Tuesday, February 21, 2017

September 7 is Brazilian Independence day...

Soooo... this Trump thing has caused me to rethink my status here as a permanent resident. Brasil has been much more progressive re: GLBTq immigration than WTFistan has been (see my TEDx talk). 

And now that things are schlepping to the evangelical right here as well, it is now or never… So my hubby and I had a long talk and decided it is best for me to be able to vote – since I pay taxes and enjoy all the other rights and responsibilities. And if things really go south (pardon the pun) up in WTFistan, I can sponsor my family down here in Neverland.
 
So I reacted by the Trump coup, by applying for the Brazilian half of what will be dual citizenship. 

Kinda complicated, but soooooooo much easier for me to become a Brazilian, than the crap my husband has to put up with (again a plug for my TEDx talk way back when). Went on line to the Brazilian Immigration (I am a permanent resident - like a green card), got a list of jobs/things I have to do to organize a file to get a Brazilian passport, etc. I talked to my lawyer bud here in Ouro Preto. 

The worst is the FBI report, I asked around and I met folks who were stranded like I was 6 years ago up there for a month... no can do! So I contacted the US Consul in Rio and we talked/bantered back and forth for a while and he offered to write me a letter to get my fingerprints done here in Brasil, then mail the prints/forms to the FBI.

That letter.

So yesterday I took the letter to the Polícia Federal (PF) in Belo Horizonte (BH), which is a cross between the FBI and the “migra” in the States. I got in the “foreigner line” strangely short, which faces the Brazilian (abandon the countryside of the waiting area – very full). Showed my letter, and the delegada (officer) was so apologetic, I know it says for you to come here, but you need to go to the office in… (The HEAD office for the PF – of course all the way across town on the top of a hill – think a very 1970’s collection of ugly buildings (Minas Gerais has a talent for building really ugly buildings – my campus is just one example) which forms a fortress/military/ Star Feet base complex next to a hospital… got there, went to the even more imposing gate, and went thru security (picture, badge, chatting up the security folks), all the time the Brazilians are looking at me like a strange flower, or lost puppy “why would you do this, I want to move to Miami” kind of look. I was directed to follow a blue line around a building (Which I did) just “follow the blue brick road” across a green space, a couple of “soldiers” greeted me and I felt even more like I was in Star Fleet, albeit a very “brega” one. I followed the blue line thru another lobby, and then upstairs in another building got lost, more Star Fleet delegados helped me, smiling… found the place, and the guy helping me was so surprised. The rest of the office was so happy to see me, and have something happy to do, just a dumb gringo who isn’t in a crisis. After a minor problem downloading the FBI form to BH Star Feet, I was inked and on my way in no time…

I left base and headed down the hill to a taxi stand, and called a dear friend from UFOP who is off for the semester while she finishes her doctoral thesis. She directed me to go to her house (across town) and we walked to lunch, and everywhere we went she just had to tell everyone, restaurant, museum, and her family… “Daniel is becoming a Brazilian!” Oi such a shunder…

When I got home (Neverland is a good 2 hour bus ride from BH over impossibly green mountains)I put all the docs together, and this morning on my way to campus SEDEX’d (we have our own DHL/UPS/FEDEX here in Neverland) them to West Virginia where you send stuff that allows you to get a criminal report. I walked back to campus all verklempt… and REALLY happy! It helped that a gentle breeze was blowing, the sun was out, the mountains are as green as green can be, and birds were singing… “Vem ti vi! Vem ti vi!”

So step one (of about 20) done… check!

Next step: The report I sent to FBI HQ needs to be “autenticado” in the Brazilian Consulate in San Francisco – a dear amiga in the California State Senate Int’l office will do that for me – she earns extra dharma points. Then it has to be translated and collected with the rest of the documents. This will take a few months at best. Which gives me time to do all sorts of other tasks… copies of the house contract, proof of my work as a federal employee, copies of the marriage certificate, etc. all authenticated and stamped and registered in “cartorios”.

So you can see why I get snarky at folks in WTFistan, who think “I’ll just move to Canada or France”, yeah good luck. I had to tell one guy, start with grad school and marriage… moving abroad ain’t like moving across WTFistan cowboy.

So to make this very long story short, keep me in your prayers and send lotsa love and light to all who I need to facilitate this… I am just so really fortunate and blessed – a great job, in a great little college town, in a funky state, in a more than dysfunctional but wonderful country. Despite all the problems here in Brasil, there are so many really, really fine people here and it will be great to be Brazilian in a few months!

September 7 is Brazilian Independence day... hoping to have it all done by then! Dedos cruzados!