Visa, Visa, Visa

On Sunday evening, I found myself on a train travelling up to London to apply for my visa for South Africa. I felt so sick it was unbelievable. Once Dad and I arrived in Paddington at 10pm we found our hotel a stone’s throw away from the station. It wasn’t plush, so to speak, but it was good enough for one night and for a cheap place in a really popular area. 

I was frantically sending messages to my buddies, just needing moral support because my level of sick feeling was going through the roof. I had no idea what I was going to do in the morning when we had to make our way across London to find this place to apply for my visa… All I really knew is that I wasn’t going to the real embassy. I was confused, tired and not feeling 100% so sleeping on it after praying a fair bit seemed like a good idea. Except the tubes that kept going we doing my head in! Why do people need to be so active at night in London? Why can they not just go to sleep?!

When I woke up in the morning, I went in for my shower and broke the towel rail. Good start. I couldn’t eat breakfast. Now, for those of you who know me well enough, you will know that I can eat breakfast pretty much all day; cereal is my most favourite thing ever, ever, in the world ever. So for me to not eat very much is pretty much unheard of. Man, I was nervous. 

Dad said that he always knows when I am nervous because I go quiet and won’t talk for hours, which again, is not common for me. The last time that happened was when I got my tattoo and even then, that was only for five minutes. So, for me to be quiet on the train up to London, and even quieter until 11:30am the next day, was quite unusual. I mean, of course I was going to be quiet on the tube – I don’t really want to make conversation with a stranger whose arm pit I am smelling because we are in such close proximity – but I just could not talk without bursting into tears because I was so nervous about events that could unfold that day. 

Only when I walked out of the building after talking to the man who said that my application was more than likely going to be successful and should be received by 27th May at the latest did I start talking again. And nope, I would not shut up. 

As our train was not until 7pm, we thought we would spend the entire afternoon doing something pretty cool… We spent 4 hours walking around the British Museum with me telling Dad about all the different things that happened around when those artefacts were in their prime and Dad telling me about how you can find all of this out in the Bible and referencing it for me there and then. It was great fun! There was even an old books section… I was in heaven! Well, not quite, but almost. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After we had eaten a pub dinner, I tucked into my book, finishing it well before we got back into Plymouth later that evening. 

Needless to say, my bed was very welcome when I got home.

Advertisements

Confusing Visas…

On Monday, I will be in London applying for my visa, which means that I need to have EVERYTHING ready to show them so I can apply properly. As any normal person would, I was checking that I had everything earlier in the week as a last minute check, so to find out that I did not own the right sort of birth certificate and that my bank would not let me access my most recent statement to prove that I have money was a bit of a knock back. 

Thanks to my amazing mum, I now have the correct version of my birth certificate as well as a fairly recent bank statement. There will be a trip to the bank tomorrow to try and get another statement (the one that I actually need) but there should not be any problem there – I am just praying that it all works out. 

But this is not where the story ends. 

I had sent Mum a text this morning asking her to make copies of all of my documents. Because she is an incredible woman and thinks things through much more than any of us do, she took a search on the internet to see whether I had got it all right and to make sure that I had not missed anything. Only then do we find out that the actual SA Embassy website does not have the conditions of the application written on the site in enough detail. The internet hides things!

That is when I took my first ever trip to a solicitor’s office. Every one of my important documents has to be signed and stamped by a solicitor before the Embassy will even take a look at it. He quoted me £5 per page to sign the documents, which I thought was incredibly reasonable, but I was preparing myself for some hidden fees. Needless to say that I was praying in reception. When it came to paying after signing 5 pages worth of information, he said that he had only signed 4, meaning that I would only have to pay £20. Great! I got some money off! Then, he said that today, he would accept £10 payment from me so I could save £15. Solicitors are nice! Dad said that it was his pub money for later… I am more than happy to have supplied him with a beer after he signed those documents at a discounted rate and with only an hour or so’s notice. Yay!

But that was not the only thing that this new website, on the formidable internet, seemed to want proof of. They needed an actual signed copy of the letter from Arno and Everyday People so that needed to be scanned across. Luckily, Arno was on hand to send it across with no hassle. Yet, that was not the only thing required from him! Yes, a copy of his passport needs to be signed by a solicitor too! Amazingly, he can have it ready for first thing on Monday morning, meaning that we can print it out when we are in London ready for the trip to the Embassy later that morning. 

Although this has probably been the most stressful day of the whole process, and am really disliking the internet, I have seen God’s provision in it all. I did not have to worry about having money to pay the solicitor as I was given some money earlier on in the week. My mother has an incredible sixth sense (or a prompting from God!) to check these sorts of thing out. And, I have people around me that are taking it all in calmly and helping me get it sorted in order for me to get on that plane in July. Clearly, I can see that God is wanting me in East London, SA, because even though these obstacles keep appearing that should be stopping me in my tracks, things always seem to get sorted out so quickly and effortlessly. Thank you Jesus!

Moments

Moment (noun) – a particular stage in the development of something or in the course of events.

