8.22.2008

Every 90 Days

According to Honduran immigration law, every 90 days we are required to leave Roatan. We must go farther than neighboring Central American countries and must wait 72 hours before we can ask to come back in.

A year ago, shortly after Delaney and Hayden were born, and before we even moved here, we applied for our official residency permit. Actually, had I not been uncooperative, I could have given birth to the babies in Honduras and we would all have been granted residency by virtue of our Honduran-born children. But funny thing, I wanted to go through labor in a language I understood.

This was not our first encounter with Honduran bureaucracy; as foreigners, in order to buy more than 3/4 of an acre of land, we were compelled to establish a Honduran corporation. Thus, Mike and I are the sole shareholders in Sandcastles S.A., which technically owns our property. This process took a long time and a lot of lawyers' fees.

Our residency, like our corporation before it, drags on. We can't really call Roatan "home" just yet. We are squatters with 90-day rights of occupation. So, on Sunday we will fly to Houston, one of the shortest direct trips to the U.S. from the island. We will spend four days there, trading tropical heat for Texas heat.

For all the hassle and indignation of a forced trip, though, we are looking forward to being in the land of the familiar once more. We are purposefully staying across the street from a shopping plaza with a branch of the children's museum. I can indulge in much-needed retail therapy, Mike can hang out at Barnes & Noble, and the babies can make some supervised messes. My parents are meeting us there, which means Mike and I might also get a night out alone at a great restaurant.

After our four-day break, I imagine we'll be ready to head back to the cool breezes of Palmetto and the warm water of our swimming pool. We'll be ready to get the babies back on a schedule that actually lets us sleep through the night. We'll be ready to be home, even if the government doesn't let us call it that yet.

(oh, by the way, the girl in the photo with the babies is Allison, who came with us last August to visit. hi Allison!)

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