Monday, April 6, 2015

The US Embassy

Today everyone went to class as normal. The school was much quieter since many groups have left and I'm sure many others are on the way to come here and study. While they were in class I started arranging for a trip to the bigger fancier mall after the embassy visit, not the smaller older mall near the school.   Once classes were over at noon we quickly ate lunch then got into the school minivan to head to the Us embassy for our briefing.  On way the boys were a little too silly, that's when I started to give them the side-eye, like, Yall alright? Was there too much sugar in the Gallo pinto this morning.  

Outside of the U.S. Embassy 

We arrived a little early so we went to a little shopping strip across the street to get cash from the ATM and to window shop.  While in the electronics store one of the boys turned up the radio full blast... That's when I gave them my first warning about the silliness and that I was NOT having it.  You only get one wanting from me... one only.  

Waiting outside the shoppig mall across from the embassy

We checked into the embassy and the awesome tour began.  We had to leave our cell phones and passport at the check in desk in the front, pictures and videos inside the embassy are prohibited and you can only enter if you are a US citizen with your passport or as a Costa Rican going through the visa process with official documentation.  They even greeted us with a gift! 

I hope the boys keep this forever!  I know I will!

 Our first guide was the consular general (a very high position) of the embassy, he was from Texas and did an amazing job of interactively showing us the process that Costa Ticans go through to get a NIV (Non Immigrant Visa) to the US.  A NIV is for people who want to visit, study, or work in the US for a short period of time.   In order to get one you need to show that you have made a nice stable life for yourself in Costa Rica that you will want to return to, like own a house/ car, have a certain amount of money in the bank, have a decent job.  He even used Dr Malik to demonstrate how US Citizens use the embassy in the case of a lost passport.  U.S. Citizens also use the embassy in cases of the death of a US citizen, birth of a child of a US citizen, missing US Citizens, official documents and many more issues.  

My number for waiting in line during role play for an NIV.

Next we went to the commerce section where the commerce secretary took over the tour.  first we had to pass by the marine security post.  Each embassy is protected by the marine corps, and they mean business.  We went into the commerce secretaries office and had a chance to meet with some of the officers who help American franchises get established in Costa Rica and officers who help Costa Rican businesses but goods from the US.  We even met the officers who work specifically with the Ga commerce department in Atlanta.  How awesome is that.  

After touring that commerce section of the embassy.  We went to tour the media section of the press secretary section of the embassy.  This is where the boys lost their minds and the reason they are all on lock down now.  As the camera man was showing them his sound proof room they decided to "try out" the sound proof nature of the room why making a lot of noise inside to see if we could hear them outside.  Well... The room is NOT sound proof and one of the boys yelled something highly inappropriate while in the room with only of the embassy officials. The official and all of us outside of the allegedly sound proof room heard him.  The others were shocked at his audacity and mainly just laughed hysterically, but I'd had all I could take of minor offenses.  If you know me well you know I have the patience of a saint but I does have a limit, all their minor offenses but right on that limit and earned them one night of lock down at home instead of the mall.  They would have had SO much fun at the mall, but right now they are all home, BORED,  the major and repeat offenders without wifi.  At this point in their insanity they don't get any more warnings because they only got the only one I offer. They all get phase one of action.  

After the tour of the press section of the embassy we got a chance to meet the diplomat who is an interim Embassador for Costa Rica.  We do not have an official Embassador to Costa Rica.  The congress did not give him the number of votes needed to be sworn in. But will start the purpose all over again for the  new congress very soon.  We talked about their jobs, assignments, and the stress levels involved with their jobs.  The boys asked great questions and eventually had a chance to sit in the office of the future Embassador and spin around in his chair.  I will definitely keep my eye on the news to see if the candidate will be approved. 
After our visit was over I let the group know that their mall trip was cancelled and that they will be expected to "think" about their behavior will on lock down. The young men who have been on their best behavior understand why they must suffer with the group and I will try to make it up to those specific kids.  The once who have participated in the minor offenses know who they are and know I have no more warning left for them.  I know each of your children well and I know how great they can be, that's what I want to see from them.  

Tomorrow they are expected to be at school intime ready to learn and to start again with earning back mall time.  

I don't have any video footage today since it's not allowed in (or even outside of) the embassy.  I'll make up for it tomorrow.  Hopefully they will come to school tomorrow with the right behavior and attitude to earn back their mall visit. :-D

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