The second of series of post on What I Learned Today
Over the past 4 months Tracey and I have been working on getting our Permis – an official document that says we are a resident of Haiti. This permit allows us to remain in Haiti for longer than 90 days without being required to leave and come back.
The first time we went to the office to register we were denied because we were missing a document that wasn’t actually on the list of things we were told to bring. We required a statement indicating that the director of the organization we worked for had paid her taxes and we needed proof the organization we worked for was registered. The taxes paper work took a few weeks but by that time our doctor’s certificates had expired. Finally we had everything we needed and the second time successfully filed our paperwork.
Ten weeks later we had our Permis and are now considered residents of Haiti (though we pay taxes in Canada, and have other significant ties in Canada so we are residents of Canada too).
Once we had our Permis we could begin the process of applying for our Haitian driver’s license. Fortunately we have a person in our office who knows his way through the convoluted (to me) systems of government offices that make getting a Permis or a drivers license possible. He got the proper paperwork together and when the time was right took me downtown to the office where, after pushing and shoving and getting in line I was able to get an official picture taken for my license. I asked him how long it would be to have my license in hand. “Maybe a couple of weeks” I was told. I was skeptical.
It has been a few weeks now so today I asked if my license was ready. He told me it was not but with good reason.
So today I learned that I would have my license today if it were not for:
– the lack of state power at the office for 3 days
– the fact the office could not get their generator to work for those 3 days
– the printing machine is now out of the ink ribbon needed to actually print the license
I’ll check back with him next week.