Hello! The border saga continues! Stirling returned to border early Monday to begin the Angolan importation process – it really is a gauntlet of paperwork and officials! I talked to him just now and he FINALLY received the bill for customs – 837,500 kwanzas (customs) and 68,000 (clearing agent) = $11,608 of importation fees. It’s less than the quoted $14,000 so we’re glad for that! Stirling is at the bank paying and now we wait to see how long that takes and if the trucks will be released today!
The 3 interlink trucks are too big to travel the bush tracks to Tchincombe – too much sand – so they will head to the farm of a friend near Kahama (near main road) – about 100 miles from here. As soon as we get word they are leaving the border then the children and I will go to meet them with camping equipment and food!
Monday I made a day trip to Lubango – that was plan A! My goals were to get a letter of invitation got Aimee Heyer and to get turbo of Chevy welded. I did manage to get turbo welded by about 4 PM but no letter of invitation. So Meghan and I stayed over– that was plan B – a bit of challenge since we weren’t planning to spend night – toothbrushes, change clothes, etc - but with help of colleagues and family we managed. Now we get to plan C! The letter of invitation was in hand by 9:30 but in the meantime Stirling had called to ask me to take money from one bank account to another – you would think this would be easy BUT 2 of the 3 streets going to the one bank were closed for road work – they also happen to be 2 of the only 3 streets that get one in and out of town so. . . . . lots of time in traffic with crazy taxi drivers! But by lunch time the money from one bank was in hand and taken to the other. Since we didn’t want to go back to Lubango on Friday for the food we’d need for the farm store this was added to the agenda – again with the gracious help of colleagues we did manage to accomplish everything we set out to do and I made it home by 8 PM last night (Tuesday)!
Jeffrey and Matt managed very well here on their own for the night. Perpetua was quite surprised that the boys weren’t afraid to stay on their own. In African culture there is always family with you - your nuclear family or extended family - people are rarely on their own – especially at night. The ladies are always surprised when I’m not afraid to stay by myself on the rare occasion that Stir and the kids are away together. I’m not sure of all the ins and outs but there is a definite fear there!
Stirling called – the import bill is paid. Now – will they get out the gate today? Is there more paperwork!? We’re on stand-by. Stir hopes to get out by 2 PM!