We were pretty excited to leave this morning for Bratislava, Slovakia because we knew our short-term visas were ready and waiting for us. We left our place about 8am and got to where the Czech embassy is around noon, grabbed some lunch, and got to the embassy for our 1:30pm time slot. I had the insurance paperwork ready, our passports, and the kids were doing pretty great considering the long drive this morning. Once we handed over all the documents we were just waiting around the lobby of the embassy. After about 15 minutes the lady came back to the window and said, “I’m sorry sir, but only 2 of your visas are ready… the kids aren’t done yet and won’t be until another day.” That’s one of those “Alright!” but… “Bummer…” moments. Two of our visas are approved, praise God! This is such an answer to prayer! The only bummer is now we have to wait and see what’s going on with the kids’ visas and then make another trip down to Bratislava (it will be our third) to pick those up when and if they’re ready. So it’s great news and a little disappointing news, but we’re thankful to be halfway done with this process. Here’s a picture of us waiting in the embassy:
Speaking of embassies, for some reason Avery got really excited today to see the American flag. I saw her running around our apartment the other day with a few small ones we had in a box, so I assume she’s just associating that with the big flag on the American embassy that she saw today. It was funny to watch her get so excited. Here’s a little picture of her during that moment and if you look between the trees you’ll see the American flag and embassy.
Having to return to Bratislava for anything really isn’t that much of a disappointment. The city is beautiful and the old town square area is a piece of history. Walking around the by the shops and restaurants is super fun and the weather was amazing there today so it was just nice to be outside. Bethany and I were talking this afternoon that we just don’t build downtown areas like they do here in Europe. Bratislava is spacious, lots of walking room, tons of benches to relax on, and numerous trees for shade.
Except everywhere you look some has an ice cream cone. I guess the only way they get away with all this ice cream intake is because they all walk everywhere. And there’s only so much ice cream watching you can do before you dive in yourself. We hit the little ice cream shop across from the embassy and Avery immediately went for the large cone outside. It was a really fun place and there were a lot of people hanging around so you knew it had to be good. It wasn’t just good, it was delicious and a fun little treat for all of us.
Our trip home was close to 4 hours. From start to finish it was a 10 hour day, with around 7-8 of that in the car. We actually drove the Slovakian route today which took us by some amazing castles. It was hard to get good photos on our phones, and I forgot my camera, but here’s a few shots for you to try to imagine these castle ruins that sat on top of a few different hills. I seriously want to know how old these places are.
We praise the Lord for his grace in allowing such a relatively smooth process in getting our visas approved. Lord willing our kids’ will be approved soon and we’ll head back down to Bratislava pick them up. Now that we have these we finally transfer some of our utilities to our name and even feel a little more settled here. Please continue to pray with us for the rest of this process and our continued transition to life in Czech Republic.