Tuesday was a busy day wrapping up passports and exit visas. The DNA results arrived at the U.S. embassy on Tuesday morning and the passports were ready within a couple of hours. Ken jumped into a tuk-tuk and dashed over to the embassy to pick them up. Then we all headed out to finish the exit visa process. The first stop was Ms. Poonam’s office to get the paperwork to take with us to the FRRO. Unfortunately, we forgot the photos we needed in our room but Ms. Poonam was able to contact the photographer who delivered new copies to her office within an hour. We then went to the FRRO for the exit visas.
The FRRO (“Foreigner Registration Regional Office”) is an interesting place; it’s where all foreigners in Delhi get their visas so it’s a busy place and a bit of a parade of nations. We met a nice woman from Africa (who of course asked us “Where’s the mother?”), two women from Australia who helped a bit with the babies, and a young African man studying in Delhi. The FRRO process has changed a bit since we were here two years ago. For example, now only applicants for visas can enter the building (unlike last time when our lawyer sent someone from his staff with us to walk us through the process) and the babies have to be present (unlike last time when Cornelia was in the car outside just in case she had to be seen). Overall, the FRRO is a bit like the San Francisco DMV: really big, bureaucratic, seemingly disorganized, and slow. (The San Francisco DMV, however, doesn’t have an open fire burning in the parking lot. I’m not sure if it was a cook fire or for burning rubbish.) After two hours we were done and on our way.
|Lattes. I'm happy.|
|High Tea at the Imperial Hotel|
Despite running around Delhi for babies, passports and visas, and the every-three-hours bottle feedings, we have managed to have some social time and some very nice meals during our stay. On our first day in India we met an Australian couple in the waiting room at the hospital who were picking up their newborn daughter. We met them out several times, including for high tea at the Imperial Hotel and for dinner. A friend was in Delhi for several days to meet with SCI and we met him for high tea and for lunch. Last night we went out to dinner with another friend who works for Alliance India, a nonprofit organization working with people with HIV and AIDS. He brought along a friend who works for the Gates Foundation’s India office. And, yes, every time we had two infants strapped to our chests.
|Margot after one of our outings|
The babies are doing well. They are getting pretty good at lifting their heads and starting to grab fingers.
|Cornelia and Grandma Connie in Savannah|