The sunsets here in the Cardamom Mountains are always a pleasant distraction the from the stress of daily life, and this evening I happen to be outside with my phone in hand.
Off To School 🏫
The girls leave to school very early in the morning, and at this time of the year it is still dark when they leave the house. It's so cold here in the mountains that they Monkey-B usually wears a hoody over her school shirt and some long pants under her skirt for the moto ride.
Hug Your Sister 🤗
After getting home from school, the girls did a little homework and some household chores. Srey-Yuu hates hugs more than anything, and her little sister loves hugs more than just about anything, so I asked Monkey-B to give big sister a hug, and you can see the very teenage reaction she has to this genuine show of affection. Monkey-B is completely unhindered by her big sister's efforts.
Dinner For Two 😊
One of Monkey-B's favorite dishes is rasam with pasta, a bit of India meets Italy in a pot, but somehow pasta lends itself well to this watery and spicy soup. Monkey-B decided to hang around the stove and keep me company while I was cooking, and she also read a bit of her Tom Gates book.
It gets chilly at night here, and by the time the rasam and pasta combo was ready, Monkey-B had put head through a skirt to create a Cambodian pancho. That's quite a creative and stylish way to stay warm while awaiting for the rasam to heat her from the inside.
Pensive Sunset 🌅
We thought we'd escaped the nightmare of being stranded abroad, and after being back in Cambodia for over a year, I wasn't able to renew my one-year visa. My wife attempted it in the capital a week ago, but the government now wants me to pay several years of fines not having a work permit, even though I haven't worked in Cambodia for many years, since the last time I had a work permit.
The government is now placing huge fines on people now, and it's nothing short of corruption. Even the year I had a work permit I wasn't made to pay fines for previous years of not having one. That's all ancient history now, and it seems I am supposed to have maintained a work permit even while stranded abroad in Suriname when Cambodia wouldn't allow me to return with my family.
Monkey-B Smiles 🥰
I don't fully understand what incompetency caused this situation, it could've even be something as simple as the government here is too stupid to look at all our visa entry and exit stamps and determine I've not lived here for several years. The end result was that my visa was about to expire, and we had planned for another one-year renewal without issues. Instead I now have a 3-month extension, and must leave the country after this timeframe with my future longterm visa situation in limbo.
Future Unknown 🤷♂️
I have been trying to enjoy my time with the family now that I know I must leave. It sure is a kick in the ass to be asked to pay fines for not having a work permit for a country that wouldn't let me in and for years before it was implemented. This is the third forced family separation, and I really thought all this crap was behind us and we were going to focus on a future, building up our land and repaying the loan. Now it all seems like a dream that can be so easily flushed down the toilet by bureaucrats, and on top of this, my wife's arm hurts.
I'm likely off to the USA because my parents are getting older and it seems hopeless that we will ever proceed any further with our USA visa process. It's been nothing but denials for years and years now, and my American family won't be coming to Cambodia. I have to start wrapping my mind around my daughters potentially growing up into adults and starting lives of their without ever having met a single member of my family. My wife and I are both ashamed of our countries, but we are prisoners of borders and passports, so what can we do?
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I couldn't focus much commenting on monkey but to keep thinking about possibilities and solutions. Is it possible to utilise tourist visa, going in and out of the country every couple of months? Like what @redpalestino did, a quick getaway at Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, anywhere near by that is affordable to spend a week there?
Tourist visa is only guaranteed 30 days once, then a 30 day renewal, and after that you're rolling the dice each time you do border run. Sometimes the immigration just deny re-entry after it's clear the person is avoiding a longterm visa. The cost of border runs could financially ruin us in the longterm, plus it's hard to envision a future with a one-year visa, knowing the law will be different each year and I may have to leave.
I really hope the K-Visa will work out, and theoretically it can last 10 years if put in a new passport.
It's hard to find any words to say to show my anger and disgust, especially at the US govt. US is a western country with a strong multicultural influence. It's so hard to understand why they don't seem to have the capacity to sort out visas for your family to immigrate to your home country. 😡
This is why I don't vote anymore (and tons of other reasons 😁), because ultimately the left and right parties that run the country have been fixated on gay marriage, gun rights, and abortion ever since I have been alive. Both parties embrace all the laws that make it hard for my family and I to immigrate, a far cry from the Ellis Island immigration days, where basically all you had to do was show up.
Man, I didn't see this coming. I feel for you guys, what a world we're living in, where families are separated by bureaucrats and stupid governments.
Stay strong my friend. I hope things turn around for the better.
I didn't think so soon we'd be facing this crap all over again with very little warning or preparation time. I need to start doing mock visa runs two months ahead of the actual intended visa renewal. Well, for now I'm putting all my faith in a chance at the K-Visa, but we'll certainly have to foof the paperwork a little bit and have a bigshot allow us to produce a Cambodian marriage document. I have to get an affidavit of single status from the US Embassy first, and I'm a little worried they may not give it to me because we applied for a US Visa several years ago as a married couple.
Seems like the governments have gone 'borderline', in the last couple of years.
I wish all goes well and it will, one way or another. Meanwhile, it's always about trying to enjoy what the universe throws to us. Easier said than done.
Brother and sister hugs are very natural before and after school. And if you leave Cambodia then who will take control of the Asean Hive? Of course the members will lose the company
As I am connected to the internet, ASEAN Hive can always live on no matter where I am. When I am in the USA I may be too busy to post from my personal blog, but I will do my best to keep the community afloat.
Dude, that just sucks. I was so not expecting to read that, I suspect I'm sitting here in shock about as much as you. Seriously, What. The. Hell. Is there a path forward for you at all?
A K-Visa is our best hope. Ironically we left the country to seek a marriage abroad to assist with US immigration because I lacked the $2,500 USD per month salary required to get married legally here in Cambodia. It's a stpid lw, you'd have to do highly illegal things to make that kind of money here, and that's more than double of what I ever earned in the USA working.
Well, the same ministry now has a guy that's willing to overlook my lack of a huge monthly salary so long as I produce a f*ke labor contract stating that I earn the big bucks. So basically we can get married now here with a stack of paperwork, and because they won't accept our Suriname marriage, we have to do everything all over again, so that will be funny, fun, ironic, and wasteful.
The K-Visa is free and lasts for the length of a passport, so with a new passport I can get 10 years out of the K-Visa, and that would save me $6,000 USD over the long term, a whole year's earnings. With the K-Visa I can enter the family book and become a legal guardian of my stepdaughters, and this would probably help end us getting denied boarding flights around the world.
Living apart for a while is considered as an experience and a struggle in life and a transition to be strong for our loved ones.
Yes, I don't look forward to it, but I have no control over the policies of the governments of the world. If it were up to me, there wouldn't be any countries or borders, just an Earth for everyone to share.
Thank you my fellow curator from another mother-ator 🤔😁.
This sunset photos are very beautiful i am really like this.
It is a nice distraction from the stress of the day.
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