Stage one of preparing for Semester is nearly complete. Going down the check list, I have almost everything down pact. Booked appointments with travel clinic? Check! Been poked and prodded with a total of 11 needles and Vaccines? Check! Signed and handed in all official SAS documents? Check! Renewed my passport? Check! Indian visa? Check! Republic of China visa? Check! Ghana visa? um… not so check…
Turns out the Commision of Ghana Visa’s has very strict regulations in giving out these visas. Normally, Semester at Sea offers a service for its students to hand in their passports, and they take care off all the visas for them. Fortunately for me, I did not qualify for that service. Being a Canadian citizen, I am an international student and had to do each one individually myself. (Big Props and thank you to my mother who waited graciously in line for 5 hours at the India Commision’s for me while I was stuck at school). The Ghana Visa requires you to fill out a form with all your information four times! That means four individual sheets! It requires double the amount of passport photos than the Indian and China visas required, and you need to ship it out to Ottawa, Canada. Other problems include the fact that it expires three months after being issued, which is kind of a problem, since I’ll be arriving in Ghana four months into the trip! GAH… it was stressful.
So what happened you may ask? Well, I called them the other day to check on the status of my application and they told me that everything was approved and I should have received my passport back by now. PROBLEM.. RIGHT HERE. They sent it back to me by express mail 6 days ago, and it’s nowhere to be found. The tracking number said the post office received it, however, it never made its way to my little hands. There you have it, my passport is floating around in mail space lost as can be. I’m not sure what to do, but tomorrow involves very many phone calls and a lot of stressful talking.
Therefore, STAGE 1 of prep for SAS is nearly complete. Next stage, after finding my missing passport, is gathering supplies and beginning the ordeal of packing! How does someone pack for four months abroad living on a boat while pursuing an education? You will find out! Stay tuned:)