Let me just say I was not looking forward to going to the Embassy to get my single status affidavit signed and notarized. To my understanding it basically declares that I am not previously married or anything in the United States. I had no idea why it was even important or even what to expect. No one in the State Department in Davenport office could tell me anything about it when I asked them and paperwork seems to be a complete annoyance. They expect so much and payment for all of the paperwork you need to get married abroad you wonder how anyone can afford it. It was not just this affidavit I had left to get, we need to translate my birth certificate, my passport and other things too. The list keeps growing and it is a total ripoff what they charge do do this with. Literally it takes about 3.50 soles to make $1 USD. This affidavit I was after ended up being $60 USD.
I think the saddest part of having to go to the embassy was Carlos could not come with me and I was to go in alone not knowing what to expect and without my phone. I wanted to take pictures because I expected it would be really pretty. With the natural mountains and an ancient pyramid nearby that dated to before the Incans, it seemed to take the semi-Egyptian pyramid theme. It was a beautiful building from the outside with the United States seal everywhere and they even have a US flag seeing as it is “technically US soil”. The guards were all super nice but no one really spoke English. There is a long sidewalk going towards the front door, my feet were already tired and I just wanted to get this over with. We were going to explore this side of Lima afterwards. I went through the front door and went to the window to ask the lady where I went to get the paperwork I was after. She did not speak English either but pointed me to a door on the left side. I went there and there was a couple there and an older lady sitting in the chairs waiting. She started telling me to get a number and sit down. I was still lost so I did just to shut her up. Before long they called her up, then the couple. I was sitting there still and realized none of them were speaking English. It’s the embassy, I was looking forward to at least someone who was fluent in English! The only one who was that I found was the notary that signed the papers.
I wasn’t thinking about it when we filled out the form earlier and signed it to have it all ready. He asked for my passport and gave me a large post-it notepad to sign my name on so he could verify the signatures. I told him to forgive me because I was shaking so hard. He asked me about if I was nervous about being there or getting married. I said both. (I never been married before and I have no idea what to expect. It is a huge huge step but it finally feels right.) He stamped the paper after he signed it, and returned it to me and told me congratulations and good luck. He was a very nice person.
When I paid the clerk she gave me my change and one of the coins was a 1 sol coin that had the image of the Real Felipe Fortress in Callao that Carlos had showed me for years. I kept it afterwards as a token of indirectly my government gave me a memento of him and didn’t even know it. He always told me If I find that that fortress that it was close to his home. I used to spend hours on Google Maps exploring everything in hopes that one day I would see it all for real. I still find myself in awe of this place even though we have yet to visit the fortress, its all so different from Iowa.
All in all, the embassy wasn’t the experience I wanted. Little to no English, and I didn’t even get to see the American squirrels they apparently brought over here from the United States since they shipped in trees from over there. Oh well, maybe next time if I ever find myself back there again I will find one.