Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Angolan Visa Application Accepted!!!

Wooooohhhhooooooo!!! FINALLY!!! My visa application for Angola got accepted today!
Now I feel like I'm back in the game again. For a moment there I felt like a spider floating in space...disconnected from my web.
Soon enough I'll be back on the road again!! Yay! I am very excited to hit the open road again. Visa processing time is usually ten days, but I was told that I can phone on Friday and it might be done by then. Fantastic!

Today I actually had some fun at the Consulate. I mean, it's not like the first time I have spoken or seen these people. The woman that was assisting me (very friendly and helpful), disappeared with my documentation through a door to the back. On her return she was accompanied by the Head of Consulate (who can't speak a word of english), with my mission letter in his hands. He looked at me and spoke really fast...all in Portuguese. I just smiled at him. The woman assisting me then told him that I do not speak Portuguese. He pointed at my date of birth on my visa application form. Then looked back up at me and stared at me, for what seemed like, the longest five seconds of my life. "What has my age got to do with anything", I thought to myself??
He then gave me a broad smile and said something else in Portuguese, gesturing with his hands like saying: "Come on in". The woman assisting me now played the role of translator and said: "He says: You are welcome to Angola". :) :) :) :)

Fabulous! Muito Obrigada!!
The Head of Consulate then proceeded to tell all and sundry in the office about me and what I am planning on doing. I had to show them my route on a big map on the wall. One of the women said: "I'll follow you on a scooter". LoL. Great, now they're even rallying for back-up!
I can only hope that future encounters on the visa application front will be like today's.

What happens now?
Once I have my visa (which seems like it might be either end of this week or early next week), I'll be on a plane back to Windhoek and my faithful Luna. I then have some Social Responsibility to take care of in Windhoek.
First National Bank, Namibia, is sponsoring the Namibian leg of my journey. In return I will be giving motivational talks at ten schools on my route. Four in Windhoek, six on my way North to the Angolan border. (Primary Schools)

I then have 30 days to make it to the Angola/DRC border, seeing as my Angolan visa is only valid for that period of time.
The break that I've had now (More than 2 weeks already), has also broken my momentum. I suspect I'll have to build it up again. But not too worried about that. Keeping in mind that the roads have been superb thusfar. Once I enter Angola, it'll be a very different story!

The adventure awaits!!

*Thank you to all the people who have jumped in and helped with: attaining letters of invitation, translating documentation etc. And to the staff at the Angolan Consulate in Johannesburg today. Because of you, I now can't wait to enter Angola!*

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Glen Verran said...

WOOHOO! Super chuffed that you got everything sorted out. I hope that you were able to do more fact finding on visa applications for other countries. I'm sure you'd hate to have to fly back to Jozi again.

Anonymous said...

The reaction of the Head of the Angolan Consulate should be the model for anyone responsible for visa application decision-making in ANY country in Africa. Such an appropriate "Welcome" into a country should be the norm with all possible rolled out to facilitate the next leg of the journey. Can this account regarding entry into Angola be summarized and presented as part of EVERY visa application from now on?

Anonymous said...

Hi Jo, how about posting a progress report, curiosity is getting the better of me. take care, Twenty Eight.

Ale Rossi said...

It’s really a great topic selected by you to discuss over here. Sometime it’s difficult to get approval on visa. Lot of people discuss such things online and try to find out solution for the same so sharing such things which relate to visa, can really help people.
Thanks & Regards,
Working Visa Australia