any time soon, I applied for my Certificate of Eligibility on June 7th. It is now August 26th and mum is still the word on the CoE front. KEEP is unique in the fact that they have an American counterpart here in the U.S., the American Committee for KEEP which happens to be in Chicago. The setback has been kind of a blessing in disguise because I have an opportunity to meet with them and learn more about KEEP and my position while I'm still stateside. I've also had more light shed on what I will be doing while I am over there. Turns out I will be working in the international relations department and the hotel department of KEEP. Getting all this information just makes me more and more excited. If only I could convince the Japanese immigration how much I NEED to be there, like yesterday.

       Well a few other updates. I reached my goal of raising $10,000 a few weeks ago and couldn't be more humbled by out the outpouring of love and support from people from the church, my friends, family friends and even people I haven't seen in years. I hope these people know, without sounding too much like an Oscar acceptance speech, that without them this would not be possible and I can never thank them enough. Everyone will be in my thoughts and prayers while away. I just want to take a second to recognize every one of my donors over on my Donors page. I will take a little bit of each of you with me on my journey.

       So in the month since my "departure date" I've had a premature going away party and a premature sending off prayer for me at church...yes. Even with the embarrassment of showing up to church again and the obvious "I thought you were in Japan! We prayed for you!" I have had more time to do things I didn't think I would be able to like go to the Indiana State Fair. You can't be so close to leaving the country without ingesting thousands of calories worth of fried food when the opportunity arises. Now with my apartment lease up as well, I have moved in with my dad so that is an added bonus of family time. I guess this is an unexpected plus because I can now save up money from working and not having rent to pay. Always have to find the silver lining, right? 

 Some of the decor for my premature going away party...the sushi wasn't out yet

 What's a party without Sake?

 The family thought it was important [or funny] to pray for the whole country upon my entry

 Hostess with the mostess 

 My suitcases just got 150 pounds lighter thanks to Dad!

It was great having friends and family to celebrate. Just one of the friend since middle school Jenn!

 Premature sending off by the church...appreciated all the same

 I don't think Japan will have fair food like a lamb parfait or fried pickles 

What's the Indiana State Fair without a fried Snickers, Oreos and Reese's?

      So here I am, still sitting in Indianapolis with a new intended date of departure of "early to mid September". Sounds promising doesn't it? I am a firm believer in the mantra of 'everything happens for a reason' so something truly amazing is going to come out of this, even if it is extra time to pack and repack or time with my Rosetta Stone. It also gives me time to catch up on everyone else's blogs and read their stories because I am pretty much one of the last people out of twenty-eight YASCers to leave. I have my passport, international driver's license, clean bill of health and my hiking boots. I am ready when the times comes. Until then...



  1. You're right, there are no lamb parfaits or fried pickles at Japanese festivals but there IS "okonomiyaki," if I had to describe the taste it is the best... You can also find it at restaurants but we all know food at a festival is way better... Enjoy these last few weeks!

  2. Still praying for you. Ganbatte, ne!

  3. I really hope your visa wait doesn't take as long as mine did for Brazil! I applied for my visa in September, and only got it back at the end of November -- after much waiting and not hearing responses from the consulate (they said 3 weeks; after 7 I ended up applying for a new passport because I couldn't just keep waiting) - and didn't actually make it to Brazil until mid/late January due to some stuff on the ground in Sao Paulo. I feel your pain! (and yeah, the whole "I thought you left already..." gets pretty old...I wanted to come up with wisecracks like "yes, you are speaking with a well-trained hologram..." but decided against it, tempting as it was).

    We also have some missionaries currently in Argentina (one Argentine, one American) still waiting on their Brazilian visas to come here for 3 years... good good times... :P If you ever need to vent, you're more than welcome to!