the brasil story: page 9

-Important Lunch…
It was always great to visit with Mrs. Houston (she ordered me to start calling her “Pat,” but that was hard for me!) She always had great stories and I felt she was one of the few people I knew who could truly appreciate mine–especially the stories having to do with anything “Latin.” We met at our favorite taqueria for carne asada and talked about Brasil for hours. I told her that my last hurdle was the immigration issue, when she suggested a loophole she found that could grant me a temporary residence visa good for up to four years.

I spent the next month researching every possible avenue. From student visas, to internship/training visas, to sneaking in illegally (although I would’ve never done that), I spent hours each night on the computer figuring out a way to live in Brasil. After talking to a handful of very knowlegable people, including a Brasil-immigation specialist, I finally picked the immigration-route that I would try.

Fast forward one month and TONS of paperwork, I was now ready to go and apply at the Brasilian Consulate in Los Angeles. I had to provide the consulate with a load of stuff, from police arrest records (I’m clean!), applications, photos, a letter outlining exactly what it is I would be doing in Brasil, and letters from my employer! The employer letter was kind of unconventional, because I WAS the employer–Sunday Nite Slow Jams is MY company. So basically, the letter said I was sending “myself.” My company wasn’t a big-dog like NBC, CNN, or The New York Times…just lil’ ol’ Sunday Nite Slow Jams Inc. I printed up special business cards and stationary just to look that much more official. This was my only chance. I couldn’t afford one mistake.

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