I wish the world had a pause button! When I left South Africa for New York back in 2008 I begged everyone not to get married, have babies or die! These events could not take place without me around and even if I really wanted to, my visa would not allow me to leave the States for the next couple years. But of course, as they say, THE SHOW MUST GO ON! I lost a friend, my best friend gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and just last week my sister got married.
Visas and Immigration are so complicated that I am currently not permitted to re-enter the states if I ever choose to leave. I'm hoping that in a few months, one of my millions of forms I mailed off to the US government will return and grant me permission to travel back to South Africa for the first time in 3 years. This time last week my sister was standing at the alter in the beautiful Drakensberg setting saying her "I dos!" How heart breaking is it not to be able to be the maid of honor at your only sister's wedding? But despite queuing outside the USCIS building in the pouring rain and begging them to let me go, to them it was not a life and death situation and they refused to issue me the travel document I needed.
So trying to look on the bright side i organized my cousin to print out a life-sized photograph of myself so I could still "be there". The day worked out really well and I was able to read my speech via skype and drink champagne in my living room at 11am!
Its tough to be 10,000 miles away from home and family, but New York is now my home and I have a wonderful family this side too. But as soon as I get my travel papers I will be on the next plane home to Sunny South Africa!