8-19 Snafu: Part 1

Jason and I are supposed to be in Australia. We are supposed to be exploring Cairns, getting ready to dive the Great Barrier Reef and otherwise relaxing. It was going to be a great vacation.

We arrived at the airport yesterday a full 2 hours before our flight left. We were relaxed and happy and ready for a break. We checked in. There was a hang up with Jason’s passport. We weren’t worried since we have residential visas, sometimes they have to double check our paperwork. When the airline person came back and asked us to chat with the manager, we started to get worried. The manager told us Jason’s passport is invalid. Thus started a fit of phone calls and swear words (not at the same time. Mostly.).

(Let me add as an aside that we both need a break. As much as it may look like we are enjoying our three years holiday on a tropical island, we both work really hard and deal with a lot of stupid things that stress us out. Our mental health has been taking a turn for the worse recently, thus the decision to go to Australia and relax for a week.)

Now, let us take a trip into the past to explain the present. Insert woobly noises here. Back in 2006, Jason got his first passport. In 2008, we realized that his name was misspelled. Before we could get in changed, his passport went into hiding. And by “into hiding” I mean we lost it. Now, let’s move forward in time to 2010. We had to apply for special government passports for PC. Jason submitted the paperwork canceling his personal one and applying for the new one. No problem. I kept my personal one and applied for my new one as well. No problem.

Fast forward again to April of this year. I looked at my personal passport and noticed it had expired. Jason and I discussed some things, including our future plans, and decided it made sense to apply for new personal passports. We filled out some paperwork and submitted it to the US Embassy in PNG. They sent us back an email saying Jason needed to fill out another form. Jason filled out the form and sent it in. They sent us another email a month later saying they misspelled my name. (Everyone misspells my name.) They apologized profusely and said they’d send us the passports as soon as mine got reissued with the correct spelling. That was about 2 months ago.

Yesterday, we found out that rather than canceling Jason’s personal passport, they canceled Jason’s government passport. You know, his only one. This is proving to cause several problems. The first and most pressing is that we aren’t in Australia. This week was the last week we can go on vacation without canceling other meetings, video shootings or workshops before October. So, that sucks. Secondly, Jason no longer has a passport and is living outside the US. I imagine this might be a problem. Thirdly, Jason no longer has a visa to live in this country, because that visa was linked to the canceled passport. I imagine this could also be a problem. Finally, if Jason gets hurt or sick and needs to be medevaced to Australia, he can’t go. I hope this won’t be a problem.

In short, this is a two letter phrase that starts with cluster and rhymes with duck. I’ll keep you updated on our continuing adventures with paperwork in the US government.

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