Today began our journey to SKB. I woke up at 3:30 this morning, it is now 10am, and I’ve already thrown up in the plane. It has been frustrating trying to get all my documents squared away with SKB just to get our import permit for the kids, which I just received yesterday. It would seem that everything, including the most important documents like the import permit and the USDA health certificates. My poor children have cost me over $1,000 in the last three months, which I think is completely absurd just to move to another country.
I spent all night trying to pack our belongings in 4 suitcases, 3 of which were completely packed already. My dad was a life saver, packing things inside other things and rearranging the things I couldn’t fit. Our backs are killing us since both our carry-ons are stuffed to the brim, which doesn’t even include all the things we needed to bring… God forbid things we wanted to bring. We barely managed to pack Brindley’s litter box and a small amount of litter.
When we arrived at the airport we were told that we needed to fill out an immigration application of sorts (I don’t remember the exact name they used). To my knowledge, we were not told that we had to fill out such paperwork. It asked for our departing flight number, which I couldn’t access at the time. I didn’t have any trouble going through immigration at the airport, its literally just a long line where we stood for about 30 minutes. They didn’t check my USDA or 72 hr health certificates, nor did they ask to see my travels plans for departing SKB, the pet import permit, or my acceptance letter. Once we got downstairs to baggage claim, I was pointed in directions by people who never even spoke to me. I was very confused, so I wasn’t sure what they were trying to get me to do, but I had to check in with the local veterinarian and show him my import permit before I could pick up my luggage. I didn’t know that I would need to pay cash, but fortunately I had the EC that my dad gave me, which left us with $30EC after I paid him. I believe it was $470EC.
When we were done with that nonsense, we had to find our luggage, which wasn’t too hard and it didn’t take more than 5 minutes. Although it was fairly easy to get the luggage, we had to give our immigration application to the people who let us out the building with our luggage, but we did have to confirm that we received all our bags and weren’t missing anything. Unfortunately, James was a little behind me a flustered, but the “airport security” told me that I had to leave the building once I received my bags and that I couldn’t wait for anyone. Meanwhile, my 50lb bags kept falling over and I had a dog on a leash, as well as Molly’s carrier, but they kept yelling at me leave the building. James got a little frustrated with me about this, so make sure if you’re traveling with a family member to stay with them at all times. Don’t walk away from them until you’re both ready to exit the building.
When arriving on the island, you will be paired up with your orientation leader who will instruct you where to stand while waiting for all your other OL members. I was the last person to arrive because of all the craziness, but we wound up sitting there for a while due to the lack of transportation since most students were arriving on the same days. They were immediately taking students to the grocery store (Rams or Best Buy), which we missed out on since Molly and Brindley had to go straight to our apartment due to the import permit regulations.
Until next time…