Oh Pages (16a of 52)

Friday, April 07, 2017
Lilongwe, Central Region, Malawi
When Lewis and I embarked on this adventure I had six complete pages totally empty in my passport book; surely six would be enough. We received our one year visa and assumed that would be that, but what we didn't account for was the fact that we would have to get an extension on our visitors permit every 30 days or leave the country to get a whole new visitors permit (along with accompanying exit stamps from both countries). I am down to two pages. I was hoping I could hold off until we returned to Malawi after our visit home next month. However we have a two day stopover in South Africa. According to South Africa's immigration website you must have two consecutive empty pages. My empty pages are not consecutive.

You used to be able to have additional pages sewn into your passport if you ran out of pages, but not anymore, you have to get a whole new passport now . When Lewis's expired he was able to get a passport with double pages, but that definitely wasn't an option when I got mine; besides, at that point in my life I'd only been out of the country several times and only once (in the six years I had it before getting married) did it get stamped (these were the pre Canada and Mexico stamping your passport days), so I probably wouldn't have thought to get the extra pages anyway.

Marrying Lewis has changed my life significantly in so many ways; traveling the world together is definitely one of them. I never would have dreamed that one day I'd run out of room in my passport before it expired.

Back to my current conundrum; I went to the American Embassy website and found they only have appointments on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This coming Thursday there were no slots available, and Tuesday is a holy day. I have three weeks to get a new passport and each passing day is even less time to work with, so you can imagine my frustration; not fear, but frustration that I need to do something and there is so much bureaucracy that I can't do this one thing. Thankfully Lewis is much calmer about all the things than I am and contacted the embassy directly. He managed to get an appointment for us on Monday; hopefully it will be enough time to get my passport back without having to pay for it to be expedited.

I'll definitely be getting the extra pages this time...
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2017-09-23