Monday, June 21, 2010

Bratislava Here I Come

Bratislava is the capital city of Slovakia, about 25 miles east of Vienna and about 90 miles south of our new home town of Zlín.  One part of the complex new rules that govern visas for the European Union countries is that one must apply for a visa at an embassy of the host country and NOT within the country itself.  So, we had to travel to an embassy of the Czech Republic to file our application.  Bratislava happens to be the closest city in which the Czech Republic has an embassy; so, off we went.  A photo nearby shows one of the beautiful squares we had to traverse on our way to the embassy.

Since our appointment was at 9:00 a.m., we left our flat at 4:15 a.m. to catch the bus to the train station.  The trains in the Czech Republic are a mixture of modern and communist era equipment; the train schedules include express trains (usually between major cities) that only stop once or twice, regional trains that only stop a few more times, and Osobní (personal) trains that stop every 15 feet to allow farmers and their small goats on board. 

We were accompanied by Sid Anderson who has worked very diligently on our visas and work permits.  In a nearby photo, Sid is sporting his Czech sack; virtually all Czechs carry some sort of sack/bag/backpack/purse/large wallet when they're in public, men and women alike, so Sid is just "going native" here.

In one photo, you can see the front of the Czech embassy in Bratislava.  God was gracious to us in this encounter.  The lady with whom we had our appointment was kind and spoke good English.  Although she threw us a few curve balls by asking for documents that we did not have, in the end, she stamped our passports to reserve a place for our long term visas!  She told us we would hear from them in about 60 days.  Thanks to all who have prayed for this process!  Please continue to ask the Lord to see us through the final steps.

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