Wednesday, January 13, 2010

13th of January

I've been off-line for a couple of days because I went to Lima to pick up our dog which was shipped from Houston. It is difficult to describe the difficulty and incredibly complicated process this was. Stormy was shipped from Houston on the 11th of January. I was told to make arrangements before she arrived to clear her through customs. In actuality, I couldn't do anything before she actually arrived. She came in about midnight on the 11th so we were unable to initiate any process before the 12th. A Peruvian friend of mine who lived in Michigan for 5 years went with me to help translate and smooth the process. We arrived at Continental Airlines at 8:30 in morning when their offices opened. Their documents were to go to the Department of Agriculture of Peru and to the Customs Agents. All in all, we spent 8 hours shuffling between 18 offices to get stamps, to pay fees, and get approval on various documents. The biggest hang-up was that the department of agriculture here insisted on the original international health certificate which had been made in the US. However, Continental Airlines in Peru only received a copy of the certificate. Apparantly the original never left Texas. Continental Airlines wrote a letter pleading with the Department of Agriculture of Peru to make an exception as they had lost the originals. We were assured that with this letter all would be well. The Department of Agriculture was not impressed and were not willing to sign off on the documents. They finally agreed to let us have the dog given two options; 1) we could obtain the original health certificate and send it to them or 2) after 15 days of quarantine, she could be examined by a Peruvian veterinarian and given a health certificate. We took the 2nd option as it allowed me to receive the pet and get her through customs, and later get the health certificate. The bottom line at this point is that she is officially in quarantine, but in my custody. The health certificate or original documents will need to be sent to the Department of Agriculture here for her to be legal.

This whole process was incredibly complicated and time consuming. We have heard since that there are "fixers" for hire who will do all the running and paperwork for you for a fee. At this point, I think they are worth every penny they charge! Given that they know the routine, know the clerks in the various departments, they can get the process done in a fraction of the time. If we had only known!
She arrived with a camoflage (sp?) scarf around her neck and a very special pedicure. All of her toenails were painted pink! Our Peruvian friends thought I was crazy for buying a dog in the first place. (There is an abundance of dogs as the Peruvians do not believe in neutering their animals.) Then I was considered even more crazy for importing the dog to Peru. (for all the dogs available here, couldn't I just find one?) Then when Stormy arrived she was adored for her cuteness, but oh how they laughed at her pedicure!
However, I've arrived back "home" and am not anxious to travel away again. Life here is so relaxing...why would anyone want to take on the hassle?

Now that we have her, we find her to be very gentle and affectionate. He has had no formal training but obviously has the desire to please. She will be an exceptional companion.

For my part, I am really happy to be back "home", even if that is a temporary stay in a room of a friend's "hotel." Things seem to be so much more down to earth here; it is what you make it. Even though we have yet to be in our own home, the area is our home.

We continue to take groceries out to the cook on our property and work continues. Tomorrow they will have the wood needed for the forms for the swimming pool. And in the next couple of days, the plumber will arrive to lay the pipes.

While we were out there today, the workers were digging out the slope that will form the interior wall at the back of the second level. It was incredible to see the huge rocks they were excavating by hand. Manual labor, or hard labor for convicts in the stories, has nothing on these guys. Their work is steady and each obstacle is met with the same patience as the rest of the work.

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