Tuesday, March 1, 2011

CoE, Visa, and a Busy Week!

Early on Monday (President's Day), my Certificate of Eligibility (CoE) arrived in the mail. My dad had to sign for it because I wasn't home, but I got it! Here's what mine looks like. I blocked out the important details for security purposes. Let me just say, I'm really glad I've been losing weight since the first photo was taken. ^_^

After work on Monday, I received my TB test. Not feeling too great (I'm terrible with needles) I called the embassy only to realize it was closed (yay for federal holidays!). On Tuesday morning, I was awoken by a call from the Japanese Embassy. They answered all of my questions so I could make sure I had everything I needed to get my Visa. On Wednesday morning, my mom and I drove downtown, presented my CoE, passport, photos, and filled out visa form to the nice ladies at the Japanese Consulate office in Houston. We decided to have my passport mailed back to me since gas prices were skyrocketing and it was more convenient not to have to go back down there. When we got back from downtown (and a quick little trip to the galleria) I had to get my TB test read. I'm negative for TB! Yay! Of course, the day after I got my test read, my arm turned red around the injection area and it still looks like a bug bite. I hate having sensitive, Irish skin.

I worked another half day on Friday and went to the bank after work. Realizing that the exchange rate is sucky, I got a little nervous knowing that I would have to earn even more money than I thought I would. Thankfully, I got a commission from word of mouth (I have good friends) and I've been working on that since Friday. I also received a small sketch commission, which might lead to a larger piece, but for the moment was enough money to put into paying for some skype credits. Financially, I think I am going to be ok (assuming I get another 5 or 6 substitute teaching jobs before I leave). *crosses fingers*

Yesterday, I picked up deodorant; the last thing I needed before leaving for Japan. Knowing that I had everything I needed for the trip (packing wise) made me feel pretty awesome. I'm slowly going down my checklist. Today, my mom came home from her handbell class and handed me the yen she picked up from the bank! So another thing was done! The other thing that happened this morning is my passport with my visa arrived! Here's what it looks like. The folded piece of paper on the other side is the CoE stapled in my passport. I think I'm required to have both pieces of information in my passport for validity. Again, things are blocked out for security reasons.

I have to say it's pretty funny that they cut my picture into a circle. I don't know why they did that. On another note, my housing has been resolved (so I think). I will post more information about where I will be living once it is completely verified. There are some loose ends (work, finishing commissions, finishing altering some clothes, sewing my coat, packing), but those won't be resolved until a couple days before I leave. Right now, I'm happy that the things I once found problematic are resolving themselves with time and effort.

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