We all have moments, moments that define who we are. You may, perhaps, want to call these ‘significant life events’. But it could be said that we all have moments that make us wobble in the journey towards those said significant life events. 

Today, I suffered from a wobble. I suddenly realised that all of my plans, all of the things that I have been working towards for the last two years are going to ‘happen’ and become my significant life events in just under three months. That freaked me out. They are all coming soon! 

However, it would be silly of me to not explain how this wobble only lasted for a few minutes because of the fact that there is so much excitement within myself, that I am struggling to contain. Yes, I will have finished education  in 64 days. Yes, I will be getting on a plane to move to a different country, on a different continent in 89 days. But, dwelling on the fact that this is all going on just makes me feel so underprepared and quite frankly terrified. So, it is for this reason that I am in need of reminding myself of Gods plan for me and how incredible that is by drawing comparisons between where I am now and where I will be in just under three months.

  1. My Location – at the moment, I am in Plymouth. But, in 89 days, I will be living in East London!

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  2. The Weather – right now, I am sat looking out the window at a grey sky and rain. On googling the weather right now in East London, jealousy has kicked in, along with even more excitement, which I did not believe was possible!
  3. Amazing Friends – amazingly, I have already been able to make connections with those in SA, meaning that I already have some amazing friends! But I also have some absolutely incredible friends here that I am going to miss like mad. I love them all to pieces and I thank the Lord for Skype!
  4. Fantastic Family – I love my family and I know that I am going to struggle without them. I makes me emotional now to think that I won’t be seeing them for a while. Yet, I love the fact that I have a home with a family that I already feel a part of in East London. I am looking forward to joining them and making new memories with them! It is all part of the adventure.

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So these wobbles are unjustified. There is an adventure to be had an it is mine for the taking. Therefore, my moments shall be no longer. Sure, there will be times when it is hard, but breaking down before I can carry on is not worth it. I must fully embrace Gods plan for my life, even though it is way out of my comfort zone.

Now, I must get back to watching ‘Mandela, Long Walk To Freedom’ and Trevor Noah sketches, in my adventure of learning about South African culture. See you later!

100 Days…

Since I last posted on here, a lot has gone on. I have been to Belgium and France, got all of my jabs ready for when I move and have turned 18! I have also had to up the amount of revision I have been doing because my exams are looming, meaning I have a lot less time for pretty much everything. So, I apologise for the delay in posting a blog post; I know, it’s unacceptable really!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As the title of this post suggests, it is 100 days until I move out to East London, South Africa. It has come round so quickly! I find myself still writing down that I am going out to South Africa ‘next year’ but then have to correct myself because I will be there in just over three months time. Because it feels like I have approached a milestone leading up to my adventure, I thought I would share my thoughts about it all with you:

  1. I have a trip to the South African Embassy in London at the end of the month. Dad and I are going to go on a little bit of day trip at the end of the month to finally sort out my visa! I am so glad that we were able to book and appointment because I know that the trip will not be wasted and I will definitely get seen by someone. It also feels like a long time coming and that I should have been able to get it done sooner if it wasn’t for the receptionist at the doctors surgery, but at least I am getting it done now. The website said that it should only take 2-4 weeks to come through, but I am aware that I am going to be dealing with Africans so I am sure my patience will be tested.
  2. I still have to stay motivated for my exams… somehow. I feel like because I am so excited to move, I am just going to want to be there, rather than have to sit in an exam hall and sit my exams . But, I know that this is a bad attitude to have when considering ‘my future’, so I am still going to have to motivate myself to do well and revise enough so I can pass.
  3. I am so glad I got a new pair of flip flops for my birthday! I was looking at my flip flops from last year to see if I could get away with not getting a new pair when I realised that I had worn them so much, they practically have a hole in them… Oops!

    IMG_0510
    Thanks for the present Joel! Old on the left and new on the right
  4. How on earth am I going to eat all my chocolate before I move?! I got an insane amount of chocolate for my birthday and I am not sure I am going to have room in my suitcase to take it with me, no matter how badly Chloe and Claire wish I could fit it in.

    IMG_0511
    Thanks for the present Joel! Old on the left and new on the right
  5. I should probably get another big suitcase and a hand-luggage suitcase. I am allowed two 23kg suitcases plus a piece of hand-luggage that does not exceed 8kg. At the moment, I only have one big suitcase, so I might want to work on that!
  6. I am sad that I cannot actually eat milk tart, even though Dad says that the one I made tasted pretty good. I am intolerant to eggs when they haven’t been backed into a cake, which means that because the milk tart is not actually cooked, I cannot eat it unless I want to be sick. This makes me really upset because everyone says it is so good and it appears to be eaten a lot in the De Bruin household!

Overall, I am feeling incredibly excited to move out to South Africa in July and cannot wait to experience another culture and how they do things differently to the UK. I know that these next few months are going to fly by so I am definitely going to make the most of the time I have left with my friends. But I still cannot wait to start a new adventure on a different continent and make some awesome new friends!