Monday, May 25, 2015

Bringing Amrit to America for a visit...

Is so much more difficult than I imagined. First of all, I thought that, as a natural-born citizen of the USA, I would have no problem hosting a visitor from any country in the world. Color me privileged and naïve - not a good combination.

From the minute we met, Amrit and I have been very close, as have Sandeep and myself. But Amrit and I would like to write a picture book together about the Rajasthani puppets. She has done extensive research on the craft of making the puppets, and I had an idea for a picture book while I was in Laroi for the wedding. We talked at great length about our collaboration, she sent me her research, and the rest should be easy. Should be...

For some reason, trying to get a visa for her to visit is more difficult than trying to find the proverbial needle in the haystack. First, she said she needed a letter from me which I provided. But now she needs more - financial information and something to prove that we are going to be working on this project together. ARGH!

I have learned many things during this process. My greatest lesson is that Americans take much for granted. Certainly, I had to get a Visa to travel to India. But it was a simple matter of filling out paper work and sending in some money. I have other friends from India who live here who have not seen their families in over six years because the Visa process is so difficult.

Simply by an accident of birth, I am able to travel freely pretty much anywhere in the world. I truly feel, on this memorial day, that it is important to thank the men and women who have sacrificed their lives to give me so much freedom on so many different levels. Feeling blessed.

But missing my Amrit...

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