It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything informative about my life. This past spring, besides reviewing books, Mari and I lived in Waterford, Ireland where I taught 2 Corinthians at the Calvary School of Ministry. I enjoyed teaching, and I even saw a few familiar faces from the Bible College that was in Siegen, Germany. Afterwards Mari and I went back to Norway and started revving up for our second wedding. This time, it was only the celebration. We had our civil ceremony back in February [you can read that blog post here. It brought in the most views I’ve ever had in a month, the next month the third highest views – the second highest was November when Mari and I became engaged… perhaps I should write more about Mari?], and this time we wanted our friends and families to be able to celebrate with us.
A week before the wedding Mari’s aunt passed away, and her funeral was the Tuesday before our wedding. There were two houses on her property, one that was built a few months before her passing. Mari’s parents have moved to the old house, and Mari and I are able to stay in the new house (so long as I can actually stay in Norway).
The summer went well. After our celebration we finally took our honeymoon. We went to Makarska, Croatia. It was nice, but there were a lot of tourists (which I guess we only added to the problem). Now… before our wedding Mari and I went to London to apply for my student visa. Mari has one year left of university before she graduates with her bachelor’s degree. The easiest way for me to stay in the country is to get a student visa (and no, I don’t get to automatically stay in the country because we’re married). I was accepted into Fjellhaug Internasjonale Høgskole (FiH), for a one year program in religion.
To apply for a Norwegian student visa I either have to apply from my home country (US) or from a country where I have had residence for the last 6 months (UK). In my previous life post I mentioned some problems with the visa I had because Calvary York’s sponsorship had been revoked (for reasons which I don’t agree with). Now my visa was going to expire on June 1, so we arrived in London on May 29th. We would go to the Norwegian Consulate there and apply for my visa.
Upon arrival we found that with CCY’s sponsorship being revoked, my visa was also rejected (which happened sometime between March and May). The border agent didn’t understand why we were coming to the UK to apply, but eventually we made it through… with me on a visitor stamp and not on my visa. But after some touring around in the rain, we made it to the Embassy, I applied for my visa, and we flew back to Norway that night. A week later we had the wedding, and then a week later we left for Croatia.
Another week passed and, after Croatia, we returned home to Norway. It just so happened to be my birthday that day, and we were anxious to open up my letter from UDI (they process the applications from foreign nationals) which would tell me if my application had been approved or not. I had met all of the other requirements, but we were unsure about the visa issue. We opened the letter, and my application had been denied. Even more so, it said I had to leave the country in three weeks!
[And they wouldn’t be sending me out in this sick volvo]
This didn’t make sense, so Mari and I went to the police station in Arendal to ask them some questions. It turns out UDI had some summer interns working that summer who may or may not have worked on my application. Whoever did work on my application, however, made some mistakes. We could contest them, but it would take up to a year to hear back on anything. And it’s that year that I need to be in Norway. In the end the police told us that I didn’t need to leave in three weeks and I could stay until my visitor stamp was up (August 15). So now what does one do… but continue on with summer life?
During the summer I painted our house and a work shed (elhuset [el-hew-seh]) on the lot while Mari worked at an old people’s home with people who had dementia. I also learned how to drive stick shift, and, as anyone who has tried to learn stick shift can attest, it was horrid. I despised it. But Norway has hills. Low gears make it easier to get up the hills with ease and back down the hills without wearing down your brakes. After a freaky 8 hour drive over to Sola, Norway, and a much easier 6 hour interstate drive back home, I felt much more comfortable with driving. Besides driving, hiking, pancakes, waffles, and plenty of reading, we had a pretty calm summer. In our last week we went to Mari’s 5-year high school reunion.
What makes me feel old is that my 10-year reunion is in two years.
So What Are We Up to Now?
If you haven’t heard, we’re in Houma now! Since my application didn’t fly earlier, we had to fly to the states so I could apply at the closest Norwegian Consulate: Houston, TX. Luckily it’s only 5 hours away and I have family there. Mari met my grandparents on my mom’s side for the first time, along with aunts, uncles, and cousins, and we had a successful meeting at the Consulate. And now…. we wait. We’ll be here until the middle of October, and hopefully within the next month and a half I’ll receive my acceptance letter. If not, I’ll be around until November and then I can fly to Norway. For now Mari and I have school online. We’ll hang out with my family and friends, and, as usual, I’ll be reading and uploading other posts about books up here.
[Special thanks to Caelen Weber for our wedding photos!]