Flight Booked, Visa Acquired!

It’s official-I have booked my flight to Santiago (and my flight home)! I will be flying with Delta. Yeay! I booked through Expedia, saved a few hundred bucks which is nice. Geez airfare is expensive these days. $1,500 round trip. Yikes!
Now I am in Boston getting my student visa. The Chilean consulate of Boston is an adorable little building tucked into a side street. We are quite early so my mom and I are waiting in a Starbucks down the street.

30 minutes later….
Success! The Chilean consulate of Boston consists of two gentlemen in their basement office. They were all business, and I left with my visa stamped in my passport and all the necessary papers! Yeay!

For those of you interested in a complete list of what it takes to get a student visa for Chile, here is the complete list (DISCLAIMER: They could change the requirements at any time, so call your local consulate first and double-check!):

  1. $160 in cash for the visa fee
  2. A federal background check, conducted by the FBI. This means you will need to send fingerprints to the FBI and have them run them and send them back. It took me like 2 months to get my results from when I mailed them. The fee is $18 for this service, plus a stamp. More directions are linked here.
  3. A letter from your doctor, signed, stating that you enjoy good health and are free from communicable diseases, dated no more than 30 days from the date of your visa appointment.
  4. A clean HIV test preformed no more than 30 days from the date of your visa appointment.
  5. A valid U.S. passport
  6. A letter of acceptance from a Chilean educational institution
  7. 4 color photographs of you, passport size (2×2), full face, no glasses

Visa Good News, Visa Bad News

The good news: I finally got my background check back from the FBI. The bad news: they did find out about that string of grisly murders I committed back in 2010, so I’m not sure how that will affect my visa status. Just kidding, I burned all the evidence and killed all the witnesses so there’s no way they will ever trace that back to me! The actual bad news is that the Chilean consulate in Boston turns out to be an “honorary consulate” meaning they represent Chile but don’t actually have the authority to issue visas. Which means the next closest Chilean consulate to me is in NYC. Side note: I hate New York City. It’s too crowded and dirty and smelly and full of strangers and it makes me feel claustrophobic. So now I may need to look into options for a service that can process my visa for me, which means more $$$! But then again driving to NYC twice (once to drop off the application, again to pick it up) might be more $$$ so I’ll need to look into both options. Gah!

Update: I found an email address for the chilean consulate and sent them an email asking for directions. Turns out the consulate in Boston is able to do student visas by appointment. Yeay!

Un poema inspirador de Amado Nervo

I liked this poem that I read in my Mexican Literature class, I felt like it was really relevent to me since I will be so far away from the people and places that I love. It is a comforting thought that in spirit I will never be far from home, even when my body is thousands of miles away. Maybe in the future I’ll add a voice recording of myself reading the poem for the benefit of my non-hispanohablante friends and family. For now, my own (amature) English translation is available below.

Nada está lejos de ti: por Amado Nervo

Nada está lejos de ti. ¡Las distancias! ¿Qué importan las distancias? Bien sabes que las distancias sólo son para tu cuerpo. Tu alma se halla cerca de todas las cosas. Más aún: tu alma está en la esencia misma de todas las cosas. Sin tu cuerpo, ni la luz, con sus trescientos mil kilómetros por segundo de velocidad, igualaría el vuelo de tu pensamiento. Si bien se mira, todo se encuentra a tu alcance. No hay estrella a la que no puedas llamar tuya. Mueve tu pensamiento con libertad absoluta. Acostúmbralo a los altos vuelos progresivos. Intenta el record de altura … Déjale ir y venir a través del universo, cada día te darás así más cuenta de la apariencia y la mentira de tu jaula. Con la noción de tu libertad inmensa, aumentará tu apetito de posesiones eternas.

Nothing is far from you: by Amado Nervo (translation by yours truely)

Nothing is far from you. Distances! What do distances matter? You know well that distances are only for your body. Your soul is situated close to all things. Moreover: your soul is the very essence of all things. Without your body, not even light, with three hundred thousand kilometers a second of speed, would equal the flight of your thoughts. If one looks hard, everything can be found in your reach. There is no star that you cannot call your own. Move your thoughts with complete freedom. Become accustomed to the high progressive flights. Try for the record of altitude…Stop with the going and coming across the universe, every day you realize more the appearance and the lie of your cage. With the idea of your immense liberty, your appetite for eternal possessions will grow.