indianvisaThe time had finally arrived. This week, Mark and I were gearing up for one of our first major public activities. There was much to do and the timing was going to be very tight. We discussed for a while whether or not we thought we could pull it off. We felt like we could do it, but we would have to use our time extraordinarily well.

I remembered that our Indian visas required that we leave the country within 6 months of arrival. Originally, we thought we would have to just leave and come back, but were told that it was pretty easy to register with the police and have the visa extended. All the Indicorps volunteers did this. With just over a week left until the deadline, I thought it would be smart to take care of this, having a few spare days just in case we encountered any obstacles. When we got to the police commissioners, we found out that what we had been told was not accurate. We indeed had to leave the country, and had only a week or so to do it.

Even worse, we would need a visa to enter another country, which would require an added trip to Bombay or Delhi. Of course Mark’s passport had also been stolen, which would require even more time there…

slitedetrSo much for our big plans!

Clearly, this is one of those ridiculous things. We are here in India giving all that we can, and doing so out of our own savings accounts.  Logic alone would say: let these guys stay and continue spending their money and giving of themselves here in India. But in a legal bureaucracy, pure logic does not always call the shots. Instead, we have to take a hit – both financially and in the loss of time – just to make a silly trip out of and back into the country.

We discussed our options: Pakistan… hmmm, Nepal… not exactly Shangri La these days, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh? Everything sounded like an expensive distraction.  If only we could bring some kind of meaning to this detour…