Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Medical clearance, embassies, and crazy flights...a journey to Sakhalin

With our move date getting closer (the packers are scheduled on August 20 and 21), we are trying to get through the list of things that need to be done to make it all happen.  

First up, passports and visas.  We had to have our passports renewed, since there was less than 2 years on them (and the Russian Federation recommends that there be at least 3 when applying for residence status).  This delayed the processing of our LOIs (letters of invitation) until this week, since the new passports have different numbers than the old.  Our trip to the American Embassy was less than thrilling, as there is as much security there as there is at the Pentagon.  It didn't help that during our first visit, Adam turned off the x-ray machine while our stuff was being searched and scanned.  Needless to say, when I went back to pick them up, I went alone!  We have also been to the Russian Embassy a few times, but at least it doesn't take up as much time.  Basically, you walk up to the door, ring the bell and tell them what you want - and they let you in.  What a difference!  Shane now has his visa for his upcoming trip to Yuzhno (he leaves on July 19th), and all of the documents needed for his Work Permit have been submitted, so we should only have to return one more time:  for the single-entry visas for our move.  

Next, there is the series of medical testing that we must go through to get clearance to move.  At least having it done in Doha means that the test results will be ready by the next day, and in some cases, the same day.  We are all finished with that except for me - I have to go in to redo a test that got messed up.  

I mentioned that Shane is going to Yuzhno in a week or so.  When he sent me his flight information, I wondered if they got him enough layovers.  He is flying from Doha to Manama (Bahrain) to Istanbul (Turkey) to Moscow and then finally to Yuzhno.  On the way back he is flying from Yuzhno to Seoul (S. Korea) to Hong Kong and then back to Doha.  What a trip!  I just hope he doesn't lose his bag with all those changeovers!  (Knock on wood) Our trip in August should be a little easier, but not much.  Since we have the dogs, we are having to fly Lufthansa to Seoul, South Korea via Frankfurt, Germany, and then on to Yuzhno from Seoul.  Not a piece of cake, but better than his July trip! 

That is all the information I have for now.  Stay tuned!

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